Outcast: Second Contact is a action adventure game developed by Appeal and published by Infogrames, with the remake put out by Big Ben. The game is set where a US Government agency successfully sends a probe to an alien world in a parallel universe. You wake up, and are greeted by an aliens race, at war with its own kind. Two group , Talan and Xue. Xue, is ruled by a dictator who has enslaved the Talan. Glob is their version of God, and they interpret the words of their God differently. Your job is to fight back and win over the hearts of the people. In turn, they will help you in your rebellion.
To be honest, the graphics are poor. They remind me of Tomb Raider on PS2. It does have some color to it, sure. It’s got shades of tan and some blue in there. But the texture is grainy and it looks a bit like Turok. There aren’t a whole lot of detailed shadows either. Your main character is wearing what he has on the cover, so that’s pretty straight forward. A group of spiders in the game look like dust being kicked up. Like, if you were looking at brown static on South Park.
The story is deep in the sense that it’s fully fleshed out. But it’s not all that interesting. Glob vs God is an example of how much work they put into their creativity. The setting is an alternate version of planet Earth. I think, that’s what they were trying for, nothing crazy. In terms of immersion, the detail is still there. There are differences between the tribes and what they believe along with deep seated conflicts. You’re some type of messiah from the prophesies.
It seems that there are like three voice actors. Possibly four. Absolutely nothing stand out to me here. It’s all throughly mediocre. But seriously, I think the cast had like five guys. Nothing remarkable about the sound FX or the OST.
On normal mode that game is pretty challenging, but it gets easier. That’s because you find people that will heal you for free, and money is pretty easy to get. You have somebody who will forge bullets for you too. So if you don’t mind the travel time you can beat the game essentially in a few hours. That would work in practice if not for the rampant amount of glitches. Whenever you talk to an NPC, the camera is incapable of focusing. That said, at least the bugs were not too crucial, just dumb. I fell under the map a few times, that was fun.
Well, it wasn’t bad. It was somewhat entertaining. The shooting mechanics are fine but I guess I wanted more? It did keep me coming though. There was a bit where I got frustrated. It almost seemed impossible to dodge the bullets coming my way. Seems it was like a percentage thing. It was impossible not to get hit. At the time I was playing this short game, I took breaks between this and replaying Fallout 3. And streaming free games on twitch.
Overall, even though this game just wasn’t great, I still had a bit of fun. If you’re playing this for free, it may be worth your time. You’ll know quickly if you like it or not. I still feel ripped off in a way. They should have been paying me to play it instead. But no, it’s fine. It’s fine. I’m only a master in memes.
Another month, another round of games up for grabs if you have a premium account on Xbox, PS4, and Switch. Consider the following for your enjoyment. PlayStation has been particularly generous this month, with 6 total games, all of which are fairly decent and fresh. But first…
Xbox Live Gold
Overcooked! – Ever wanted to work in a kitchen? Now you can, with this fast and frenetic game. Featuring a multitude of settings and crazy dishes, this game will have you running back and forth with haste as you try to prepare dish after dish. And problem after problem will arise. Can you handle that? Honestly, I think working a kitchen in real life is hard enough. I can’t imagine doing it for fun. Still, surprisingly enough, you may learn a thing or two about culinary arts with this creative game.
Victor Vran – Did you enjoy the Van Helsing games? How about a direct knockoff? Because this action RPG is full of paranormal monster hunting action. Now, no, it’s not actually provable to be a knockoff, but clearly, some inspiration happened.
Stuntman: Ignition – If you’re a Forza Horizon fan (and you sure as hell know I’m one), you might be interested in this previous gen title. This game is what the title implies, a racing game based on performing crazy, action-filled, driving sequences for the movies. These are basically what the “showcase events” became in Forza. Only you do showcase events all the time, instead of just here and there.
Hitman: Blood Money – AKA THE BEST HITMAN GAME EVER MADE (fight me). This iteration of Hitman was the last of its kind before the soft reboot from Absolution. Offering a wide variety of very memorable and unique assignments, Blood Money will take you across the world to meet interesting people and kill them. From hillbilly swamp to a vineyard, a festival, and a rave, this game will stick in your mind as you enjoy some of the most ludicrous murders ever put to a game.
Friday the 13th The Game – This game had a troubled release, due to being a multiplayer only game that had several server issues. Now that it’s been out for a while, it runs a lot better. Enjoy the game of cat and mouse as you either play as the innocent campers trying to survive the night. Or, play as Jason and hunt those campers down. If you are a fan of slasher/horror films, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time, playing as one of horror’s most iconic figures.
Laser League – Ever want to play a Tron game? I mean, a GOOD Tron game? This might be the ersatz winner for you. Dropped into a neon-lit multiplayer arena, you fight other plays while simultaneously dodging walls and traps. Man, this month is big on multiplayer.
