The story begins with the US military accidentally creating a wormhole in space, while experimenting with time travel. A really important probe gets sucked through the wormhole and disappears. If that wasn't bad enough, the wormhole begins growing and threatening to envelop the entire universe.
You are Cutter Slade, US Navy Seal. Your mission: go through the wormhole, get the equipment back, and return safely. And do it before the wormhole destroys the universe.
Sounds fun, eh?
Outcast is a wildly fun game, that features 5 different worlds to explore, intelligent characters to interact with, plenty of weapons and opportunities for action, with plenty of ways to avoid fighting and still win the game.
The game is played in 3rd person, with full 3D worlds. Interestingly enough, the graphics were rendered in 2D, using pixels instead of the normal 3D-polygons. The effect is unique, and almost exclusively beautiful. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, even though the close-ups are badly aliased. (For technical info about the graphics, see the links below).
The sound is by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and it's sublime. The only problem I've found is that when you play the game for several hours, sometimes the sound just ends (like the end of a CD not set to "repeat"). The solution: get up and get a life. Or, just save and reboot the game.
There is one very annoying bug: When starting the game, often a message box pops up saying "Bad CD Tracks, continue?". If you say 'yes', you play the game with no sound. If you say 'no', you don't play the game at all. There's no way to fix it that I know of; the
patch released by Infogrames doesn't fix it. The only thing to do is try to reload and reload again. Eventually it'll work.
(Seriously, I've tried loading CD1 and watching the entire intro movie, then letting the game prompt me for CD2...and that worked...once. I've tried switching options on the main menu...never worked. I've tried sitting on the "load game" menu for several minutes...doesn't work reliably. I've also rebooted my entire machine...and that doesn't always work either! The only thing to do is restart the game...over and over...until it works. It's never taken me more than 30 minutes of trying to succeed, and it's usually more like 5 to 10 minutes.)
If you're really desperate for a fix, then move your savegames to a safe location, and reinstall the game. Start a new game, watch the intro movie, then let the game prompt you for CD2. Once you're in gameplay, ALT+TAB out of the game and move your savegames back. ALT+TAB back to the game and load up a savegame. Works every time for me.
By the way, I recently noticed that my patch link is dead. Apparently Atari has stopped supporting Outcast. A shame. If you buy the boxed version of the game, you'll need the patch. I have it, and have decided to put it up here for you. Filesize: 11.5 MB. Enjoy!
My recommendations: Play this game!
- Overall Rating: 10/10
- Graphics: 8/10
- Sound: 11/10
- Controls: 9/10 (look with the mouse, move with the arrow keys)
- Story: 10/10
- Platform: Made for Windows 95/98/NT, but runs fine on my XP.
If you've got a fast processor, you may have problems (especially with riding Twon-ha's). SpeedswitchXP may help you solve that problem.
If you've got Vista, you're probably out of luck (but then if you've got Vista, you're probably used to that). My own experience with Windows 7 is that compatibility mode is all but worthless. So, my best advice is to buy some partition manager/dual boot software, then install XP on your Vista/Win7 machine!