review
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POSTED 20/7/11


OUTLAND

Ubisoft
PS3/PSN (also on Xbox 360/XBLA)

The story goes something like this. You’re feeling bleurghy, so you consult The Shamen for medical advice, which basically amounts to “Es are good!”. Cue stuff about being the 18th pale descendent of some hero bloke or other who alone can save existence from two sisters who’ve escaped prison, cracked the sads and just want to end it.

Damn, this be good shit!

OK, we embellished a tad. Not that it matters, as Outland doesn’t need some cockamamie establishing story – it’s ace anyway.

We’re told reference points are good – oh-oh, reference points are good - so if you need one think any classic scrolly-world 2D platformer with an intense injection of original Prince of Persia and a spattering of Impossible Mission, but in a more verdant setting.

This is another stunner in a recent 2D platty rebirth. Brink, Limbo, The Fancy Pants Adventures – they’re all obvious nods to the past, but with unique embellishments. For its part, Outland not only brings luscious, multilayered, scaling backgrounds and musical ambience to the club, but a fabulous and often brain-bogglingly challenging polarity switching thing. Huh? Well, once the abilities are earned, you’ll need to flip between light and dark powers to progress through certain bits. A torrent of blue crap may be spewing forth like R-Type on fast-forward, meaning you’ll need to go blue to survive. Then you’ll need redness to deal with other assailants, but the blue crap’s still everywhere. Argh, pressure!

Re-spawn points are reasonably fair, and unlike most old-school platformers you’ve unlimited lives. Not that this makes things THAT easy, but when you’re on go number 17 of a hair-tearing boss battle you’ll be thankful for not being repeatedly ricocheted back to the absolute beginning (it’s absolutely true...)

Refined, sublime, mischievous and devious, Outland’s kinda genius. Lovely!

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.