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The Top Shelf:

Vol. 2, Issue 1 
November 10, 1999 

Jumping from the “weakest” feature of the game to the “strongest” (in my personal opinion), the music and sounds for the game are the best I have ever heard in a game, bar none. The Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Choir did an amazing job of performing the musical pieces that were composed for the game. You can take Disc 2 of the game and pop it into a normal CD Player, listen to the music (which I’m doing while I write this), close your eyes (which I’m not doing as I write this), and literally imagine yourself back in Adelpha. The music is also dynamic, switching between mysterious or awe-inspiring tunes and blood-pumping battle rhythms as the situation demands. Add in ambient sounds and superb special effects (though weapons can be a bit loud at times), and you couldn’t ask any more from a game as far as aural experiences go.

click to enlarge!

Woo - action! (46k)

Control is a separate issue. Like all third person games, camera movement can occasionally be a pain; but on the whole I believe that they pretty much stay close to industry-standard quality. The interface is a bit of an adjustment, since your primary and secondary actions are context-sensitive (meaning that a button that dives you into a lake one minute, may be the same one you press to ride on a creature the next minute); but it is simple enough to learn and get used to quickly. Keys are fully customizable as well, and the auto-aim in the third person mode is adequate for most people who aren’t sharpshooters (or don’t want to bother becoming one). You can enter a first person mode (which enables a “free-aim” firing mode); but it’s a bit jerky, and the field of view seems “wrong” if you have Cinemascope turned on (which effectively “letterboxes” the game). The view is graphically correct – but this option makes the screen so wide that your brain has trouble reconciling it, especially if you’re used to playing first-person-shooters. All in all, the controls take a little getting used to, but are good enough to keep you enjoying the game quite happily.

As with all games today, there are also a few minor bugs here and there (clipping and bounding-box related for the most part). However, considering the poor state that many of the industry’s recent “hit” games have had upon release – this game is remarkably bug free. The few that exist are minor annoyances, and do not interfere with the game-play.

Taken in total, Outcast is one game that you should definitely try out. No game is for everyone – but the developers did a darn good job of trying to put a little something for everyone in the game. It can excite you, whisk your imagination away to far-off places, and even make you a bit introspective at times. Give Outcast enough of a chance to get past your initial reaction to the graphics; and you will be rewarded with a rich, dynamic, musical, grand epic that immerses you for hours – no, days on-end.


- Noel "HB" Wade is a regular contributor to loonygames. Basically, he
just wants attention.



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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Dan Zalkus. This review is © 1999 Noel Wade. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, goldarn it.