Outward is a game that I have a feeling people are going to love or hate. This open-world survival style RPG is the kind of game that will have no middle ground. For those that get it, Outward is a challenging and rewarding experience. For those that do not, it may feel like a frustrating, archaic and boring game.
The Game Review
From what I understand the idea behind Outward was to make a more old school kind of RPG. The folks behind the game have certainly achieved that as it does feel like an RPG that could have come out in the early ’00s.
One of the things that took me by surprise about Outward was that there was no big epic story here. You did not need to find yourself, become the king, stop the king, kill the big bad evil or anything like that. Instead, the character you create is just a regular Joe doing all they can to survive and prosper in the fantasy land of Aurai.
I was actually a little taken back by this, but I do have a friend who says that they love this so I do feel this is a personal preference kind of thing. As you roam the land, you can take on quests from NPC’s. Also, you can just go around and pretty much do whatever you want. You can go and try to find some cool loot or if you want you can head to a dungeon and see what creatures lay in wait!
There is a ton of freedom in Outward and I think that is going to be something that earns it many die-hard fans. Just heading out into the woods or a frosty covered mountain can lead you on an unexpected adventure that can either lead to awesomeness… or your death. Speaking of death, everything in the land of Aurai wants you dead!
Survival is the main goal of Outward and it is way harder than you would think. You can die from being too hungry, not getting enough sleep, a wound becoming infected and of course at the hands of a creature. You never truly feel safe in this game and that is actually something that I got a real kick out of.
Outward does not hold your hand. It is clear the developers want the player to learn about the game by actually playing it. This can lead to some frustrating early on, but those players who stick with it I feel are in for a very rewarding experience and one that will also be quite memorable.
As this is an RPG, you are probably wondering about the combat. I found the combat to be rather basic and not something that I cared a whole lot for to be honest. The hitboxes seem way off (hopefully this will be fixed with a patch) and the magic system is the weirdest that I have ever encountered in an RPG. The whole combat system just feels old and dated, but I think that is the point.
Apart from the hitboxes, I do feel that the combat is going to be something many players really do enjoy. For me though on a personal level, the learning curve was just a bit too much and as I did not have a real end goal to strive towards, I had a hard time forcing myself to actually get better.
One thing that is pretty awesome is that you can play this with friends. You can team up online and go adventuring together. If your buddy is a much higher level than you and has way better stuff, you can really do well here as you can use them to better yourself. Also, Outward offers split-screen co-op which I am sure is great if you have someone to play with.
For me Outward is a strange game. It is the kind of game that I can see many people going crazy over and some already are. It is a large open world RPG, where you are free to do whatever you want. I though was turned off by the lack of focus and the rather harsh learning curve which made the early parts of the game more frustrating than they should have been. However, if a challenging open-ended RPG is what you seek, check this out.
- The world is massive
- Some folks will love the non-linear approach
- Combat takes a lot of work
- Local and online co-op
- Ideal for old school RPG fans
- There is no big story to play through
- The game is a little rough around the edges