REVIEW – Remaking an old (1999) game isn’t always a good idea or a good result. You may take something which was successful and popular back then, and you might find it unable to stand a chance against the modern games. Outcast: Second Contact is in the same shoes: it „became an adult,” but it lost its edge.
In 1999, it was one of the memorable games of the year on PC, and now, it was remade altogether, and I have to say, some of the things of it has been updated in a proper way for the modern trio (PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC), but some other aspects seems to have stuck in the Y2K era…
One of the outdated things can be named as the audio itself. Originally, Outcast came out on two CDs, which meant the voice acting had to be compressed. The compression can be strongly heard on Cutter Slade’s and the aliens’ (talans) voice all the time. I know, it may have been costly to re-record everything, but couldn’t they remaster the files to make them sound better a little bit? At least that could have hidden the past a bit.
Let’s take a turn to the story, though: our protagonist, Cutter, is a former soldier goes to an alternate Earth, and the only way for him to return home is to help the weird looking extraterrestrials, who tend to call Mr. Slade Ulukai (which is their word for Messiah, aka the savior of their planet).
You’ll have to look at the dialogue a lot, and there’s a ton of talking in the game – Outcast: Second Contact is still not a full-blown action game, as it has RPG and logical elements, and if you can get used to Cutter’s weird orange looking suit, as well as his headgear computer that makes him look like a bootleg Cyclops, then you can find yourself entertained. Grabbing your first gun (which is a laser scope pistol, which will quickly be replaced by something bigger and better…), you’ll find yourself attacking the enemy talans, and you’ll also regularly visit a smith called Zolass, who will help you make ammunition with crystals and other materials you’ll find throughout the world of Adelpha.
You’ll have to be patient – the story elements are riddled with cliché (in fact, the whole story is pretty much just that), and you’ll have to get through the game’s first few hours. You’ll have to get used to Outcast: Second Contact‘s world, which will offer several landscapes. I have already said the same thing with other games in the past, but seriously, you’ll find yourself embraced by Adelpha in a few hours.
Adelpha is still something that I would call decent nowadays, as it’s… shall I say, a living world? In 1999, it was no mean feat! The characters aren’t annoying and run-of-the-mill, which can also be considered a positive. Still… this TPS cannot get an 8/10 or even a 7/10. Why is that, you ask? Let me tell you…
The animations are ridiculously weak. They feel stiff, and they don’t look like they were massively improved from 1999. They don’t cut it today anymore. If you get through this negative, you’ll immediately meet the next one: the frame rate tends to drop massively, which isn’t an issue on PC, but it’s causing problems on PlayStation 4, and you can’t avoid it whatsoever.
Did I tell you that the game was delayed by roughly half a year? I also have to say that the frame rate issues will also result in input lag. The controls are good on their own, but their delay will just crush Outcast, which could have been a decent remake!
Not on PS4
Yes, this time, I say that you shouldn’t play Outcast: Second Contact on PlayStation 4. If you have a PlayStation 4 Pro or a good enough PC, give the game a shot on those platforms. The cool menu system, the enjoyable game world, and the characters cannot defeat the issues, though.
The game is outdated, which can be noticed in the audio (as well as a bit on the decent music, which was created by the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra), as well as in the animations. The frame rate and the input lag ruin the experience. Therefore, I can only give Outcast: Second Contact a 6/10, which is closer to a 7.5/10 on PC.
+ You’ll get to like the game with a bit of patience
– Adelpha is still up to par
– The music
– Outdated (animations, audio quality)
– Weak frame rate, resulting in lagging controls!
– Patience for the first few hours…
Genre: TPS, RPG, frame rate simulator
Release date: November 14, 2017