A surprisingly, amazingly good third-person adventure, Outcast
was noteworthy for its time for a host of innovative and effective game developments, almost all of which sadly reduced its chances in the marketplace. It had the bad luck to use unusual rendering method widely considered "voxel" (actually "a height field with some software raycasting") to generate a wide-open, go-anywhere play world... just when 3D accelerators based on polygons got really popular. (In their defense, had they gone with polygon rendering on the GPUs
available at the time, no computer in the world at that point in time would be able to handle the game.) It had a deep story, with good writing... just as Internet-based deathmatches with Excuse Plots
became popular. It had a full orchestral — and we mean
orchestral, as in "a big bunch of real musicians" — score, in a time when techno was almost required on the soundtrack.
You, as Cutter Slade, are sucked into an alternate world, Adelpha, after a physics experiment Gone Horribly Wrong
, along with several researchers: William Kauffman, the head of the project who believes in an infinite number of parallel universes; Anthony Xue, his partner who is responsible for the energy requirements, and Marion Wolfe, a former journalist and daughter of the senator who, after a botched paradrop exercise, essentially forced Cutter into retirement. Your character winds up in an alternate world, with a vaguely medieval society of aliens called the Talan going about their business, who immediately begin to revere him as their messiah, the Ulukai
. Oddly enough, though, they all speak English
when talking to you. The merchants sell ammunition that fits your guns. And there's an in-universe reason for all of that...A sequel was planned
, but before development could really get off the ground, the company went bankrupt
. This website
preserves what little remains from the original sequel's development materials, including a design doc draft
. A fan-made, open source sequel entitled Open Outcast
is currently in development by a group of enthusiasts. And in April of 2014, several of the original devs started a Kickstarter project
to fund an HD remake of the first game, with eventual hopes to develop a sequel.
Now sold on Good Old Games, if you missed out the first time around.
This game provides examples of the following:
- Abnormal Ammo: Certain Talan would make ammunition for your weapons.
- Actor Allusion: Cutter Slade looks remarkably like Bruce Willis. In the german Dub he is even voiced by Manfred Lehmann - the most often used german synchron Voice for Bruce Willis.
- Aliens Speaking English: They have their own language, and some words from it are used prominently throughout the game, but for the most part everyone you talk to speaks English.
- Explained by Kauffman and Xue teaching them English when they arrived many years before
- Alternate Universe: Attempting to find one is part of the game's story. The entire game takes place in one, called Adelpha.
- Apocalypse How: Damaging the probe sent to Adelpha causes a black hole to start forming on Earth, which will cause a Class X if the team doesn't fix it in time.
- Artificial Brilliance: The game featured extremely advanced AI for its day. The enemies would attempt to flank the player, hide themselves behind cover (though without Gears of War sticky cover), call for reinforcements and flee if they felt completely outgunned.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Averted. The enemies would attempt to flee if they were losing the battle hard enough
- Badass Normal / Retired Badass: Cutter Slade is a former US Navy SEAL.
- Bag of Holding: Cutter's backpack holds an amazing amount of supplies; lampshaded in one of the "outtakes". Justified (or handwaved) by it being a nanominaturisation backpack, complete with accompanying sound effects.
- Begone Bribe: The only way to get the street musicians in Okriana to shut up.
- Big Bad: Fae Rhan , actually Anthony Xue
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Yod = God. Zort = Shit. Zorkins = Money. Shamaz = Priest. Daoka = Portal. That only scratches the surface of the terminology you'll be bombarded with from early on. There's even an ingame lexicon for everything.
- Convection Schmonvection
- Dance Party Ending: If you get enough completion percentage.
- The Dragon: Kroax.
- Face-Heel Turn: Xue, again, when he kills William Kauffman and becomes Fae Rhan.
- Fan Sequel: open Outcast, a total conversion for the CryTech3 engine.
- Feelies: Included were sheets detailing every weapon available in the game and translations of every word of the Talan's language, "Agazork", into English.
- Girly Run: Marion does not walk or run. She flounces, and then flounces faster. Cutter has a strange gait too.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Outcast Outtakes, which showed the game as an in-development film. look here
- Humanoid Aliens
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cutter can be this, mostly in early cutscenes with Wolfe.
- Justified Save Point: The Gaamsaav crystal.
- Karma Meter: Help the Talan and your reputation will improve. Hurt and kill the Talan and it worsens. If it bottoms out, Talan will be openly unhelpful and prevent you from learning enough to make any progress. The better it is, the cheaper you can buy your equipment back (see No Hero Discount) and the more you'll be able to sell certain items for.
- No Hero Discount: The Talan believe you're a Messiah, prophecised to save them from tyranny. This doesn't stop a group of identical merchants, all brothers, from selling your own equipment to you in an attempt to prove to their father that they can make enough money to inherit the family business
- Non-Standard Game Over: If you kill a plot-critical talan, it's essence will not dissipate into the atmosphere normally. Instead it'll chase you forever. Once it catches you, you die.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The Talan only ever refer to Cutter as "Ulukai", Kauffman as "Kazar", and Xue as "Fae Rhan".
- Painfully Slow Projectile: All of Cutter's weapons fire slow moving things, though some are slower than others. The FT-74 in particular is so slow, you can kill yourself by running forward into your own fire.
- Real After All: Beyond the magic-like powers some Talan have the game's various references to the Yods seem to just be standard religious explanations for regular occurrences, however, the way Fae Rhan's castle is destroyed at the very end suggests they really are real.
- Scenery Porn: For a world rendered near-entirely with voxels, it's really pretty.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: In the box art Cutter Slade is about to shoot you.
- Shout-Out: One musician in the city Okriana will sometimes randomly play the first few notes from a Star Wars song.
- Stable Time Loop: Kauffman and Xue end up in Adelpha a few decades before the probe, Cutter or Marion do. In the decades between, Kauffman becomes the prophet Kazar and predicts the arrival of Cutter, the Ulukai; Xue becomes Fae Rahn, has Kazar
killed "reverted", and then ends up sending one of his soldiers to damage the probe when it finally arrives.
- Standard FPS Guns: You only get the pistol for free - all the rest you have to find or buy, and then upgrade to make them truly battle-ready.
- HK-P12: Pistol.
- UZA-SH 1: Automatic. Bullets ricochet when the gun is upgraded.
- LN-Duo 500: Grenade Launcher.
- FT-74: Flamethrower.
- SLNT-B: Marksman gun, inflicts poison.
- HAWK-MK 8: Energy Gun. Can be a real Game Breaker when fully upgraded because it fires one-hit kill blasts about as quickly as you can click.
- The Lifestream: Essentially how essences worked.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: It was released in 1999 and set in 2007.
- Warp Whistle: The Daokas, which allow teleportation between the different regions of Adelpha. There are also F-Links, beacons that allow you to teleport within one region.
- What the Hell, Player?: Killing Talan, if it didn't cause a Non-Standard Game Over, would make others verbally abuse you and refrain from giving you any help. This made it impossible to progress in the game or improve your reputation