The Bridge – Have you ever looked at a painting by MC Escher and thought, “yeah, I’d like to walk around in that?” Here’s the game for you. A puzzle platformer based on perspective, physics, and rotation make this game a smart and challenging title. Dig in as you try to wrap your head around the ominous ins and outs of a 2d game that possibly exists in four-dimensional space. And stuff.
2046: Read Only Memories – If a solid point-and-click adventure is your jam, here’s an interesting sci-fi adventure for you. This title features a retro, pixel art design that is growing more and more popular the world of new age P&C adventure titles. Prepare to be engrossed in a tale of rogue AI and a few of your favorite video game voice actors.
Master Reboot – Bringing the list of sci-fi games into a triple threat, this title is a new adventure that has you navigate your way through a series of fragmented memories to uncover a dark tale. There are several puzzles to solve, and the variety of stages varies greatly. So there’s plenty of surprises to be had in this cyberpunk caper.
Rocketbirds 2: Evolution – And finally, if all you really want is to enjoy a solid, twin-stick shooter experience, you have this. A comedic tale of the avian variety, you will be taken through a series of tough and engaging levels. An absolutely action-packed experience.
Nintendo are going all-in on their retro console experience, sharing more and more NES games that you can take with you anywhere. These games are pixel perfect. What’s new for October? You will be getting NES Open Tournament Golf, Solomon’s Key, and Super Dodge Ball.
Shadow Warrior 2 appears to be free on GOG.com and will be good to download for 11 days from the time of posting.
Purveyor of critical thinking and sociopolitical happenings, Alex Jones has once again come under fire from mainstream outlets. Only instead of social media, it’s social gaming. A recent post on infowars.com sheds light on the subject. During one of his radio shows, Jones points out “the globalists are trying to discourage us by taking away our games!” It turns out, that his official Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Network Plus subscriptions have both been terminated. His profile was also removed, causing him to lose over 113 cloud save files that he can never get back. He has appealed this ruling but it’s not likely to change.
Alex continues, pointing out that he’s “fighting the good fight” and ending the scourge of the lizard people in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. He’s stated several times how excited he was for Black Ops IIII but it seems those dreams of fighting the elite are dead. Jones was also a very big fan of DOOM (2016) and has posted several let’s play videos. Many of them highlight just how passionate of a gamer he is. He frequently reminds his viewers that the antagonist of the game is, in fact, a phony Hillary Clinton.
As the head spokesperson for the entire alt-right movement, Jones vehemently defends most first-person shooter games. The fake news companies constantly report these games can be harmful and dangerous. But Alex insists that first-person shooters are just a celebration of the second amendment and regularly donates the proceeds of his gaming patreon to the NRA. It is no longer known how he will continue to support the cause with this most recent ousting in the game-o-sphere.
Reportedly, Jones is looking to purchase a Nintendo Switch. It appears that he now sees that the ink in Splatoon 2 is turning the frogs gay, and that just won’t fly with him. As is required by Nintendo, he will have to join the Nintendo Creators Program to post his gameplay footage. All that’s left is for him to find another web video outlet that will allow his content to be presented. AJ is currently looking at websites like DailyMotion, Vimeo, and PornHub.
A few years ago, you used to sign a contract with a cell phone service provider. Then they decided to all move over to leasing options that made it affordable for everyone. Want the new iPhone? They have a payment plan. Want the new Samsung? Payment plan. LG device? Payment plan (also LG is the best). You see the new iPhone, and even though you can’t afford it, you want it. So the companies accommodate you. Now, that same principle is being applied here, only it’s a better deal. The Xbox All Access plan gives you a great deal more than just a smart device.
Xbox 360 was a dominating force in the last generation of games. This came after a generation dominated by the PlayStation 2. After Xbox’s disastrous introduction of the Xbox One and its lack of graphical prowess, PS4 won over the public by a landslide. Dan Mattrick instigated the disaster, but it wouldn’t be the last time he singlehandedly destroys a company. Phil Spencer has been left to undo the damage ever since. Each year, he finds more and more ways to win back the hearts of the people.
Exclusives are still a major power in the console gaming world. This is despite the fact that they are largely ‘timed’ exclusives and don’t always stay exclusive. But being first is still a big deal, and people eager for a game are going to go wherever they can get it as fast as possible. They made the Xbox One X cater to the audience who wanted more graphical power. They even bought up 5 companies that have all made interesting titles, to say the least. Still, that doesn’t change that their current exclusive line-up is… well, pretty pathetic really.
So, now, Microsoft is giving you a new reason to buy their console. This was first made apparent in their 2018 E3 press conference. They showed off plenty of games you could play. Some were exclusive, but many others weren’t. Still, it was a surprising move by the company to focus entirely on games and set a really high bar for the rest of that E3. They ended up showing off more games than any other presentation. They actually stole the thunder from other dev’s announcing projects by showing them off in their own show first.
