Title: Out There: Omega Edition
Platform: Steam, Android, Windows
Reviewed on: Windows
Players: Single player
Written by Dragoon 5th May 2015
It’s a good thing that in space nobody can hear you scream because Out There, by Mi-
Gameplay consists of you clicking your way around the universe map to go to new solar systems which each contain their own random assortment of planets to explore. There are 3 types of planet to find, garden planets which are usually home to a fantastic array of alien creatures, rocky planets which are rich in metallic elements and gas giants which provide you with valuable fuel. Any action you take drains a little of your ships resources which consist of fuel, oxygen and hull integrity. You need to obtain the right element from the vast assortment of the ones available to top them up because if any of them runs out you end up dead.
Each ship has its own grid like layout that can be filled with ship systems or elements. The biggest problem with this is that most of the ships have extremely limited free grid space which makes resource management a pain and since you often don’t know which of the many elements you are going to need in the future it is difficult to decide on what to keep. You can find new ships throughout the universe as anomalies in solar systems and take them for yourself, when you take a new ship its resources are always at 100% so it is usually worth it to transfer over.
The ships can have various systems installed on them which give them different effects. You craft these systems using schematics you can find throughout the game with the correct number of elements and they either give your ship a new ability or upgrade an existing system. These abilities range from things like a drill to mine for elements to a wormhole generator that lets you travel to wormholes in range instantly. These add interesting ways to complement your journey but they come at the price of less inventory space so you have to weigh up the positives and negatives.
As you travel between systems you encounter a wide range of random events which usually end in you either losing or gaining resources. These events are extremely varied and are interesting to read but can often feel extremely unfair, doing well in a run usually depends on how lucky you get with these events which is a problem the game has in general, it doesn’t matter how well you play or prepare since it can all be ruined in an instant by random chance. While it does stay true to the unpredictability and harshness of space it doesn’t make it any less frustrating to play.
The game has a fantastic atmosphere which is supported greatly by the games vibrant, comic book like visuals. The ship designs are all very interesting and look suitably alien and the same applies to the various creatures you encounter, which range from graceful looking jellyfish like creatures to horribly monstrous masses of flesh. The game has its own alien language which is learnt by speaking with the aliens you meet but unfortunately the progress you make does not carry over between runs so you will usually only learn a handful of words before you meet your grizzly end. Out There's fantastic soundtrack also helps to make you feel lost and alone, composed by the award winning Siddhartha Barnhoorn, with its chilling vocals and haunting tones.
Overall the game has a great atmosphere but is dragged down by random chance. The alien designs are fantastic and the soundtrack is fittingly atmospheric. The inventory system is also too restrictive and makes it too hard to plan ahead and the game has too many different metallic elements which makes it difficult to have the right ones at the right times. It’s written extremely well and there are a wide variety of events to find which gives it great replayability, it’s definitely worth a try for text adventure and sci-
Awkward inventory system.
Out There warps itself to a 7/10.