🕹️ New release: Lunar Lander Beyond

Outcast

Moby ID: 358
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/24 1:44 AM )
Conversion (official) Included in Special Edition See Also

Description official descriptions

In 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.

Spellings

  • 时空英豪 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

161 People (135 developers, 26 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 34 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 92 ratings with 12 reviews)

Perfect... Out of words...

The Good
Almost everything is good.

The plot is incredible, and could have been a best-selling sci-fi novel. The game is just too prefect. A gamers dream come true...

The Bad
Bad? What bad?

The Bottom Line
My favourite game of all time, simply one of the best and most revolutionary games ever created.

We have never seen anything quite like this, neither before, nor after.

It would probably have become the most famous game ever, had it not been for the big hype with Half Life which was released the same year.

In my view: Outcast beats all other games, and is simply one of the best games ever made.

Perfect graphics, an excellent plot (the best, and most engaging plot I have ever seen in a computer game), perfect atmosphere, perfect music and sounds, perfect AI, you cant get it better then this.

Windows · by Stargazer (99) · 2002

Help me find my toothbrush, Ulukai

The Good
The graphics are good, very good. The sight of the huge twin moons hauntingly filling the horizon will take your breath away. The controls are almost always intuitive. You feel immersed in a rich, entrancing world.

Your first chores are actually a well-designed tutorial, fair to you player, with no fire-breathing dragon eager to pounce upon you, without even a plague-carrying sewer rat to bite you into writhing agony. Just tasks to familiarize you with the interface.

The Bad
"Can you help Bippy-Poo find his toothbrush, Ulukai?"

"Where is Bippy-Poo, Shazam-Kaboom?"

"I cannot see him from here, Ulukai, but he is somewhere north-west".

Ulukai is you, a cross of Clint Eastwood and Duke Nukem propelled into a parallel universe, courtesy of... well, game designers, really. Bippy-Poo and Shazam-Kaboom (not their real names, we want to protect their privacy here), are Talants, the only intelligent inhabitants of this world. Your arrival was prophesized, you are the long-awaited saviour. The world has been subdued by ... no, no spoilers... an evil tyrant, whose minions the ordinary Talant slaves, sweats, and starves for, to keep them in the local firewater and in ris (the staple food with an uncanny resemblance to rice, even down to the watery paddies where ris is grown). No women, though. They do exist (read on), but the closest whiff you'll get of the fair sex is a spoof of a poof in the fine city of Samarkand (not its real name, no spoilers please).

By now, Ulukai has run enough errands to know that Bippy-Poo hides right at the opposite end of the map. He even suspects that Shazam-Kaboom is giggling under his breath at the prospect of the Saviour of the World hoofing it for the umpteenth time across a land graced with not much of a fauna and as little of a flora. The Great Western Desert (that's Death Valley for you American readers) teems with life in comparison.

Hold your twon-ha there! (A twon-ha is their equivalent of a bronco, a brumby, a horse in short, only with two legs and no tail).

Have I talked, er... WRITTEN you into giving "Outcast" a miss? My apologies. There are good things which make this game worth playing. It is only once the storyline and the gameplay have spoilt it that you think back on it all.

How you had to go into god mode because, shot at from certain angles, the enemy soldiers just seemed to be invulnerable. How you had to repeatedly hit the "skip dialog" button because you got thoroughly sick of having to listen to the same lines from a Talant, when you only wanted to hear again where Bippy-Poo might hide, and so you were treated to this wonderful audio:

"Greetings Uluglub"

"Can youblip"

"Yes Ulukflub"

and so on, and so on, until you got to the bit that you were after.

