Have you ever wondered what would be the outcome when you mix some irrelevant games?
I am sure every gamer does it from time to time. For instance, I always wonder what kind of a game would come out when we combined the Devil May Cry franchise with the Diablo franchise. As if you were playing Diablo, but you need to press right buttons at the right time to perform skills to keep your combo up. There is no pressing your skill buttons when cooldowns are up, you need to sweat to perform your skills and moves! I don't know, maybe there are already games like that.
Anyway, I suppose some developers at Housemarque were wondering what would be the result if they wanted to mix Ikaruga with Super Metroid. The result is a whole new game; Outland! Outland is a 2D platformer game uses action and puzzle elements together. What Outland offers may not seem unique but every game is somewhat similar to some other game. I mean, from this perspective, every game is one way or another, a derivative of another game that was released before it. However, in terms of combining different elements in it, Outland is unique in my opinion.
So, what are these different elements? The First is color polarity system which I love the most. Red represents the dark whereas blue represents the light. And our character wields both of these powers. Wielding powers sounds good, but in fact it comes with all its misfortune if you can't use these powers the right way. We need to use these powers properly when we fight enemies and try to pass obstacles. For example we need to be using blue while passing through blue obstacles and vice versa for red, you got the idea right?
The video below shows boss fights in Outland and it demonstrates the usage of color polarity along with character's other skills.
We start our adventure without many skills, instead we gain all our skills while we make progress, I also need to tell you this, our character can't access all places on the map at the beginning. So we need to visit places we already passed once more when we have the right skill to be able to reach what we wanted but couldn't reach before. So don't waste your time with useless attempts if you can't reach something or somewhere, just pass and be patient until you have the right skill and come visit there again.
As mentioned, we gain different skills when we advance and the game lets us combine our skills of course. This would be a torture to combine many skills all together in a usual platformer game maybe, but in Outland, animations and movements are so smooth that, it is very enjoyable to combine skills. It is very likely that you will always find yourself trying to make the most of it instead of just doing what you need to do.
I am not very interest in stories, I skip almost all storytelling, yet I want to mention what I could understand from it. Well, as far as I understood from Outland's story, there are 2 sisters who created the world and then they decided to destroy it for a reason I could not follow, maybe they are bored of it? I couldn't agree more then. Our character, on the other hand, doesn't agree with these sisters and he puts all his effort to save a legendary hero to counter these sisters. Yes, you have heard it right, our character is not the protagonist! But in a different point of view, he needs to save the protagonist, the only one who can save the world so it makes our character a bit of protagonist, doesn't it? Okay, never mind I am not pushing it, not in all games does our character have to be the protagonist who saves the world anyway and we have to go with it.
Outland is more focused on platformer actions and even solving puzzles instead of fighting. Certainly there are points you have to swing your sword but don't expect intense battles with rolling heads around. The game is more about running, jumping, sliding, jumping off the walls... etc. I could say the game is moving-oriented in short. Therefore, if you are looking for a platformer game with some different elements you should definitely try Outland, you won't regret it. However if you are looking for a game with focused on bloody fights Gauntlet could be a nice alternative for you unless it has to be a platformer!