PS5 Review: Outcast: A New Beginning

Is this a new beginning for the franchise?

20 years after the award-winning action adventure hit, Outcast, pioneered the genre of non-linear open-world games, the long-awaited sequel sees Cutter Slade return to the spectacular alien world of Adelpha. Resurrected by the almighty Yods, he has returned to find the Talans enslaved, the world stripped of its natural resources, and his own past intertwining with the invading robot forces. It’s up to him to go on a mission and save the planet again. The original team behind Outcast 1 has reunited to create this fascinating world, full of dangerous creatures and home to the Talan people an ancient culture whose fate has become inextricably linked with earth since the events of the first game. You play as Cutter Slade, ex-Navy SEAL, sporting the same dry wit he had back in the 90s however, the world around him has changed and eventually, so will he.

The original Outcast came out on PC 20 years ago and I didn’t exactly have a decent gaming PC at the time so I missed out on it back then and somehow missed out on the PS4 remake “Second Contact”, so I didn’t know what to expect from the series until I picked it up and started playing. The real question is can this 20 year old series be revived successfully?

Outcast: A New Beginning is a third-person shooter that gives Cutter a shield to block enemy attacks and can shoot or melee his opponents. There will be some references to the original game, but you don’t need to have played it to enjoy the sequel. The combat itself is simple but gets the job done, Cutter handles well for the most part, even if the game itself can feel a bit janky at times.

Cutter gets a jetpack early on that is limited to an additional booster jump, but can be later improved to glide and even let you shoot and use your shield in the air. He will also later unlock various Talan powers like being able to summon allies to drop acid or bombs on enemies, for example. Combat itself does feel a bit odd as you try and find a balance between shooting and using your shield, but it does get easier the more you do it, it just feels strange to begin with.

There has been a patch since that has removed some issues like screen-tearing and various bugs but some still do like the game stalling and framerate drops that I hope do get improved upon with further patches. I’m glad the screen-tearing for VRR has been fixed as it made the game look dreadful beforehand. The visuals themselves are fairly decent and get the job done.

The voice-acting definitely sounds like something from the 90s with cheesy one-liners and so on, but gets the job done and it wouldn’t make sense for a sequel 20 years on to suddenly change the tone of the game without being a full-on reboot, which this is not. The soundtrack is pretty good too with some dramatic themes coming at the right moments.

The Verdict

While the combat can take some getting used to, Outcast: A New Beginning is a decent third-person shooter. It may feel a little rough around the edges, the enemy AI may not be the sharpest, but it does have its moments and is worth your time. There’s also a free demo on the PlayStation Store if you aren’t sure if it’s for you.

Score: 7.0