By and by, you get to the finale. A movie sequence that gives you the distinct feeling that either the scenario writers were fed up to their eyeteeth with the story, or were marched off under heavily armed escort to bring it to a speedy close for commercial reasons. You stare at your screen and you remember... you remember when you learnt that male and female Talants lived separately outside the mating season, and that, as Bippy-Poo (not his real name) told you, the females were on those islands just north of the long line of power poles that zapped you to death (even in god mode) whenever you dared approach them. You remember how something you did caused those power poles to shut down. Yet, there was no way for you to travel further north. You remember all those tantalizing enigmas without answers (yes, you did download a number of walkthroughs, but to no avail). Your remember the tiny offshore island, a mountain in its middle, with a rough staircase leading up to some giant bird's nest with a giant egg in it. Who, what, built those stairs? No clue, no further quest, no answer, a dead-end good, proper and final, my fearless explorer. Too many such dead-ends, and the side-lanes that did lead somewhere were so short and narrow.

The Bottom Line
This could have been a fine game.

Final score.

Graphics. Fine, well tuned to the storyline, often breath-taking, in their passive sort of way. You can even tell the time of the day by the shadow you cast. I couldn't care less, that's not my cup of tea, but perhaps it's yours.

Gameplay. There is much good about it, much bad. Those occasionally invulnerable enemies are a great let-down. Until you switch to god mode of course. It's never so bad that you quit and uninstall in disgust. It's often bad enough to make you want to strangle the culprits: "You had such a great game in the making, why did you stuff up so?" But the puzzles are logical, even though too many of them require you to travel, not only to the other end of the map, but to the other end of any one of the six maps. Oh well, at least it gets out in the fresh air, just like crucifixion does (you jammy, jammy, bastard!).

Replay value. Almost nil. I found myself playing it again only for the landscapes, once I had cleared them of hostile grunts. Those two gigantic twin moons... they are hypnotic. Of course, they are impossible, such a planetary system cannot exist, but this is where art must be allowed to take precedence over reality. If only there had been more of that. And a deeper storyline. Gentlemen, why did you let us down? (Pardon my Aramaic)

Windows · by Jacques Guy (52) · 2004

A very pretty, but very bad European imitation of Hollywood's "worst-of"

The Good
"Outcast" is an interesting game which tried to emulate an alien world complete with creatures and inhabitants when other 3D games were mostly still limited to in-door levels or only short outdoor sequences in need of constant reloading ("Half-Life") and, to some degree, it succeeded.

"Outcast" is an action-adventure. The story is hardly worth mentioning, it's about some growing portal to another world threatening to devour earth entirely, thus requiring the player to enter said alien world to close said portal. Naturally, something goes wrong and one ends up trapped on the "other side" with some alien race which takes the player for their god-like saviour figure "Uluk-Hai" - resulting in the fact that one has to safe two worlds instead of one (just what video gaming needed) within a limited amount of time (although there is no time limit), but more of that in the "bad" section.

Visually, this game is a true masterpiece. I played it very recently and it doesn't look bad at all, in fact, the animations, water reflections and colouring are extremely well done and will most certainly look good forever. The game's resolution is quite low but after one has gotten used to the resulting blur (easy for us DOS-gamers) it's not a problem anymore since important items or creatures are still easily recognizable. The blurry images in combination with the non-polygonal, "smooth" feeling of its employed voxel-engine give "Outcast"s graphics a sort of watery notion, though, as if one would move through an impressionist painting. However, I didn't object to that in the slightest, for me, it even enhanced the unreality and overall alien feel of the world and rather heightened than lowered its artistic qualities. Moreover, apart from being very good, "Outcast"s graphics are quite unique, too: the few other voxel-based games (i. e. "Blade Runner") share only a limited set of technical features while the more common polygonal games appear to be altogether different in style. Since every 3D game uses polygons nowadays, the development of other voxel games gets more and more unlikely. Thus, "Outcast" will most probably keep its unique status as a very differently looking, beautiful game with a masterful use of colours, a great feel for the right effect at the right time (this game definitely got that lens-flare thing right!) and a variety of cool design ideas, like some interesting vertical structures.

