How do you play retro games?

Out of This World (DOS)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Shazbut (158)
Written on  :  Jun 06, 2002
Platform  :  DOS

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Shazbut
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Amazing for it's time, but I dunno...

The Good

At the time of it's release this game was a really big thing. Thinking about it, it's easy to see why. The fluid and cinema-style camerawork that is present in all sorts of games these days pretty much began here. It's use of flat vector graphics meant it could give more freedom than most games, namely the quality of the animation. Out Of This World has stunning animation which is very smooth; this became a trademark of Delphine Software with Flashback, which many people see as a sequel even though it isn't. This game is also EXTREMELY difficult, which is good. Games really needed skill back in 1991. Hard games are thinner on the ground these days because of the desire to push gaming into the mainstream. Out Of This World has some clever ideas, and the simple yet great graphics enabled Delphine to do all sorts of clever stuff like have your character chased by a large torrent of water. They also split the game into short scenes which each have a password, thus removing (some) frustration when you die again.

The Bad

It's very very hard. While I normally like this, many of the puzzles were centred around pixel-perfect jumping. Also the jump key is the space bar, (you may be able to change it I don't know), and that's probably the least durable and sensitive key because of it's size. Plunging down a pit which appears just as you move onto the next screen because you missed the moment by a picosecond, forcing you to play the scene again for the 378th time, is damn annoying. But I guess this is what these games, like Prince Of Persia, are about. If you don't like that, you don't like the game. Another gripe I've got is that the game is far too closed up. The first scene is great; you don't have a gun, you're in a large spacous outside area, you can run about, you can see things happen in the background, and you get chased by a huge beast. Most of the other scenes involve jumping over rocks in a cave, sometimes you have about 3 colours on the entire screen, and weird shapes that don't look like anything. It's depressing and you long for more of the great outdoors. Also our hero is a gimp. He doesn't have much of a character, but you do know he's a nerdy science dude with ginger hair and an odd name. Not really a major downer I guess; but if you're going to have some reason to go on, it would help if you were controlling someone that you could respect.

The Bottom Line

Personally, and I know most won't agree with me, I think this has been overshadowed by Flashback. Flashback is far more attractive, varied, and intelligent. There are more frames of animation, your character has a much better name (Conrad Hart as opposed to Lester Knight Chaykin), and shooting is much easier. You never feel hemmed in either. Anyway this game is still worth playing, especially if you want to test your metal as a games player. Or if you want to find a time when French developers weren't associated with the totally bizarre and actually had a name for themselves. I'd certainly like another Out Of This World