Outcast holds a strange and special place in my heart, conjuring up memories of everything great and frustrating about PC gaming. Back in 1999, Outcast was a technological marvel, a Stargate SG-1-inspired story, an enormous alien world and a mixture of polygonal and voxel graphics capable of doing the environment justice. It was the Crysis of its era.
Unfortunately, like Crysis, it was too much for most PCs of the time, and even an upgraded re-release on GOG still struggled to run consistently well. Good then, that original Belgian studio Appeal never stopped dreaming. In three weeks, we’ll see the release of Outcast: Second Contact, a modernised remake of the original. Click onwards for a trailer, hot off the trailer machine.
For the sake of the historical record, here are the original and updated GOG trailers for the game. It’s surprising how much has simultaneously changed, yet stayed the same. It’s clear that while Second Contact looks a little stiff by modern standards – perhaps adhering too tightly to the original design – the original was easily ten years ahead of its time, its sprawling worlds and complex AI unparalleled at the time.
If you’ve never played Outcast, the easiest way to describe it would be a hybrid of The Legend of Zelda and Far Cry. A large but segmented world to explore with lots of wildlife, hidden goodies and NPCs to interact with, interspersed with enemy strongholds to clear out, minibosses to slay and some entertainingly explosive weapons to use. The original game had full terrain deformation due to its grainy, voxel-based environments, a feature I hope is retained in this new version.
I’m excited to try my hand at it, and see how it stacks up against both the original game and the unrealised potential it always had. For the first time ever, PCs are capable of doing the alien world of Adelpha justice, and I am eager to hop on my Twon-ha once more. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m about ready to dial on home on that totally-not-copyright-infringing Stargate substitute.
It’s due out November 14th, and you can keep an eye on its launch by following or wishlisting it on Steam here.