Outward is an intense survival-adventure RPG headed to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 26. Developer Nine Dots wanted to create a unique experience that doesn’t hold players’ hands, and that means turning some RPG mechanics on their heads. We almost take it for granted that backpacks serve as magical, invisible, infinite storage pouches in most games. In Outward, opting for a large backpack could very well get you killed.
“The larger your backpack, the more prepared you can be,” Nine Dots explains. “However, carrying too much encumbering equipment will leave you vulnerable in a surprise attack. Which pack you carry can be just as much a deciding factor as the weapon you bring into battle and your chosen fighting style.”
Their brutal design philosophy carries over to navigation as well. You can forget relying on a magical map and compass that guides you directly to your next objective. If you want to find your place in the world of Outward, you’re actually going to have to study a map.
“Exploring the corners of Aurai with nothing but a backpack provides a thrilling experience that can be described as the peak of adventuring! You decide if you want to travel light or not, but you will have to make sure you are able to adapt to your environment. Aurai has four distinct regions that you will need to navigate with the help of your trusty compass, your map, and your ability to locate landmarks. The game will not do that for you.”
Personally, I love this direction for Outward, and it’s one of the reasons I’m excited to play the game. So many games promise an intense survival experience, and often they end up feeling like 60-hour tutorials. Outward promises a more robust and dangerous experience, and we’re excited to check it out this March.