Hey guys, my name is ESO and today I will be telling you about Outward. It’s a survival RPG game with Dark Souls level of difficulty. It can be played in split-screen and also online coop. Now on first glance it may appear graphically dated and that’s a fair statement to make..
But this game was made by about 10 people. But despite that in today‘s video I am going to be telling you why Outward is a game you are probably going to be very interested in. In Outward you play as a normal human, you are not the chosen one and you have no special powers. In fact, you don’t even start the game with mana. You actually need to perform a pilgrimage to the top of a mountain and then you can unlock your mana..
You can then decide how much health and stamina you want to give up in trade for mana..
Because the thing is, you don’t really level up from experience in this game, instead you actually seek out different NPCs who can train you in certain skills,.
Which you can unlock for gold, be it a healthful stamina upgrade and new spell or weapon skill..
At first, I actually thought I would hate this system and in previous games I have never liked it..
But after 10 hours of play it is actually extremely realistic and I find myself balancing my gold between food supplies and progressing my character by purchasing different skills to try out. Now the survival mechanics of Outward are where the game truly shines. You can craft armor and weapons and campfires as well as a variety of potion with the alchemy set. You can also make traps to turn the tables in battle and learn different food recipes each one with their own different effects. Like refilling your health and stamina. Another example is boiling the crabeye berries, it makes a potent poison that can then be combined with linen and rubbed on your weapon for poison effect. The ingredient description actually hints at what the item is useful for in crafting. So it is very intuitive. Like boiling salt water to get clean water and also some salt that you can then use to preserve food in your inventory and stop them rotting as quickly. It sounds rather complicated but actually in practice once you spend some time in the game it is quite an enjoyable process. As you are going to find, Outward is all about preparing for your journey or battle. But unfortunately you can only actually carry a small amount of items. So upgrading your bag is very important. Then you can carry your essential survival equipment and still have some room to loot valuables from your foes to sell at the local market. There are different sizes of bags and some of them are going to be more useful for running around and adventuring while others allow you to carry a ton of equipment. But ultimately this bag is going to slow you down. So it is actually recommended that you drop your bag before combat so you can effectively dodge-roll. Because it gives you more invincibility-frames. As far as defense goes, there are tons of different armor sets in the game, all of them are craftable..
Not only they are going to offer you protection but they will also offer you a warmth value as well..
For example, during winter you will need warm clothes that also give you some armor. There’s also a desert zone in the game which requires lighter clothes in order to survive and not overheat..
It all seems to be a bit of a balancing act to ensure your character has their food and water topped up..
Now, usually I am the kind of person that doesn’t really like this micro-management in games.
But in Outward I actually find I really enjoyed the process of preparing my food and character for what kind of journey I was about to make..
And that was actually really easy to do it if you used your brain for a moment before setting foot outside of the door. Now, combat in Outward is very difficult. Imagine Dark Souls level of difficulty. You cannot actually pause the game and you are going to find groups of foes overwhelming. In particularly, wolves, who will actually surround you and attack you from multiple directions if you are on your own. Making it impossible to block them all at once. So especially early on, but also later, it is actually very important to pick and choose your fights carefully. You can always backtrack and use a bandage or food to heal, but the healing works very slowly compared to how much damage the enemy actually deals to you. So it is best to avoid damage all together by rolling and blocking. You are also going to unlock skills that boost your damage and allow you to perform evasive dashes or use bows from a longer distance. The bow gameplay is actually really good. You basically lock on to a target with the bow, and then you need to aim to hit them..
So you can actually aim above their shield and use it for a headshot. But how many weapons are there in the game, ESO, I hear you asking. There are eight different weapon types in the game. There are two handed and one handed swords, axes and maces. Also halberds, shields, morning stars, bows, spears, flintlock pistols and so on..
Each one has their own individual skillset and you can mix and match everything,.
And I truly feel like while you can have a certain character build or setup,.
You really don’t need to. You can literally play this game any way you want. In particular the magic system is extremely unique. I haven’t explored much of it yet but you can basically summon and fire sigil using your mana or using a mana stone. While standing within that sigil you can use the spark ability which takes a tiny amount of mana, but if you are standing aside the sigil it actually turns into a fireball. It is actually a really a useful skill to have, which is one of the most unique magical systems I have seen. You can still of course cast spells out of thin air but they are going to require more mana and at the start of the game you may not have that much to use. Preparing for battle is really important. So like using tripwires and different traps, is always going to give you the edge. It requires a lot of trial and error to discover how certain foes can be countered..
So what actually happens if you die in Outward? Well, there is actually no Game Over in Outward. You simply die and something random happens, like a random event. This can be good and it can be bad, or really bad. For example, if you die in a dungeon you can get taken prisoner by the enemy and you need to fight your way back out. You may even have all of your clothes stripped from you and you have to go and find your bag and so on later. If you are lucky, you might be discovered by a traveler and taken back home and fully recovered. One time though, I was actually taken towards my objective. So in rare cases, death can actually be a positive outcome. Or you can even be enslaved by bandits and left for dead after they steal all your gold..
Many of those scenarios result in your character starting of starving or even worse, with a disease..
Oh and by the way, the game only uses one save. So whenever you make a decision, die or accidentally drink salty water and get a disease, the game overwrites your save. This means you actually need to live with the consequence of every single action you make..
Now this actually makes the game harder than Dark Souls, because there are no bonfire check-points..
But that said it actually feels very fair and I cannot cheat the game which as annoying as that is, I actually quite like it. Now let’s talk about diseases. Diseases can be obtained through bad food preparation or catching a cold from the cold weather..