Another great point about "Outcast" is controls. Game controls are easy and quick to learn, yet allow an adequate amount of different movements, standard stuff like jumping and crouching goes together with riding on (sort-of) horseback and climbing ledges. Control reactions are great and really give the impression of being able to intuitively move around with one's character.

This leads to the game's best gameplay side: the combat. Due to its precise controls, some great sound-effects, a rather intelligent (or at least sufficient) A. I. and a very limited but clever arsenal of weapons, fighting in "Outcast" is exciting. There aren't too many types of enemies, but the way one can use the (beautiful) environment, the ease with which one can control one's character's every move, and the well balanced amounts of damage one can deal and take make for some fine challenges nonetheless. Adding to that, battles in "Outcast" aren't graphic at all, an enemy gets hit and dies without a single drop of blood being spilled - another proof of the fact that simulated combat doesn't need to be overly violent to be engaging. The only problem with "Outcast"s combat is: there's simply too little of it, and too much of everything else.

The Bad
As a world simulation, and that was certainly one of it's aspired main goals, "Outcast" falls flat on its face. Of course, every aspect of realism is instantly vaporized when one finds the first ammunition and health packs on a rooftop and starts jumping from house to house in search of gadgets someone (?) deliberately placed there for one's convenience. But the problems start earlier on. The game world is just not believable. There are creature, yes, but of too little variety. People walk around and do interesting things like push-ups or harvesting rice, but there is no day/night cycle and most of the aliens are just there to molest the player with uninteresting, generic tasks they could easily do themselves if they would possess any real "life". Moreover, there are neither women nor children. This is explained in the game, but in a thoroughly unbelievable way ("They live on some distant island...") - one immediately realizes that it was a game design choice to omit them and that it had nothing to do with a better way to depict the aliens' culture: this would have been far easier and a lot more convincing if the game would have been able to depict their "normal" family life, especially because they appear so very human in most other matters. Adding to that, the male NPCs are far from being interesting themselves. With a few exceptions, most of them are dull, generic and stupid to an unbearable degree, even worse, some of them appear to be merely present to give the main character enough opportunity to wise-crack juvenile jokes at their expense. This does not only render the game's world extremely lifeless, since all on-going conflict appears to directly involve the player in some way and since there's is no sense of any "progress" or any "action" when the player's not around, it even omits a minor, but still unpleasant feeling of racism.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Without over-interpreting anything: here you have an alien race which wears Arab clothing and lives in Arab-style buildings, situated mostly in desert regions, harvesting rice. They are not able to do anything without the help of their "saviour" Uluk-Hai, a white American marine (in a French game!) whose main and final act of "saving" is actually getting rid of an omnipotent Asian midget impostor. I am certainly not the most "politically correct" person on this planet myself, but the stubbornness with which just everything in "Outcast" is centered around the one white "action" guy is really something to behold. Quite simply, this game, while employing an extremely poor, predictable and most of all short plot, does a wonderful job at being perfectly chauvinistic. Just imagine: a world without women and children, led by a small, Asian tyrant, inhabited by helpless Arabs - what more could the average video gamer want as a playfield to live out his/her (and I doubt the "her" in this case) own omnipotence fantasies? For this is clearly one reason for the existence of so many games where the player takes the role of a god-like saviour figure: the human urge for an easy, understandable world which one can conquer and dominate as an all-knowing, all-seeing, benevolent god who's able to save and load. However, the slight fascist tendencies of this common cliché were hardly ever more present in any other game than in "Outcast". Just because the player does nothing but help everyone out and act as Messiah, the questionable ethics of depicting a white guy as the only "active" person in an otherwise completely inactive and helpless "alien" world whose own visible purpose is to serve as said white man's playground gets apparent.

