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Outcast's remake Second Contact is out now

It's not Christmas without Slade

The world of 1999 feels so strange and far away now. So different from the stressful realities of the here-and-now. I was a precocious (but equally nerdy) teenager back then, but I still clearly remember the first time I played Outcast, a Stargate-inspired action adventure exploring environments quite unlike anything else at the time, at the expense of nearly melting most CPUs of the era.

It's a good thing that Belgian studio Appeal aren't going to let a little thing like nearly two decades get between them and their vision, because they've gone and released Outcast again, polished up and remastered to something approaching modern spec. I don't know about you, but I can hear the '99 calling again. Maybe it's time for another trip to the lush alien world of Adelpha, just for old times sake.

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Fret not if you're waiting for our full thoughts on the game - we've got someone working on a Wot I Think - but from what I've heard on the grapevine, this sounds like a fine enough remake, although possibly closer to a second, more polished remaster than anything. Cutter Slade might move with a little more grace and agility than he used to, and the world might look a little more sharp and in-focus than you may remember, but scratch just beneath the surface and you'll find the original 90s Outcast, rousing orchestral score, slightly overcompressed voicework and all.

Whether that sounds like a problem to you is very much a Mileage May Vary situation. Personally, I can't wait to give the new version a try. I always had a soft spot for the original, even back when my PC could barely run it, and I'd quite like to experience the game as it looked in the mind's eye of the developers, unshackled by the cruel realities of computer hardware. Plus, maybe if Second Contact does well, that sequel Appeal always dreamt of doing might just be on the cards.

Outcast: Second Contact is out on Steam for £25.49/€29.74/$29.74, which includes a launch discount. People who already own the original on Steam get an extra 30% off.

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