Outcast: A New Beginning Review (PS5)


Remakes, reboots, revivals. Whether it’s a lack of fresh ideas, exploiting nostalgia, or an earnest desire to introduce a new generation to past glories, the entertainment industry loves bringing old things back. And we love old things coming back, too, as long as it isn’t Nanna after she’s escaped from the home again.

1999’s Outcast is the latest title to be dragged kicking and screaming into modernity with a sequel arriving long after the statute of limitations has passed. But wisely, Outcast: A New Beginning requires no knowledge of that game to play. Like in the original Outcast, we play as the improbably named Cutter Slade, who is transported through a portal to a strange alien world where he must solve all of the problems of the indigenous people by shooting a bunch of things and blowing some stuff up.

Missions are often broken up into interconnected parts you can do in any order, but it all basically involves finding items or shooting things. This is fine. The shooting is functional but forgiving and rarely frustrating. You get a sweet jet pack to make traversal a little easier. There’s some light puzzle solving, some slightly wonky platforming, and a bevvy of throwaway side-quests that involve things like gliding through rings and shooting baddies.

Unfortunately, there are also plenty of technical issues to contend with. Switching to performance mode so we could play with a better framerate completely borked the cutscenes, and playing in graphical mode meant that in some slightly more intense areas, the frames-per-second dropped to the point we could count them by eye.

There’s an undeniable charm to Outcast: A New Beginning, and twenty years ago this could have been the breakout hit for an ongoing Outcast franchise, but in 2024 players are spoilt for choice in the realm of third-person action-adventure games. If you’re a fan of the AA, mid-tier shooters we used to get back in the day then this might be worth a look, but otherwise, there’s just not enough here to warrant your attention.

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