They give a temporary debuff to your character, even getting attacked will mean your character is temporarily hurt and does -25% less damage for example. You can also inflict the same thing on other foes though. Some diseases may give you a chance to vomit food but your character is starving so you still need to eat. I actually got a disease very early on in my playthrough and had no potion to cure it. So I ended up drinking tea and sleeping, and so my character was well again. It was exactly like in real life. The diseases are more of an annoyance and setback in terms of time, which is obviously frustrating. But again, fair. But now I want to talk about co-op. God bless these developers. Outward actually has split-screen. Do you guys remember what split-screen is? I remember the years of fun I had with my best friend on the sofa next to me,.
Playing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King or Battlefront next to each other. Just the amount of fun you can have when someone is socially sitting in the same room as you. In like a Lan party playing video games together. It’s just an amazing experience that I think everyone needs in their life, but that is something that has been taken away from videogames. This is the first game that has had split-screen in years, of this caliber of like, you know, a roleplay game. Well Outward, has split-screen for PS4 or Xbox and also on PC, you can actually play with the keyboard and someone else on a controller. You also have online co-op as well. Basically, how it works is the host can continue the main quest and their friend can still progress their character and make money, they just won’t be progressing their own story. While in co-op though, to counter for the fact you have two people, the enemies will have more health and stability, so they will be harder to kill. You can also resurrect your teammate, unless you both die. Which means you get a random death scenario. Currently, I haven’t really experienced much co-op myself, because there is very limited amounts of reviews keys being handed out for this game and I was really lucky to get one of them. Now let’s talk about Outward’s story. Personally, I have found the world and his lore really interesting. Like why is there purple grass near the Conflux Mountain? But the voice acting, unfortunately, is extremely weak. Most of the time, the characters only say the start of the sentence. Leaving you to read the rest of what they are saying yourself. Now, I don’t know if this is going to change at launch. But I honestly urge you to look past this. I don’t think the voice acting is really going to add much to the game anyway, if it was good or bad - it doesn’t matter. Since the NPCs more seem just to act as a plot advice encouraging you to go to this location and then that location and giving you a reason why you are doing that. The focus of Outward’s gameplay is more on exploring, adventuring, crafting and surviving..
Personally, I haven’t really experienced enough of the story to tell you if it’s good or bad, but the game does have a lot of choices with consequences. And without spoiling too much, for example, you start the game with a bloodline debt that you need to pay in five days..
If you fail to pay it, you actually lose your home, which is super annoying by the way, because that is what happened to me. You can get it back quite a while later but it will cost you double. And 300 silver is a lot of money. And since the game saves every time you make a decision every time something happens, and some of the quests are time dependent, it is actually you know, you kind of need to be a little aware of what is going on. The game has multiple endings though and different factions to join. Which means you need to do multiple playthroughs, in order to see all the different endings. Now the world of Outward is absolutely huge. It has four vastly different regions. Including a mountainous one you start the game in. Which even has seasons between winter and summer, and it snows, the whole ground changes, it is absolutely amazing. Despite the game not being a graphical masterpiece it is actually very charming and really quite amazing when I…. I just really going into the game, I really personally enjoyed it. There is also a forest area, a marsh land and even a desert with lot of different enemy types as well. Navigation also plays a very key role in Outward as well. If you look at your map you will see that it doesn’t actually tells you where on earth you are. Instead, you actually need to use local landmarks to figure out which road you are on and whereabouts you are on the map. For example, the Conflux Mountain is a central landmark at the start of the game which you can use to orientate yourself and point yourself West, East, North depending on where you want to go. You get used to it very quickly, and to be honest it is not a problem at all. You’re not really going to get lost as much as you might think you are. If anyone is worried about it watching this video. Each zone though has between six and eight big dungeons. You definitively need a torch to guide your way around those locations because they are very dark otherwise. Literally pitch-black. I love games that are not afraid to actually use darkness as a game mechanic..
In Outward it definitively is. You can, though, use a lantern which can be attached to larger bags, and that allows you to keep both of your hands free for a two hand weapon or a shield. And you guys can see the lighting in this game -despite the graphics- is actually really beautiful. And I think the dungeons of the game, actually make it very atmospheric. Especially with these complex corridors that make it quite easy to get lost. On top of this, there are also lots of locations, bandits forts and mysterious landmarks to explore. I haven’t really got that much into it yet myself though. I feel like with Outward you spend the first few hours just figuring out the mechanics of the game and understanding how everything works. Which is actually quite a nice trial and error experience I haven’t experienced in a while. Now, I will be doing a full walkthrough of Outward, and it you guys want to check it out, it will be linked at the top of the description and I am probably going to release it on the 26th of March. When the game actually comes out. That will give you a proper idea of how to get started and how the game actually plays. So if you want to watch that subscribe and press the bell icon, and then YouTube will notify you as soon as it is out. Or you can just follow me on social media like twitter and if you guys want to check out my livestream channel the link is down below in the description. I do plan to live to stream this game, it is quite a fun game to livestream I think, because it can be so unforgiving..
Let me know what you guys think of this game so far from what I’ve told you and what you have seen in the comment section. Personally I have been nothing but impressed by the initial 10 hours of my time in the game..
I am amazed that such a tiny team of developers has put together such a mechanically advanced game, and is definitively the most original survival RPG I have seen. Maybe even since Dragon’s Dogma and that did not have any survival elements in it. So I really think Outward is offering us a truly unique RPG survival experience,.
Like none other I really played, so I definitively recommend checking this game out and it’s not even being sold at full price either,.
But I think you guys are going to spend a ton of time in this game. Guys, thank you so much for watching me, ESO, I will see you in my next video. Have a fantastic day and good bye.