DescriptionIn the year 2007, a parallel universe is discovered by scientists. The U.S. government sends a probe to that universe and learns of the existence of an entire alien civilization there. However, an apparently hostile alien damages the probe, leading to the creation of a black hole threatening the very existence of our own world. Former U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. Cutter Slade is assigned to escort three scientists to the parallel universe in an attempt to repair the probe and avert the danger.
Upon arrival, Cutter is separated from the scientists and is greeted by the local inhabitants, the Talan. It appears that their world, Adelpha, has its own troubles: a mysterious being known as Faé Rhan has been assembling an army consisting of Talans who think themselves superior to the rest of the population and willing to rule over them with violence. Cutter is proclaimed the Ulukai, a savior mentioned in a prophecy, and entrusted with the task of retrieving five sacred relics needed to overthrow Faé Rhan - all while trying to locate the scientists and save the Earth as well in the process.
Outcast is a 3D third-person (with optional first-person view) action game with adventure elements. In search for five sacred relics, the protagonist travels through the five continents of Adelpha (plus one tutorial island). Each land has its own landscape (mountains, lakes, forests), populated areas, as well as dozens of minor problems - small quests that the hero is required to solve. Most Talans populating the world can be conversed with about a variety of topics. A large portion of the game consists of finding key characters and performing quests for them; some of these are optional, though most must be completed in an adventure-like linear fashion in order to advance the plot. Cutter is free to travel between the continents using special portals.
Apart from exploration and completing quests, Cutter will also fight many guards and creatures. At his disposal are six futuristic weapons (railgun and others); ammunition for those guns is scattered around and can also be produced by mixing items. Aiming help is provided in the form of laser sights. Sneaking up to the enemy and punching him out silently is also possible. Gadgets such as a holo-decoy can be used to help Cutter gain the upper hand in combat. The player character can also jump, climb, swim, dive, crawl, and ride a local animal known as Twon-Ha for faster travel.
Part of the Following Groups
|Pelit||Aug, 1999||96 out of 100||96|
|Power Unlimited||Jul, 1999||9.4 out of 10||94|
|Computer Gaming World (CGW)||Nov, 1999||90|
|Gameplay (Benelux)||Jul, 1999||86 out of 100||86|
|PC Player (Germany)||Jul, 1999||86 out of 100||86|
|IGN||Sep 09, 1999||8.5 out of 10||85|
|GamePro (US)||Jan 01, 2000||80|
|GamesFirst!||Oct 08, 1999||80|
|Computer and Video Games (CVG)||Aug 15, 2001||5 out of 10||50|
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1001 Video GamesOutcast appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Cancelled Dreamcast versionA Dreamcast version was planned by Infogrames, which would feature a new, fully polygonal engine to replace the original one. However, thanks in no small part to Outcast's small sales and the self-destruction of the Dreamcast console, on September 22, 2000 Infogrames announced the cancellation of the port's development. This is sad indeed, since Infogrames had hinted that a 3D acceleration patch for the PC version would be available thanks to the Dreamcast port (since the console uses DirectX as its core API for 3D acceleration).
Graphics engineA common misconception is that Outcast employs a voxel engine. Franck Sauer, though, said in an interview with gaming magazine "Strana Igr": "We've all misused the term voxel for what actually is just an height field with some software raycasting". The engine allows for a complex architecture and a wide range of sight. However, it features only low resolutions up to 512 x 384, does not support 3D accelerator cards and requires a potent processor (preferably 500 Mhz) to run smoothly.
LegacyOn November 1999, Appeal announced a sequel Outcast 2: The Lost Paradise, a PS2 game with a PC release to follow. Appeal however declared its bankruptcy on August 12, 2002 and the game was canceled. A major part of the team moved to elseWhere Entertainment and a petition was started to persuade Infogrames to allow Elsewhere Entertainment to use the Outcast license, but with no result. A team called Eternal Outcasts started working on Open Outcast as a mod for different types of engines, first the one of Gothic, then the Crystal Space engine, next CryENGINE2 and finally settling on CryENGINE3. After two tech demos (Oasis 1.0 & 1.1) that can be played as mods through Crysis Wars, the project was re-branded on 1st April 2013 as Outcast: Legacy of the Yods.
On 3rd July 2013 it was announced that Yves Grolet, along with the other two original Appeal founders Franck Sauer and Yann Robert, bought back the rights to Outcast from Atari. The game will be developed through Grolet's company AMA Studios and Sauer and Robert will work for AMA through their own company Fresh3D S.A.R.L. Tentatively dubbed Duality, it was then confirmed that it would become the official successor to Outcast. Duality was already announced as the third AMA title at least one year earlier, but with no details except for the title.
OuttakesAppeal created 15 movie outtakes for Outcast. They could be downloaded as mpg-files from the game's official website. Ideally, any viewer should have played the game, in order to understand the puns.
PromotionA lengthy gameplay demonstration of the game was shown on the main projection screen at the Belgian demo party Wired 1998, nearly a year before its official release.
- Listen closely, and it's possible to recognize the main notes of Luke's Theme from the Star Wars soundtrack being played by some of the flute players in the region of Okriana, particularly those west and east of the palace. Fitting, considering the city is in the desert.
- The word Okriana could be seen as an anagram of the Russian word okraina, which means the outskirts. However, according to an interview with Franck Sauer, it actually comes from ochre, the yellow colour that dominates the area.
SaveThe crystalline object used to save your game is called a Gaamsav. Carefully listening to that name makes its use more than apparent.
Voice actorsIn both the French and the German version of the game, the actors providing the main character's voice are the dubbing voices of Bruce Willis in the respective languages: Patrick Poivey and Manfred Lehmann.
- Computer Gaming World
- March 2000 (Issue #188) – Adventure Game of the Year
- 1999 - Adventure Game of the Year
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 03/2000 - Best Sound in 1999
- Issue 12/1999 - #57 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 11/2005 - #8 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel
Related Web Sites
- Outcast (official website)
- Open Outcast (A fan-made sequel in the works. The team intends to use the CryEngine 2 for terrain modelling. Well worth a look.)
- Outcast Hints (Alex Burrell wrote these excellent hints for Outcast for the Universal Hint System.)
- Outcast II.net (A very comprehensive site with news, resources, art, guides and interviews.)
- Outcast - Wikipedia (article about the game in the open encyclopedia)