Analysis of Outcast – Second Contact. A long-awaited return

Written by Kamran Haider

It was a video game ahead of its time; a masterpiece that laid the foundations for a new way of understanding action adventures … and yet it did not triumph. Fortunately, the classic of Appeal comes back to life, almost 20 years later, with a remastering that meets the minimum but leaves a bittersweet taste. We tell you in the analysis of Outcast – Second Contact.

Few, very few, enjoyed it in their moment; He almost went through the videogame industry without pain or glory and, even so, laid the foundations of open-world action as we know it today. Not for nothing has always been spoken of this classic of the Belgian studio Appeal as a game ahead of its time; one of those transcendental works whose imprint is still visible almost 20 years after his birth. I told you in the retro memories of Outcast and now, what a joy it is to be able to say this, I can reaffirm it thanks to the release of Outcast – Second Contact, a remake that adapts the original work to the new times without losing its essence. Basically, it is the same game from 1999, but with updated graphics and some other adjustment in its combat system and user interface. Enough? Yes and no.

Although the gaming experience is as satisfying as that of the original, its freedom of action is still surprising! Some of its game mechanics are obsolete. Especially the shootings, which are far from meeting current quality standards. The poor artificial intelligence of the enemies, the orthopedic movements of the protagonist, the coverages … the control system itself!; In spite of the improvements that the combat presents, these are not enough to adapt the action of Outcast to the current conventions and this, in the medium term, end up ruining the game experience. Yes, there are spectacular moments and exciting shootings in large open spaces but, deep down, it’s hard not to feel disappointed, even frustrated, when you discover that the hero of this adventure does not finish responding to your orders with the desired precision.

Back to a magical world

There are many options when facing enemies thanks to the varied arsenal of firearms that we have access to, all of them with the possibility of being improved with new features; and we are certainly free to cause chaos around us using traps, explosives or even holograms of the hero, Cutter Slade, with whom we will distract the rivals just before finishing them off with a shot to the head. There is potential, there is no doubt about it, but at the moment of truth, unfortunately, the game of Appeal is not up to par. As I said, it feels old-fashioned; Their shootings are usually simple and erratic, and it’s a shame. More considering that Outcast, for everything else, remains surprisingly current.magical world

The freedom of action is total, to the point that you can fulfill the missions in the order that you prefer

The planet AdelphaIt is a living world, constantly evolving, that responds credibly to the acts of the protagonist. Its inhabitants will respect you if you help them, but they will also fear you or even attack you if you show hostility. The same can be said of the enemies, who will act in one way or another depending on when and where you attack. In Outcast – Second Contact the freedom of action is total, to the point that you can fulfill the missions in the order that you prefer, always bearing in mind, of course, that there are more dangerous territories than others. It is not enough impediment for you to infiltrate behind the enemy lines and disrupt their arms production lines if that is what you want. And this is one of the greatness of this classic of Appeal.

It seems incredible that with almost 20 years of history behind this open-world video game offers so many options when it comes to exploring their lands. And the best thing is that there are no markers or light signals that indicate, almost shouting, “Hey! Here’s your next goal!” Outcast is so great that you must question the inhabitants of Adelpha to know your next step; you need to talk, dialogue with dozens of characters, so they can point out where the object you are looking for or the person who should help you save the planet Earth. The sensation of adventure is extraordinary because, in addition, the video game gives life to a science fiction universe incredibly attractive. The culture, the religion, the clans, the enemy troops … the development team did not leave a single detail in the pipeline, even creating a language for the inhabitants of this strange world in which we must find the members missing from our exploration team, as well as a vital probe to prevent our world from collapsing.

The video game gives life to an incredibly attractive science fiction universe

The story has a greater weight than it might seem at first glance and to really face the challenges proposed by Outcast has been great. Despite the antiquated combat system, which will almost lead you to use stealth most of the time, or the erratic control system, there is something that makes this open-world action-adventure unique. Yes, the hero and the enemies will be blocked in some elements of the scenario and, yes, they could really have contributed more news so that, especially the shootings, they felt more like the present and not so much as a memory of the past. But even with those, Second Contact continues to be a good action game that also presents an attractive audiovisual finish.

We are not dealing with a graphic portent as was the original with its commitment to voxels technology, but the use of Unity has allowed the authors of Outcast to recreate with a remarkable level of detail the great landscapes of their alien world. Also, the user interface has been renewed, acquiring a less intrusive and more intuitive appearance. In this sense, Appeal has recovered the soundtrack of the original so that our steps are enlivened by melodies of great quality; pity that the sound effects feel, at this point, also like something from the past. The console versions, by the way, suffer from specific slowdowns, although nothing serious.

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The return of a classic like Outcast is always caused for joy even though this remake falls short when it comes to adapting to the new times what is one of the most important open-world action adventures in history. At the level of exploration and development of missions the game of Appeal continues to be fantastic but, especially its shootings, they feel like something from the past and not in a good way. They are simple, somewhat frustrating, and the erratic movements of the protagonist end up reducing the attractiveness of a work that had the potential to go further. In spite of this, whether or not you are a follower of the original, Outcast – Second Contact is one of those titles that is worth trying because it is a work that, almost 20 years ago, made history.

  • Return to the planet Adelpha is a fantastic experience
  • Exploration and freedom of action
  • Graphically it is an attractive title, although not spectacular
  • The combat system feels old-fashioned
  • Some errors and a somewhat orthopedic control system

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Kamran Haider

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