The sequel to the "open-world game before there were any other open-world games" is "bright and colorful" whereas many games are "dark and pessimistic"

Outcast: A New Beginning release window
(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

The developers behind Outcast: A New Beginning are billing the sequel, launching today some 25 years after the trailblazing original, as a ray of sunshine amidst a trend toward games with dark, dystopian visions of the future.

In an interview with GamesRadar+, THQ Nordic producer Andreas Schmiedecker described the original Outcast game as "an open-world game before there were any other open-world games." Now, its sequel is out in the wild, and Schmiedecker hopes its optimistic story and vibrant atmosphere will make the long, long wait worth it.

"I think in this day and age we see a lot of dystopian and rather dark versions of the future," Schmiedecker said. "One thing that’s different about Outcast is its brighter outlook, both in story, and in its art style. It is mostly connected to this beautiful world that is called Adelpha. Both the plants and animals, but also the Talans, who live there, are very unique and fantastic. We tried to make it both familiar to Earth, but also feel very alien."

As someone who gets his thrills from horror games and movies, Schmiedecker is speaking straight to my soul here. The subtly depressing effects of living in such dreary, hopeless virtual worlds for hours every week isn't something to dismiss straight away, particularly if you're predisposed to depression and/or anxiety. It's something I've written about before and a big reason I tend to gravitate toward JRPGs, but Outcast: A New Beginning is starting to sound pretty appealing now for a similar reason.

The sequel takes returning protagonist Cutter Slade, who's been resurrected by the almighty Yods - yes, Yods - back to the expansive alien world of Adelpha only to discover its inhabitants enslaved and the world stripped of its natural resources. Naturally, as the only former Navy Seal around, it's your job to put things right and save the world once again. 

You'll use a jetback to jump, air-dash, and glide your way around the world, and you'll combine dozens of unique modules to kit out a weapon that suits your preference for ridding planets of hostile robot invaders. Schmiedecker told us there are "light RPG elements" like skill trees and NPC dialogue, but it's decidedly an open-world action game at its core.

Outcast: A New Beginning is out now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

While we're on the topic, why not peruse our list of the best open-world games ever?

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.