Dark Light

Before Grand Theft Auto III, Gothic and Morrowind changed the scene with their sprawling 3D open worlds, there was Outcast. The passion project of a few ex-Art & Magic, Outcast is fondly remembered for its vast open world, exquisite orchestral score, rich lore, and immersive gameplay. A planned sequel that never got made and a remake that quite didn’t hit the same spot did little to make Outcast relevant in the post-GTA era. In 2015, 20 years after the founding of the original studio, core developers from Appeal got together to re-found the studio. After some setbacks, Outcast: A New Beginning was released on March 15, 2024, 25 years after the groundbreaking original came out. Evident from the name itself, Outcast: A New Beginning hopes to be a fresh start for the enduring IP, while also functioning as a sequel for longtime fans. I was only 6 years old when Outcast came out and it’s been over 20 years since I played it last. If New Beginning can win me over, it achieves what it set out to do. Here’s me, your long-forgotten Adelpha champion presenting Gameffine’s Outcast: A New Beginning review.

Time Does Not Wait Around

The 25 years since Outcast first graced our screens have seen four console generations come and go. Most of the people who fell in love with Outcast are now at least 40 years old and open-world games are not the same anymore. In a post-Ubisoft open-world era, Outcast: A New Beginning hopes to bestow upon the player the same sense of wonder & discovery the original had in spades. Does it succeed? Well, there’s no easy answer to this simple question. If you’re a long-term fan and want the sequel to blow you away like the original, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Times have changed and what Outcast did all those years ago has been replicated, recreated, and realized better by other IPs. A New Beginning doesn’t offer anything that the players haven’t seen before. Despite being a $60 game, the technical aspect of a game fails in comparison to even games that came out 2 years ago. While the original was a game made for PCs, A New Beginning has all the makings of a gimped console-first game. Yet, despite these faults, Appeal has managed to do something very crucial — capture the very essence of Outcast.

Outcast: A New Beginning review

Keeping Up With The Times

Outcast: A New Beginning is both a sequel as well as a soft reboot. While you still play as Cutter Slade on the alien planet of Adelpha, he seems to be affected by the classic amnesiac protagonist syndrome. While the events of the first game are referenced, it’s always in passing, and thematically, A New Beginning is a retread of the original while retconning some of the lore. While it’s not the ‘90s anymore, the game still toys around with the white savior trope but with more grace and self-awareness. Cutter Slade is still a very ‘90s American hero with a persistent bewildered expression and who sprouts campy one-liners. Rather than let this drag the game down, Appeal goes to town with it, fully embracing the goofiness with poignant humor littered throughout. The story, the side quests, the characters, and the dialogues all embrace the silly side nature of things. A New Beginning gracefully adapts the original into 2024 without coming across as outdated.

Outcast: A New Beginning Review

Amidst a sea of grindy open-world games, it’s refreshing to see a game that respects the player’s time and intelligence. After a tedious tutorial, you are free to explore Adelpha as you please and take in the content at your leisure. There are skill trees but there are no haphazard RPG elements or badly designed beef-gating mechanics. The exploration in A New Beginning is very old-school and lets you explore the game at your own pace. The jetpack and wingsuits are the stars of the show here. Boosting yourself up to the sky and freely gliding towards the horizon is a blissful feeling. The vertical map design encourages you to fly high and fast, taking in the marvelous sights. The upgrades system for combat and exploration are separate and are governed by two separate resources, giving the player more freedom in what they want to invest in. While the open world is not as dynamic as some open world heavyweights and may seem empty at times, it still makes up for a jolly good romp thanks to the excellent traversal mechanics.

Outcast: A New Beginning Review

 The more you play the story, interact with the inhabitants, and complete their side quests the more you appreciate the care and love that has gone into recreating Adelpha, even if some of the nuances are no longer present. The world is filled with standard open world affairs like destroying bases, purging infestations, time trials, etc but unlike a particular bloated IP, you don’t feel like you’re removing checklists from a map when you’re doing them and are purely optional.

Time to Kill

One aspect of the original that did not age well is the combat. A New Beginning relies on a tried & true formula to alleviate this problem. Rather than the slow projectile-based combat of the original, the sequel’s combat system is reminiscent of the hundreds of third-person shooters out there — it’s generic but serviceable. What sets the combat apart is the fantastic weapon customization system reminiscent of the one from Remedy’s Control. There are dozens of weapon modules spread out in the world that you can add to your default weapons to change the way they function. For example, with just an attachment, you can turn your slow pistol into a rapid-firing auto gun that heals you for each enemy killed or turn your semi-automatic rifle to split its shot into three when fired. Exploration and progression reward the players with new and exciting ways to traverse the world and defeat Cutter’s enemies. Speaking of enemies, I wish there were more enemy types, or at least the ones that are there had better AI and refined animations. But you take what you get.


As alluded to earlier, Outcast: A New Beginning doesn’t exactly ooze polish. It’s a bit rough around the edges, especially when it comes to the walking/jumping animations. The character models aren’t that great either. Lip-syncing isn’t too hot either. There’s certainly a bit of jank present. The performance also seems a bit spotty taking into account the fact that you have to set everything to Medium to get solid 60 fps on an RTX 4060. The framerate also fluctuates a bit when using the wingsuit, causing traversal stutters. The TAA implementation here is also pretty bad and it cannot be fully disabled, resulting in blurry environments. In my pre-release testing, I found the upscaling solutions to not work as intended as well, but that may have changed since the last update. Sadly, FSR is not available yet and that sucks for handheld users. For some reason, the cutscenes are locked at 30 fps even though you can use a mode to unlock their framerates without any side effects. But overall, it does look pretty thanks to its vibrant, lush environments and picturesque landscapes.

Real Talk

Regardless of how different Outcast: A New Beginning might have tuned out; it’d never have upped the original classic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering how far video games have come since Cutter Slade initially graced our screens. A New Beginning fully embraces its B-movie vibes to deliver a fun if somewhat basic gameplay loop devoid of many of the modern open-world bloat. However, THQ Nordic dropped the ball when it came to the pricing of the game. Slash the price by 20 dollars and there’s a pretty fun experience to be had here.


Outcast: A New Beginning Review

Outcast: A New Beginning Review
77 100 0 1
Explore the breathtaking alien world of Adelpha, support the local Talans in their struggles and fight your way through fast-paced battles against invading robot forces in this 3rd-person, open world, action adventure sequel to the 1999 cult classic.
Explore the breathtaking alien world of Adelpha, support the local Talans in their struggles and fight your way through fast-paced battles against invading robot forces in this 3rd-person, open world, action adventure sequel to the 1999 cult classic.
Total Score
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts