Outland is one of those game that takes elements
from different genres to create something completely unique. It feels very familiar
while also being unlike anything else. It is a high mark in game design and is impressive
every minute you are playing it. The game offers a deep backstory for the setting.
Many years ago the world was created by two sisters, one of light and one of darkness.
After these sisters created the world, they attempted to destroy it but were stopped by
a hero and imprisoned. The hero died in that struggle, but was said to return and fight
again against the sisters. This is where you come in, the sisters have escaped their prison
and it is up to you, the reincarnation of the hero, to stop them. The game is a 2D platformer that puts a creative
spin on the genre. You move through the levels, running and jumping. The platforming itself
feels very good. The controls are responsive and the level design leads to some crafty
puzzles and great sections. You can move through the levels with a grace without feeling rushed.
There is also enemies that must be dealt with. The combat is simple but very effective. It
works well without being overly complicated. The game quickly introduces what makes its
platforming so unique. There is a major focus on light and dark, represented as blue and
red. You will harness the essence of different spirits, either light or dark. What this means
is you are going to have to switch between the two to move through the levels and fight
enemies. Energy beams of the different colors will shine, forcing you to be in the right
state to pass. This starts off simple enough but quickly becomes much more complicated
and also much more enjoyable. You will have to make jumps and switch colors to pass through
a beam, and then switch back to land on the platform. Even the enemies are color specific.
It becomes very challenging, but the good kind that doesn’t feel cheap and is very
rewarding when you accomplish it. And everything is absolutely gorgeous. The
art direction is always incredible and at times jaw-dropping. Your character is a shadow,
moving against the dark background. That makes the blues and reds stand out and come right
off the screen. The style fits the game so well and just makes everything better. This game is just incredible on every level.
Every aspect is polished to perfection to make a game that could be described that way.
The gameplay and art direction craft a game that everyone needs to play.