I first heard of the 1999 game Outcast while listening to the Rebel FM podcast. It’s because of one of its hosts that I learned that its sequel, Outcast: A New Beginning released this year. After trying the remake of the original game a few weeks ago, I managed to snag a copy. After spending over eight hours so far, I have a lot of feelings to share.

Cutter Slade gliding over a village in Outcast: A New Beginning,

How you play is in your hand

Outcast is an action-adventure game. The key difference between it and most other games in the genre is its openness. This isn’t just an open-world game, this is an open-plot game. Yes, there is an overarching storyline, but how you get through it is entirely up to you.

What this entails is that once you start exploring missions will open up. Traveling around the planet, you might come across a base that needs raiding. You might come across a secret temple that can grant you a new skill. Heck, you might even find a new village and get a request to help them deal with an issue.

It’s those side missions that ultimately lead you toward completing the game’s main storyline. Since your character, Cutter Slade needs the people of this planet to assist him, this makes sense. The more you help them, the easier it’s going to be near the end.

Now, you can’t just skip these side missions. You do need to do them. This isn’t like Breath of the Wild where you can attempt to fight Gannon at any point. The story does want you to progress in some fashion. But, thanks to this, I spent a good chunk of my time exploring the planet seeing what else I could find.

An unlocked portal from Outcast: A New Beginning.

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the series

Although this is deemed a sequel, familiarity with the first game isn’t necessary. However, the game doesn’t do a good job of introducing Cutter Slade to the audience. In the first game (at least the remake), there is a very lengthy intro that gives us a good idea of what to expect. Here, they do assume some previous knowledge.

There is still quite a bit of world-building in the beginning. We get a good glimpse of the enemies terrorizing the alien home world. We learn a lot about the people on the ground and their quirkiness. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten any new progression with Cutter. Worse, it’s been a few hours since an advancement in the story.

Early in the game, we get plenty of cutscenes showing us the bad guys and moving Cutter’s story. But it’s been a good four hours of gameplay since the last one. It’s not like I’m just wasting time. I’ve infiltrated a ton of enemy bases, stolen plenty of items, and freed a few prisoners. At this point, I should have triggered a cut-scene response to my actions. But nothing. It might be around the corner, but this corner is feels huge.

Beautiful at times but also a technical mess

There are some nice-looking areas. This planet has every sort of climate possible. You’ve got your rainforest, desert, and even freezing locales. But the enemy variety is lacking. You’ll have creatures that are identical in every location. The only thing separating them is a different color scheme.

Then there are the performance issues. I encountered a ton of bugs/glitches and hard crashes while playing. The game crashed twice to the desktop. There are times when the frame rate drops significantly during hectic battles. At one point, the game’s audio would only play the score. It’s a nice score, but not hearing enemies or even Cutter during dialog scenes was annoying.

What frustrated me the most was the camera. In open areas, it works fine, but there are a lot of narrow sections. So, if you’re stuck in a canyon or close to a cliff/wall, the camera gets close, making it difficult to see ahead or above. Thankfully, you don’t suffer from fall damage, but it still causes plenty of frustration.

Cutter Slade talking to Lehaz while wandering around a village in Outcast: A New Beginning.

Not remarkable or memorable but still playable

Outcast: A New Beginning is a middle-of-the-road game. There is not one thing that stands out. Yes, I am enjoying the adventure part of the game, but it’s nothing unique. Some of the technical stuff can be ironed out through patches if they decide to do those.

However, unlike other middle-tier games, I want to see how this unfolds. I’m frustrated by the lack of story progression because I want to see the inevitable plot twist. I’m probably only halfway through the game at this point, but I want to keep playing and see where the game takes me.

But, this is also a full-priced game. It varies between $59.99 and $69.99 depending on where you want to play (Steam vs Console). The game does have a demo, so that will give people a good idea of what to expect and if they’ll enjoy it. When this evitably goes on sale, it’s an easy recommendation.

Cutter Slade escorting some animals in a mission from Outcast: A New Beginning.

To be fair, I am having fun

Even with its problems and limitations, I’m having fun. Gliding around and exploring what I might come across next is a lot of fun. Yes, there are a lot of limitations and this won’t amaze a lot of people. But it does what it needs to do when it comes to having fun. I’m enjoying Outcast: A New Beginning and will continue playing it.