Still, this is not where this game's trail of tears ends. "Outcast" does not only employ a weak plot, puffed up with unbearable loads of "epic" music, "cool" one-liners and, worst of all, some noticeable chauvinist omnipotence tendencies, moreover, the adventure parts of this game are to laugh at. Either they are no puzzles at all or they involve unbearable degrees of running to and fro across miles of terrain carrying around despicable amounts of "MacGuffins" (objects which get a story going without having any real purpose or meaning by themselves) from person A to identically looking person B. While some side-quests are not that bad, these are completely overrun by the sheer mass of generic errand quests. This is quite a serious problem in a game which does not have an interesting main quest to begin with (although I think that saving Earth could be interesting, it isn't in "Outcast"). To top it all, the game's main character Cutter Slade (what a name!) and his "supporting cast" from Earth are almost as numb and uninteresting as the indigenous people to be found - there is not only no character development, these are no real characters to begin with. Everything about them appears to have been copied/pasted from a random oh-so epic Hollywood flick - which leads to this game's last major weakness: it tries to emulate the "movie"-feeling far too hard, it doesn't want to be a game, it wants to be "more", it wants to be an "interactive experience", whatever that is.

The Bottom Line
Zovni's review mentions that this game is filled with European "art-house" pretentiousness. I disagree. Of course, European "art-house" pretentiousness does exist, but that's more like filming a cup of coffee for fifteen minutes and ending on a girls lips uttering a soft: "This is your life getting cold". The pretentiousness of "Outcast", on the other hand, is the pretentiousness of Europeans trying to emulate Hollywood's "worst-of" (note: of course, there are a lot of good Hollywood movies, too). It's filled to the teeth with everything that screams "epic", but doesn't contain any intimacy - in fact, compared to "Outcast", "Independence Day", also done by a European guy, is a psychologically intriguing melodrama. It's extremely conservative with chauvinist tendencies and doesn't assign any really meaningful piece of the action to any other character but to the main jack. It's puzzles and plot are not only dumb, but completely unoriginal and it's whole content is little to none across the board.

However, its graphics are wonderful, its controls are crisp and the fighting is well executed. In the end, "Outcast" is a sad game. It could have been at least a piece of good entertainment if only the designers had concentrated on the combat aspects. Maybe the stereotype story and characters wouldn't have been so terrible in such a context, and with less text and less meaningless tasks depicting the sheer inactivity of the indigenous population, with an added female touch and perhaps a different main villain (he would actually have been great if this game would have had but a slight ironic undertone), "Outcast"s chauvinist tendencies could have been drastically lowered. However, it wasn't meant to be: as it is, this is far from being a good game. It's worth seeing for its graphical splendour, but it's not worth playing through and the opposite of a "rewarding" game, since it doesn't leave a stone unturned to remind the player that we Western people sometimes have indeed peculiar views of what's "entertainment" (of course, this probably goes for any other culture, too).

Windows · by worldwideweird (29) · 2008

[ View all 12 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Outcast appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled Dreamcast version

A 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 engine

A 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.

Legacy

On 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.

Outtakes

Appeal 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.

Promotion

A 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.

References

  • 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.

Save

The crystalline object used to save your game is called a Gaamsav. Carefully listening to that name makes its use more than apparent.

Voice actors

In 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.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2000 (Issue #188) – Adventure Game of the Year
  • GameSpot
    • 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

Information also contributed by -Chris, Lumpi, Sciere, shifter, Supernintendo Chalmers, Xa4, Zack Green, and Zovni.

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Moto Racer
Released 1997 on Windows, PlayStation
Pirate Revenge
Released 2007 on Arcade
Champions of Krynn
Released 1990 on DOS, Amiga, Commodore 64...
Moto Racer 3
Released 2001 on Windows
TimeSplitters
Released 2000 on PlayStation 2
Time Surfer
Released 2013 on iPhone, Macintosh, Android
Timespinner
Released 2018 on Windows, PlayStation 4, 2019 on Xbox One...

Related Sites +

  • 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 - Wikipedia
    article about the game in the open encyclopedia
  • 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.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 358
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Additional contributors: -Chris, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Chentzilla, Sciere, CaesarZX, Cantillon, Zeikman, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added November 1, 1999. Last modified March 31, 2024.