Yeah yeah, that intro kinda gives away the game. But really, what else can you do when a game barely functions? Outworld throws us into an top-down, futuristic battle royale experience that reminds me a little bit of Mindnight if the characters could move around and swipe crappy knives at each other. The general feel is a little like Dead Space, but with all the weapons sucking.
Indeed, when you’re missing your default knife that at least instakills people, because you’ve picked something else up and can’t drop it, you might have hit a bit of a wall in terms of fun. Game does the PUBG thing where a gun slows you down when sprinting, but you can’t just put it away to run faster. The guns are all funky sci fi jank, therefore it is completely impenetrable to know how they work before you’ve worked with them a little bit. Good on them for making a bot mode where you can train, at least. I couldn’t find any human players, but I figure it’s just the early release. Otherwise, there’s no death as certain for a multiplayer game as being a ghost town.
The clunky controls and unreliable interface are somewhat offset by the weapons. Most of them will instantly gib an opponent, leaving nothing but their legs and entrails behind. Some others will do a very fancy looking bullet hell spam that does around 1 point of damage per hit. It’s more baffling than satisfying, and encourages a very hide and seek, defensive game. Checking doors might have you greeted with a faceful of deadly plasma. But as mentioned, most of the guns suck and have a steep learning curve to them. A shotgun tearing off a zombie’s head clean is fun. A plasma shotgun gibbing an opponent with very slow projectiles might not even be a thing before he blows you up with his pew spacegun.
Performance is bad, with more than a few non-responding instances, long enough to make you think it’ll just never recover. Joining a game late is frequent. Hell, you might join already dead, sliced in half by some cut-throat bot (A cut-bot?) and collect your 3 credits for your time. It might just be my machine not being able to run it, but that’s my honest experience with the game. You may agree on this one with me: Performance barely ever gets mentioned in a review, unless it’s just that bad. So getting a shoutout here, for a 2D isometric game no less, is something of an achievement.
A much toted feature of the game is how you can only see in front of you, and I find that a little perplexing. How is it that several multiplayer isometric games find it interesting to limit vision? Specially in a battle royale, all this does is encourage hardcore camping. Sure, it might up the tension a bit, but the inherent problem with the battle royale genre goes thusly: Hiding in a toilet for two hours isn’t very fun. It’s just anxious teenage simulator. And a number of us have been through that already and don’t seek to relive it. Slowing down an already very slow genre might not be the shining selling point you’re looking for. If anyone was asking for slower and campier in their battle royales, I suppose this could scratch that itch. For everyone else, it’s back to dancing atop a makeshift watchtower.
All in all, frequent crashes, ho-hum gameplay… Cool graphics. Then again, pixel art is the cheeseburger of graphics. Very few people will not find it pretty, or at the very least serviceable. I was pretty quick to make my decision, and that sadly is a solid thumbs down. For seven bucks, with a cosmetic shop, it might be too steep for just about anyone.