They also talked a great deal about Xbox Game Pass, a service destined to be the Netflix of gaming. Xbox Game Pass gives you access to a huge section of games for a relatively low subscription plan. For 9.99/month, you get access to this comprehensive list of titles. It’s… a lot of games. A real lot of them. Endless choices and possibilities, it’s chock full of games from every genre. There’s a game in there for everyone, and the library is always expanding. The icing on the cake? All Xbox-Exclusive games will be made immediately available on game pass the day they are released. Which is a great proposition for people who really like the Forza games, for starters. But it’s also a strong promise they are holding, seeing as the earlier mentioned companies they bought will be dishing out Xbox exclusives for the future.
But that’s not the end of it. To get back to the subject at hand, Xbox All Access is sweetening the deal even further. What’s the plan? A two-year long monthly payment plan that pays for three things. The price covers the cost of purchasing the console and 24-month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. How good is this deal? Well, $22 USD a month will get you an Xbox One S model, while you can go for the top shelf and pay $36 USD for the Xbox One X, the most powerful console currently on the market.
You could always just fork out $250 to buy the entry-level price for a PS4, Switch, or the Xbox, and then spend another $60 or so per game you actually want to play on it. And then you have to decide if you want to buy each console’s premium service, which will also cost you more money up front. Yeah, that’s no fun. Some retailers allow you to get interest-free financing on purchases that qualify, but this offer is coming straight from Microsoft. Suddenly, the consoles are well within your budget, aren’t they? Imagine being able to afford the best console on the market and access to 100+ games for less than the price of that iPhone you’re leasing right now. Sound good? It should.
There are some caveats to this major deal. You have to go to a Microsoft store to make the purchase. That could be an issue because unlike Apple, they don’t have that many retail stores out there. The deal is also only good while supplies last. Granted, you have to do the same thing with most cell phone providers too. So, yeah, there’s a few extra snags to jump in on this incredible offer.
But this could be the beginning of a great new business strategy. If it skyrockets the sales of Xbox One consoles, that would begin the turning point. With enough success, Microsoft might just feel like extending the offer to other retailers, not just their own. This is the initial stage of a great idea. Maybe one of the other competitors will pick up on this strategy and try it themselves. Either way, this company is putting their money where their mouth is, and they’re offering a great opportunity. Own a console and get access to tons of free games all for small monthly payments. I would always choose the interest-free options over paying for something outright, wouldn’t you?
Has this offer piqued your interest? Will other companies attempt this? Let us know in the comments.
Summer’s just about over but if you live in New England you’re still in the middle of a heatwave with absolutely no end in sight. You also may be going back to school and that really sucks if you don’t like school. You wanna know what else sucks? The games you can get for free in September with your favorite premium services! Okay, half of these are decent.
Xbox Live Gold
Prison Architect – Strongly related to the “tycoon” family of games, this game is a micromanagement strategy game that puts you in control of your very own prison. Who exactly is this game for? Maybe it’s you, check it out.
Livelock – “Livelock is a fast-paced cooperative top-down shooter where you and two of your friends are tasked with controlling the Capital Intellects through the post-human conflict.” -YouTube. This game here looks pretty. Pretty tough.
LEGO Star Wars III – It’s a LEGO game, and if you’ve played one LEGO game you’ve played them all. But it’s a good formula so why change it? This one takes place during the “Clone Wars” cartoon for Star Wars.
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World – I’ve never heard of this game. Has anyone? I don’t know. Here’s some gameplay footage on a game channel that deserves your traffic.
Destiny 2 – Looks like somebody wants people to buy into their next expansion pack, eh? Enjoy this boring-but-fun MMO-lite FPS until you run out of missions from the main game. But seriously though, it’s a Bungie game, so the shooting mechanics are top notch.
God of War 3 – The new God of War game made waves over how great it was, possibly being GOTY material with all the good reviews it got. But if you need at least some context, now you can with this previous title.
Another World: Anniversary Edition – This is an old title in the history of gaming. Praised for its spectacular animation at the time, this game is a cornerstone over what made adventure games so great
QUBE Director’s Cut – A portal-style test chamber series that revolves around colored tiles and boxes. It’s okay I guess. It originally launched with very basic content but this re-release added greatly to the game’s features.
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo is supposedly launching their paid online service this month but the launch date is always changing, so who knows? It will be just $20 for a year. We do know that you will be getting 10 classic NES games with another 10 to be announced after. The games are: Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, Ice Climbers, the Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. 3, Soccer and Tennis. Good list.
Nothing yet. To be updated if games become available as free weekends or flash sales.
I say it all the time and I’ll say it again. Metal Gear Solid is the best franchise of all time. End of rant. The other thing I say all the time is I love the healthy competition between the two behemoth brands. And in my honest opinion, at the time of this writing, Xbox is bringing some heat this month.
May Games with Gold 2018
Super Mega Baseball 2 (Xbox One) Available free from May 1st – May 31st
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Xbox One) May 16th – June 15th
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage (Xbox One, Xbox 360) May 1st – May 15th
Vanquish (Xbox One, Xbox 360) May 16th – May 31st
Can’t wait to play yet another Platinum Games game since I’ve now declared them the best developer of all time. -chet