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OUTCAST: A NEW BEGINNING

Written By:

Chris Jackson
Outcast

PLATFORM: PC, PS5, XBOX ONE/SERIES (REVIEWED) | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

A follow-up to 1999’s Outcast, A New Beginning shares the original game’s protagonist and setting, but don’t worry if you can’t remember (or have never even heard of) the first game, because everything is helpfully reset to make this a whole new standalone story. Set on the planet of Adelpha, former Marine Cutter Slade (what a name) is resurrected by the Yods (Gods, in the game’s own gobbledygook language) to find the planet stripped of its natural resources and under attack from a robot army. With your help, Slade now needs to find his daughter and get back home to earth, while also helping to unite the planet’s tribes against the robotic invaders.

A New Beginning feels like a game from two decades ago, but in the best possible kind of way. It doesn’t overburden you with mechanics and systems, but gives you enough to keep you occupied for the 15 or so hours that it takes to finish the campaign. Its story is spread across half a dozen or so villages, with multiple plot lines that cross over in unexpected ways, and there are plenty of side-quests and activities dotted all over the map to fill your time as you travel between locations. Fighting small hordes of enemies to clear “gork eruptions”, completing platforming / traversal challenges in “orym trials”, and following orbs of light to open locked shrines all reward you with trinkets and upgrades, and liberating each village gives you access to a new ancient power to add to your arsenal. After a while you’ll be calling in flocks of poisonous insects, altering gravity, trapping enemies in place and dropping bombs from the sky, which, along with the upgrades available through skill trees and quest completion all go together to form a really entertaining set of tools that are both simple and fun to use.

Similarly fun is the game’s main method of getting around – the jetpack allows Cutter to glide across huge distances both across the ground and through the sky, and can also be used to hover in mid-air during combat. Extremely satisfying to use, it adds an extra layer of enjoyment to what is ultimately a fairly straightforward yet well-made and entertaining game. Outcast: A New Beginning might not keep you going for as long as some of the more long-winded RPGs out there, and once you’ve done everything that the game has to offer there aren’t too many reasons to go back for more, but nevertheless it’s still an excellent throwback to a simpler time.

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