Outward: Definitive Edition Review

Xbox One

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When I started playing Outward: Definitive Edition, it felt instantly familiar. It was only then that I realised I’d already pumped double figure hours into it, way back in 2019 when it initially released on Xbox. It was a game that, despite having problems, was an enjoyable, ambitious, epic RPG. It’s with the Definitive Edition where things look to change, optimised for Xbox Series X|S and pumped full of DLC.  

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On the surface, Outward: Definitive Edition has a couple of very unique premises. It comes with the ability for players to jump into cooperative play, locally and online, all in order to bring an extra level of excitement and playability. It works well and there’s some seamless transition in place. 

The other elements come in the form of a combination of standard RPG fare, leveling up, taking quests, enjoying combat and working some exploration. But there are also a hot of survival elements at play; you will need to concentrate on eating and drinking and foraging. It’s a tricky game as well, one that will leave you uncertain what to do next especially if you are used to working with little markers and objectives that tell you what to do next. 

The same goes for the travel – you will spend a lot of time walking around, taking in the scenery. You’ll also need to keep an eye on a number of other things; food goes rotten and equipment and weapons get ruined quickly. This certainly isn’t Fable. But what are the improvements from 2019 I hear you cry? 

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Well, to start with the game’s main story is determined and crafted by the faction you join. Initially there were three factions, but now – with the inclusion of the Soroboreans DLC – you have a fourth to choose from if you wish. There are also tweaks to the combat and how the game feels. These may be minor, but you definitely see an improvement from the original. There are also two new regions to explore, and they do, of course, bring a bunch of new quests with the DLC, along with some new enemies and items. 

There’s the new The Three Brothers goodies too and one of the new features here is a city building mechanic, giving you the chance to rebuild the city of Sirocco. This is an interesting new gameplay mechanic that gives those who have exhausted the 80-plus hours of gameplay something a bit different. The DLC is seamlessly blended into the main game as well, instead of being locked behind a specific point. 

Even with all the tweaks and little adjustments, Outward: Definitive Edition’s ambition does have limits, and it certainly doesn’t flow as you may expect of a triple-A game from this genre. I was reminded how tricky it can be in terms of difficulty and lack of hand-holding throughout.

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In terms of visuals, Outward is split into two halves. When you look at the world up close, it struggles; old-school in terms of textures, colours, and how the characters are drawn. It could well put you off when you first load it up. But in terms of world-building and long landscapes, taking in lovely skies and rolling grass, it manages to create a sense of fantasy and space beautifully. However, the menus have that age of problem that hits anything that tries to run a transition from PC to console – you may need a magnifying glass – or even a telescope – to really get to grips with what the menus are showing. Thankfully then, sound-wise it has a pleasingly epic RPG score that adds to the atmosphere, working with the action perfectly. 

It’s nice to go back to take another look at Outward: Definitive Edition, pretty much after forgetting it even existed. But the same old issues hit the Definitive Edition as they did first time around. Outward is a difficult game, one that doesn’t harbour fools or casual gamers. Granted, it’s going to find love from the hardcore RPG fans, and so if you fall into that camp and didn’t try Outward previously, the Definitive Edition should be the way to go – with new areas, quests, and loot aplenty. It most definitely adds a host of additional hours to a game that would have already demanded a hefty toll of your time.

Outward: Definitive Edition is on the Xbox Store




TXH Score

3.5/5

Pros:

  • Tons of hours of game time
  • Inclusion of the new DLC
  • Cooperative play

Cons:

  • Will be too daunting for some
  • Up close it struggles

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to – Prime Matter
  • Formats – Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed – Xbox Series X
  • Release date – 17 May 2022
  • Launch price from – £34.99


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