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6Apr/12Off

Flash from the past – old game review

TechOps Guy: Nate

I was talking to a friend that I've known for more than 20 years a few days ago (these posts really are making me feel old :) ) and we were talking about games, Wing Commander Saga among them and he brought up an old game that we tried playing for a while he couldn't remember the name, but I did. It was Outpost. A Sci-fi simcity or civilization style game from 1994. It has amazing visuals, being one of the earlier CDROM-based games. I bought it after seeing the visuals and really wanted to like it but no matter what I couldn't get very far without losing the game, no matter what I did I would run out of resources, air, food water, whatever it was, all my people would die and I would have to start again. Rinse and repeat a few times and I gave up on it eventually. I really liked the concept being a long time sci fi fan (well hard core sci fi fans would probably refer to me as a space opera fan).

ANYWAYS, I hadn't looked for anything about this game since well probably the mid 90s. I ran a basic search earlier today and came across this 10-minute video review from an interactive CDROM magazine published back in 1994. I had no idea how much of a mess the game really was, the review was incredibly funny to watch they rip the game apart. They are in awe of the visuals like I was but other than that the game was buggy and under finished. They make it sound like it was one of the most un finished games of all time. They talk about entire sections of the strategy guide that are completely left out of the game, functions that are mentioned that just don't exist. In-game artificial intelligence that gives absolutely worthless data, no explanation on how to plan to play the game up front. It's quite humorous! I'm going to go watch it again.

From Wikipedia

Initial reviews of Outpost were enthusiastic about the game. Most notoriously, the American version of PC Gamer rated the game at 93%, one of its highest ratings ever for the time. It was later made known that the reviewers had in fact played beta versions of the game, and had been promised certain features would be implemented, but never were.

[..]

Following the release of the game, the game's general bugginess and perceived mediocre gameplay, along with the lack of features described in most of the game's reviews and the game's own documentation led to a minor backlash against the computer game magazines of the time by consumers who bought the game based on their reviews.

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