Out of this World: 15th Anniversary Edition review

  • Was great the first time
  • Beautifully created alien culture
  • Touches of genius remain
  • Incredibly hard and short
  • Not worth the cash
  • Was great the first time

Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. We remember Out of this World’s beautifully animated alien vistas and a cinematic and narrative edge conjured up with nary a syllable of the written or spoken word.

What we don’t remember, however, is the hours we must have spent as a 12-year-old screaming and shouting as the game forced us to replay the same bastard-hard cavern jumping sequences after a cruel one-shot kill from a lumbering monkey-man guard. Games just used to be harder, and we were used to repetition back then. Whoever patented the quicksave must be rich by now…

For the uneducated, the ill-advised and the irrepressibly young, Out of this World was the remarkable platformer that begat Flashback that begat Oddworld that begat, well… lots of things. The reason it’s so fondly remembered though, is the fact that in its day it showed a touch of the Half-Life’s - thinking outside of the traditional gameplay box.

Bear witness, for example, to the scene where Lester is racing through a darkened chamber with red alien laser shots lighting up the room as they fire through a grill from the floor below. Or even the most memorable scene, in which you’re punching at the buttons of an alien craft - accidentally letting missiles and laser blasts rain down on a crowd of thousands - until you’re launched into a naked spa bath usually reserved for naked alien ladies.

Now placed in a higher resolution and packaged with PDFs of production notes and a gallic documentary interviewing the creator Eric Chahi, Out of this World: 15th Anniversary Edition is certainly an interesting purchase. We had a crowd of five people simultaneously reminiscing behind us at one point, and the gentle warmth of recognition that gushes over you at regular intervals is every kind of wonderful.

However, by today’s standards Out of This World remains tongue-bitingly frustrating and extremely short. At $15, it’s also heftily priced - especially compared to the retro revival on other platforms ($10 or so for stuff on Xbox Live, $8 for a SNES game on the Wii Shop Channel).

Truth is, we don’t think this game is worth one dollar for every year it’s been in existence - unless perhaps we were richer or so nostalgic that we could do nothing but drink beer all day and watch The Price is Right. Only for the oldies this one, and even then only for the oldies with deeper pockets than us.

More Info

Release date: Mar 30 2007 - PC (US)
Mar 30 2007 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Adventure
Published by: ElektroGames
Developed by: Lexicon Entertainment


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