A new developer diary is available for Outward, and it goes even deeper into the RPG that refuses to hold you hand, even if that hand is very cold at night. In roughly three minutes, a gentle developer voice lets you know that details matter. Even your choice of backpack can be a life or death decision. A large backpack can obviously help you to carry more items, and that can help with survival. Among other things, a large backpack can also keep you from being able to dodge. It’s a trade off that every player will have to make, and it seems like another way that Outward is distinguishing itself as a much less forgiving experience for gamers looking to test their mettle.
There are four regions for you to explore, and each will have its own environmental hazards. The diary shows the typical lush green area, the desert, and, most interestingly, an area dominated by poison waters. You will have to move through the waters, so keeping enough antidotes to heal yourself will be a part of your preparation for this area.
The areas have plenty of monsters, but being a great fighter is not enough. The days are hot, and you will need to keep cool. The nights are cold, and you have to stay warm. No matter where you go, you have to eat and rest if you want to be your best or take on the worst the many dungeons will throw at you.
The map is probably the biggest change I saw from the typical large RPG. It doesn’t actually tell you where you are in the world. You will have to pay attention to the landmarks in your area and compare them to the map to approximate your location. It puts a lot more responsibility on the player, fits into the hardcore ideas of the rest of the game, and I am sure someone who just read those words is smiling about the increased difficulty.
Outward is looking to give players a sense of adventure. It’s also looking to make you earn your accomplishments, not as a special person foretold in the scrolls of whatever, but as a normal adventurer with surprises, good and bad, waiting for you to discover. If you prepare and make good choices, it sounds like the world of Aurai will begrudgingly give up its treasures. If not, the next skeleton used as decoration could be you.
You can start your journey in Outward on March 26th.
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Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.