Review: Outward (PlayStation 4)

No remarkable journey is achieved without great effort. Outward is an open-world RPG where the cold of the night or an infected wound can be as dangerous as a predator lurking in the dark. Explore the vast world of Aurai, embark on memorable adventures alone or with your friends.

Pros:

  • Really nice graphics.
  • 22.09GB Download size.
  • Tutorial option- Multilayered tower where you learn every aspect.
  • Two players split screen support.
  • Online co-op.
  • Three save slots.
  • Character creator-Name/Gender/Race/Hairstyle/Legacy.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Massive open world.
  • Action adventure gameplay.
  • Play how you want.
  • Multiple choice conversations.
  • Interactable objects have a distinctive blue glint.
  • Sleep- Choose length and guard setting as you can be ambushed.
  • The main storyline and optional side missions. You have a clear easy to use mission selector menu.
  • Deep crafting system.
  • Scavenge materials from wildlife and nature.
  • Loot chests to be found.
  • Has a Skyrim vibe to it.
  • A cold/hot feature is in the game meaning not only do you have to kill or be killed by the wildlife, But you have to wear the right clothes in order to survive the weather.
  • Hud is clear and does a good job of showing temperature, effects, and any buffs.
  • Compass will show points of interest.
  • Combat is familiar with blocking and timing paramount.
  • A lot of replay value.
  • A lot of work on the magic side of your character. It is not a case of just picking up and scroll and off you go, You need to -put time into the craft and go through the stages.
  • Dungeons to find and explore.
  • Such a rich living world.
  • Enchanting soundtrack.
  • Some glorious vistas.
  • Autosaves so regularly that every decision is near enough irreversible.
  • You can watch other people/beasts fight each other and even kite them into each other.
  • Difficult, Very difficult.
  • Better in co-op than solo play.
  • Can see enemy levels when looking at them.
  • Runs well in split screen.
  • Satisfying combat….eventually.
  • Has an old school vibe to it with little explanation and a lot of player interpretation needed.

Cons:

  • No tutorial baked into the game and doesn’t make this clear.
  • Long loading times and they get quite frequent.
  • The learning curve with the controls.
  • Co-op play is fine except the second player gets shafted a lot by not getting loot properly or at all, Cannot always see dialogue choices.
  • Co-op goes by and saves by the first player.
  • Very difficult and generally just fighting is tough as it usually comes down to a numbers game or the enemies are nearly always better than you.
  • Loot drops feel random and sometimes enemy weapons don’t drop or its something else completely!
  • A lot of reading.
  • Small text in places.
  • Not the strongest voice acting.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 6/10
    Sound - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Accessibility - 6/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.2/10

Summary

Outward is a game that sounds right up[ my street. I love an RPG that leaves the player to explore and play how they want. Outward does allow this but to be honest the game is played at a running pace, Why? Well, you are constantly getting mobbed by groups of enemies whether it be human or otherwise and you are always the underdog. I do have an admiration for the game though as even though it is difficult and dealing with the harsh weather climates is annoying more than fun, Outward does create a rich world full of characters that you want to learn more about, The way you can craft up a makeshift camp and sleep[ in the wild is cool but being ambushed just goes next level immersion. As said it is difficult but, to be honest, that’s something that does get better over time, I found it really hard for the first few hours for sure with the controls awkwardness rearing its ugly head to the constant need to buy and upgrade gear. Once I put serious time into scavenging and selling I found fights got easier, I could roam the land a lot better and with that, I could be more adventurous and seek out the games many dungeons. I would pre-warn anyone looking at this for co-op only that it is clearly set up for the second player to just be the backup or hired goon. All dialogue choices and loot goes to player one only and stash/inventory has gone wrong (deleting itself) for the poor player two. I only make a fuss over the issues with co-op as the game markets itself as a co-op game. In game, the co-op is brilliant and really changes it up. I loved playing it in co-op and yes it is better than solo but the bugs and constant anxiety of what state our player 2s character would be in next session really took the edge off. In short, Outward is a good step forward for RPG games and does have some merit but you really need to prepare yourself for a hard slog at the start and unrewarding co-op play.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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