Have you ever wondered what would be the result of mixing up some irrelevant games?
I’m sure all players do it from time to time. For example, I always wonder what kind of game would come out when we combined the Devil May Cry franchise with the Diablo franchise. As if you were playing Diablo, but you have to press the correct buttons at the right time to perform abilities to maintain your combo. No need to press skill buttons when cooldowns are up, you have to sweat to perform your skills and moves! I don’t know, maybe there are games like that already.
Anyway, I guess some Housemarque developers were wondering what the result would be if they wanted to mix Ikaruga with Super Metroid. The result is a completely new game; Outland! Outland is a 2D platformer that uses puzzle and action elements together. What Outland offers may not seem unique, but each game is somewhat similar to some other game. I mean, from this perspective, every game is in one way or another, a derivative of another game that was released before. However, in terms of combining different elements in it, Outland is unique in my opinion.
So what are these different elements? The first is the color polarity system that I love the most. Red represents darkness while blue represents light. And our character exercises both powers. Wielding powers sounds good, but in fact it comes with all its misfortune if you can’t use these powers in the right way. We need to use these powers correctly when fighting enemies and trying to pass obstacles. For example, we must use blue when going through blue obstacles and vice versa for red, you got the idea, right?
The video below shows the boss fights in Outland and demonstrates the use of color polarity in conjunction with other character abilities.
We started our adventure without many skills, instead we gain all of our skills as we progress, I also need to tell you this, our character cannot access all the places on the map at the beginning. So we need to visit places we have already passed once more when we have the right skill to be able to achieve what we wanted but could not achieve before. So don’t waste your time with futile attempts if you can’t reach something or somewhere, just stop by and be patient until you have the right skill and visit again.
As mentioned, we get different abilities when we advance and the game allows us to combine our abilities, of course. It would be torture to combine many skills in a regular platformer, perhaps, but in Outland, the animations and movements are so smooth that it is a lot of fun to combine skills. Chances are, you always find yourself trying to get the most out of it rather than just doing what you have to do.
I am not very interested in the stories, I skip almost all the narratives, but I want to mention what I was able to understand from them. Well from what I understood from the Outland story, there are 2 sisters who created the world and then decided to destroy it for a reason that I couldn’t follow, maybe they are bored of it? Then I couldn’t agree more. Our character, on the other hand, disagrees with these sisters and puts all his effort in saving a legendary hero to counter these sisters. Yes, you heard it right, our character is not the protagonist! But from a different point of view, you need to save the protagonist, the only one who can save the world, so it makes our character a bit of a protagonist, doesn’t it? Okay, never mind, I’m not pushing him, not in all games our character has to be the main character who saves the world anyway and we have to go with him.
Outland is more focused on platforming actions and even solving puzzles rather than fighting. Certainly there are points where you have to swing your sword, but don’t expect intense battles with heads rolling. The game is more about running, jumping, sliding, jumping off the walls … etc. In short, you could say that the game is movement oriented. So, if you are looking for a platformer with a few different elements, you should definitely give Outland a try, you won’t regret it. However, if you are looking for a game focused on bloody fights, Gauntlet might be a good alternative for you, unless it has to be a platformer!