Outward is a game that endeavors to create a truly immersive survival RPG experience for its players. For developer Nine Dots, that means no hand-holding; it means harsher realism; it means punishing players for carrying around a huge backpack stuffed with healing items and supplies. In the new Outward developer diary video, we learned that always being prepared isn’t always a virtue.
Outward transforms the backpack — an usually-infinite form of storage that we take for granted in adventure games and RPGs — into a liability. Players will have to consider whether they want to sacrifice their mobility for storage, or else sacrifice some basic necessities for the sake of staying light on their feet. What is more important to you, having the supplies you need to ward off hunger and cold, or being unencumbered when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by a group of bandits?
Another standard of modernity that Nine Dots is rejecting is the “magic compass.” In Outward, you’re not going to have a giant map marker that will lead you to your next objective like the Star of Bethlehem. You will have to (brace yourselves) look at your map and (you may want to sit down) read it like an actual map.
If you want to know where you are, you’re going to have to identify some landmarks nearby, find them on the map, and then plot your way to your next objective on your own. There won’t be a bright, dancing halo hovering over the town you’re meant to visit, so you’ll have to use your wits and a little bit of patience. Crazy, right?
I’m personally very excited for Outward, and think that it’s shaping up to offer a truly unique role-playing experience. Is this one on your radar? Will you be checking it out when it hits PS4 this March? What do you think of the storage and navigation mechanics? Let us know in the comments below!