Posted by Chris Carlson
Outland is a game that combines a great artistic art style with old school gameplay for one hell of an experience.
Outland has one of the best art style’s I’ve seen in a video game since Limbo, which in this case both games are very similar…except Outland is more, you know colorful. Outland is simply a beautiful game. The story however is rather dull. Basically these two sisters control light and dark forces – which you later in the game get the power to control – having you fight through 4 different levels of environments each ending with a boss, leading you up to the final fight with the sisters. After each boss you will be greeted with a very brief backstory of the God, but that’s about the only story you will receive. Thankfully Outland’s awesome old school gameplay makes up for it.
What makes Outland’s gameplay so great is having control of the light and dark forces. Each represented with a color, Red for Dark, and Blue for light. Throughout the entire game you will rely on these forces to solve puzzles, navigate through obstacles, defeat enemies and bosses, and generally getting around. Enemies are represented by a force, dark or light. So if an enemy is red, trying to attack them while controlling the dark force will do nothing. Combine that with puzzles consisting of constant shooting vibrant colored balls represented by either the light force or dark force, and now were talking Outland.
What’s great about Outland is even though the forces are the main point of the game and you’re constantly seeing red and blue. The games environments are vastly different from each other with each section of the game. From the Jungle, to the Underground, all the way up to the Sky. Each level in Outland has a different color pallet offering a nice variety of colors that’s pretty easy on the eyes. As you progress through Outland you will gain new abilities, skills, and upgrades. These consist of sliding, magical powers, slam attacks etc. The game offers a ton of variety with it’s enemies making you use different abilities and tactics to ensure you don’t just hack and slash your way through the game. The puzzles also change up quite a bit as well. While some of the easier ones will be throw at you over and over, there’s also quite a few that almost look impossible but if you take your time and be patient, you will find it rather easy. Outland isn’t all that hard, but the game really tests your hand and eye coordination. Having you quickly switch back and forth through the forces, while dodging energy balls and fighting enemies can really mess with your head. Planning ahead is the key. If you actually stop and watch for a second, you will notice it’s fairly easy and timing is the main key in this game.
One of the greatest things I loved about Outland was the epic boss battles. While there is only 5, they’re one hell of a great time. Outland’s bosses have been the most fun and somewhat challenging bosses I’ve fought in a long time. One even has you riding on the back of a giant dragon, dodging bombs and enemies. However in a few cases, there’s an added part to the begin of the boss battle having you basically dodging the boss with no way to kill him, then navigating through a section dodging enemies up until you return to the boss. While this doesn’t sound like a problem, the game offers no checkpoint. So if you die while fighting the boss, you will need to repeat the whole pointless boring beginning process of the battle. Not a deal breaker, but it can cause some frustration.
Outland’s single player will give you a good 8 or so hours of gameplay, but the game also offers a co-op campaign complete with challenges, as well as an arcade mode. There’s so many things done right in Outland that it’s hard to find faults with it, but there are some. As mentioned before the issue with the beginning of the boss battles can be annoying, but sometimes the lack of checkpoints throughout the general game can really give you nerd rage. I’ve also encountered a few issues when attacking an enemy where my sword goes slicing into them, but nothing happens.
Overall Outland is a fantastic game. For $10 there’s a lot of content packed into the game that is surely worth your money. If you’re a sucker for Arcade games there’s no reason not to pick up Outland. I suggest you head over to the marketplace right now and at least give the trial version a go. You wont be disappointed.
- Beautiful graphics
- Epic Boss battles
- A lot of content for $10
- Lack of checkpoints in certain areas
- Pointless beginnings to some boss fights