|System: Xbox 360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Frontier Developments||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: TBA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: TBA 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
February 20, 2008 - As of right now The Outsider has yet to sign up with a publisher, though developer Frontier Developments has released a visually impressive trailer recently that shows what they've got planned for 2009. With plot details also released by Frontier, this is said to be one of the most inventive and intelligent next-gen games in the works.
Frontier is owned by David Braben who brought us the classic game Elite. The Outsider is anticipated to have the same kind of freedom of action as Elite, but of course much more updated. More than false promises, Frontier is hyping this game up to be like nothing we have seen before, as the player will have genuine freedom the change the storyline and outcome as you play. Frontier plans this to be a revolutionary, free-roaming game that will change the action adventure genre as we know it, as well as live to the full potential of what a next-gen game should be.
You play as John Jameson, an ex-CIA operative suspected in the assassination of the President of the United States. As the trailer shows, the media quickly keys you as suspect number one in the murder and pins you against the world, forcing you to live on the run. As the plot thickens, we find out Jameson is actually caught in the middle of a conspiracy and has been framed by the CIA in the assassination. You must play the game constantly on the run from police and news cameras as you attempt to prove Jameson's innocence while avoiding being captured. Armed with guns and other technology, not only does Jameson have to avoid being captured, but also unlock clues to expose the conspirators who have set him up.
What Frontier is developing as far as gameplay is nothing short of exciting - if they successfully pull off all their promises. In the huge open city with hundreds of non-player characters, you must choose your own adventure, so to speak. The goal of the game is to clear your own name and find out who is behind the conspiracy to blame you for the president's murder - that is, if you choose to do so. How you go about playing the game will be completely up to the player, making for multiple situations and endless replay value. If you want to clear your name and prove your innocence, you may. If you want to go around and aimlessly shoot at people, you can do that too. According to Frontier, each computer-controlled person in the game will have their own objectives that they want to achieve but won't have pre-determined routines. We're not exactly sure how revolutionary these NPCs are going to be, but Frontier is hyping them up to be pretty extraordinary. As you make moves and decide the methods you want to take in proving your innocence, they will react to the decisions you make and actions you take in the game. This will allow you to shape the game however you want as the gameplay molds itself around your actions. Frontier claims the game will abandon the scripted storylines of traditional games and replace it with more simulated character motivations and aims, allowing for numerous outcomes and a unique experience every time you play. Solving the mysteries of who set you up and why will involve a lot of thought as you find yourself caught in-between rival factions involved in the conspiracy. You will have to find out who you can trust and who is plotting against you.
The plot of The Outsider will be extremely realistic and is certainly going to be geared towards a mature audience. As made evident in the trailer, The Outsider is set in present-day Washington, DC, with a remarkable likeness of the White House. Frontier says other locations in The Outsider will include the CIA headquarters at Langley, Andrews Air Force Base, and Newport News Naval Dockyard. With a plot based on the assassination of the United States President, The Outsider toys with concepts that balance dangerously on the line between reality and fiction. Having a controversial theme on its side, The Outsider will undoubtedly cause some friction in the media closer to its release date.
With a very impressive trailer already released and an internet full of hype surrounding The Outsider, it shouldn't be long until Frontier finds a publisher. Slated for a release sometime in late 2009 - probably before the Christmas season - Frontier will be hard at work for the next several months to be sure they deliver all of their promises. If they do, this could be one of the most revolutionary games ever made.
CCC Freelance Writer