April 10, 2019
Venturing off the track of the traditional style of games, in which you are some sort of chosen one or even a gifted individual about to embark on a perilous journey, Outward instead focuses on a more grounded approach in which you are an ordinary adventurer on a not so ordinary adventure. Outward offers an immersive journey in which every decision you make, is one you must bear the burden of. Due to the game constantly logging your progress via auto saving, there is no way to revert any big decisions you make. So players must act with caution, even if it appears to be a simple choice, it might be your last.
Me preparing to sleep, with a lit torch in my hand, because why the fuck not
One of the best aspects of this game is it’s cooperative gameplay, which can be done online or split-screen locally, which is quite an interesting decision, one I love to be honest. Being able to play this game with a friend only makes the grand adventure even more tantalising and immersive. It brings a new dynamic to approaching enemies and allows you and your companion to be more strategic when tackling groups of enemies. This tactical approach enables you and your companion to carry out brutal, devastating attacks that simply cannot be replicated in single player.
In order to survive the journey ahead, you must be cunning and be well prepared before venturing out each and every time. Ensuring you are well rested, well hydrated and have adequate protection against any diseases and infections that you may catch are just a few of the things that must be done to ensure survival in the land of Aurai.
As I previously stated, that means acting with caution, even in what may appear to be a simple fight. Defeat doesn’t grant you the opportunity to quickly jump back to your last “checkpoint” or save, as I touched on at the start of this review, Outward regularly saves your progress so you don’t have any safety nets so to speak. That and you don’t actually die, you more or less get knocked unconscious and your story progresses somewhat, which can result in you waking up in some interesting situations.
Although that can be crushing, because you lose supplies and what not, it can lead to some really interesting opportunities to delve deeper into what the game has to offer. Without that option to just jump back to the last save, when you were better off, you have to make do with the cards you have been dealt and power on through whatever stands in your way. For example, you may find yourself kidnapped after failing to defeat bandits, waking up stripped of your hard earned goods can either make or break you, in Outward you don’t really have the option to dwell on that choice, you really do just have to get it together and be prepared to fight your way out of whatever dire situation you may land in. It is quite an interesting take, one that I do quite enjoy, regardless of how bitter defeat may make me feel. It keeps me feeling engaged, immersed and most of all it feels unique. You don’t just get forced to load the last save, which might have been hours ago, you get the chance to pick yourself back up and reclaim what was lost.
For a title released in 2019, it’s certainly not breaking ground in regards to its presentation and audio. On multiple occasions It felt like the audio was piercing my ears from sporadically changing in volume, although to me personally, those were two minor issues, two of which I could easily let slide in favour of its gameplay, that more than makes up for those issues. Setting that aside, the game itself is a real joy to play and easily a game that I myself can get lost in over and over again. With its unique take on the genre, I feel that if players give it time and a good chance, they could find themselves in for a real treat, as I did. Outward is not a game in which I feel you can just rush into, run through and hope for a good time, you need to take your time and absorb all that it has to offer if you want the best possible experience.
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I Give This Game A
7 / 10
Outward is not for everyone, those who desire playing more of an “old-school” open world game, that is tough but rewarding, then this is for you. Outward is quite an ambitious game and rewards players who are willing to invest time into it. Some players may be put off by the visuals, but if you want a stellar open world RPG that walks a different path in comparison to other titles within the genre, then this is well worth picking up, and deserves to be praised for the hard work put in by the team behind it. I can happily say that I’m eagerly looking forward to investing even more time into this game.
A Gamer who loves pretty much all genres of Games! (More so RPG, FPS, Survival Horror, Action Adventure etc.) Known to collect “Retro Games and Consoles” and also for being guilty of having an ever expanding back log of games. To get to know him better and see what he’s been up to, catch him online via his Gaming Accounts… You know what to do!