Looking inward on Outward’s “The Soroboreans” DLC

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Looking inward on Outward’s “The Soroboreans” DLC

Big changes are coming to Aurai on Tuesday.

Outward is an open world RPG that was made by a small studio of 10 game developers. The vision behind the game was to subvert the trope of the player being some special hero from a prophecy. Instead, you start your story as a regular person under a crippling debt and forced out of the village to find a way to pay rent. The experience is focused on the spirit of adventuring rather than on endless power. The game was released a bit over a year ago and met a level of success that was completely unexpected. As a result, we were able to keep working on the world of Aurai and add more layers to our labor of love.

On Tuesday July 7, we will release an expansion for Outward called The Soroboreans. The expansion adds a lot of content: a new storyline, a new region to explore, new dungeons, new skills, new weapon types, etc. But there are also new mechanics that are added which will keep things fresh and bring back the sense of curiosity and exploration that Outward is known for.

One of the big changes is in how we’ve approached the level design for the main dungeons of the new area. This time around, the dungeon delver will really need to prepare for longer excursions as multiple dungeons are interconnected to each other. The order in which to discover and explore these dungeons is quite open, meaning that different players will have a much different story to tell. Part of the inspiration actually goes all the way back to an old Playstation game called Mega Man Legends, which had this exploration of ruins that felt a bit like a metroidvania but with its own sauce. The “ah-ha!” moment when you found your way in those different ruins left a mark on me when I was a teen and I wanted to bring a similar feel.

Another thing we are bringing with this DLC is a whole new dimension to equipment via enchanting. We like giving the players freedom in what equipment they can use, and offered plenty of viable weapons and armors at various progression stages. Enchantment in Outward allows you to revisit old pieces of equipment and make them strong enough to rival any end game equipment, but doing so comes at a hefty price. Not only is enchanting requires lots of hard to find materials, the process itself is purposefully made obscure to the player. 

Experimenting with this feature should be enough to keep a player busy for hours and hours as they tweak their favorite build, from making your weapon explode on every hit to making tattered rags provide healing over time and uncanny level of protection. There is also a special type of equipment that is quite flexible to which effects can be added to them and even change appearance depending on the enchantment applied on it.

Outward is known for being more challenging than most roleplaying games and for rewarding preparation and patience. However, our more experienced players are now quite familiar with the game’s mechanics. It makes sense then that the new area should be more difficult than those in the main game. However, it wouldn’t be enough to just buff the stats of the new monsters and call it a day. We decided to also add a new obstacle: corruption. 

Corruption is hinted at as a concept throughout the game’s story, but it was rarely affecting the player directly. In the new area, the ravage of corruption can be felt more directly. Some areas both outside and in dungeons are filled with noxious clouds that slowly but surely corrupts your character. Some enemy attacks also contribute to your level of corruption. After some level of exposition, your character gets tainted, then corrupted, then defiled. Every stage comes with heavy penalties, but can also make some of your attacks and skills more potent.

In simpler words, Outward is getting bigger and better. Whether this is the first time you hear about the game or you’re a hardened veteran in the world of Aurai, there has never been a better time to explore its vast world than once the Soroborean’s DLC is released. Thanks for your time and if you want to know more, feel free to join our official Discord server, where thousands of players will help you find your way.

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  • How does this game compare to Elex, Vampyr, or Greedfall in terms of production value? How is the combat? Scale? Loot? I love AA RPGs from European developers, it would seem Nine Dots is Canadian, but still. I know permadeath or rogue-lite elements were put in. What was the reason behind this? Is there a PS4 Pro upgrade?

    • I can’t recommend it.
      It looks like Fable, but with 0 role play. It wants to be Dark Soul but the AI is not good. And it wants to be a survival game, so every time temperature drops a bit you might catch a cold. The inventory management is not tidy. There’s no leveling up, you have to buy skills, but as it is a discovery game, you have no idea what skills you should/can get. Everything costs money, but money is super grindy to get. There’s a way, early on, if you are in the “wait 3 days” sort of grind, but the loadings are terrible and the profit it’s not that big either. I got tired of dying everywhere I went and having to face enemies which I was not sure if should or not be facing.. because there is no feedback, at all, ever, except dying (you don’t actually die you get captured).
      You end up looking for stuff on the wiki way too soon and way too often…

      It has some cool ideas, but I paid 35 for it on PSN and hate not having the option of resell it or getting a refund..

    • iamtylerdurden1

      And the dev didn’t bother responding..

      Have you played Elex? I’m ok with that level of quality. I even enjoyed Bound By Flame. Outward looks interesting, but perhaps it’s not focused enough? How is combat at its core? Loot?

    • rendered_primus

      So in all honesty, the game can’t compare to the budget that any of those games had. The game is fantastic in it’s own frustrating way, and there’s a lot to love if you have the patience for it, but it’s classified as a euro-jank game, and it kinda lives up to that. Honestly a lot of fun when playing with friends, and I’ve done a solo playthrough as well. The combat is a little clunky, bu rewarding when you learn its ins and outs. Scale isn’t too grand, but there is a solid sense of progression when enemies like a wendigo that are completely untouchable early on become easily defeatable later, either through gear, skill, or preparation. The loot is a lot better than it lets on at first, as the truly great items are either very expensive, very rare drops, or very hard to find, meaning your beginning time in the game will be spent with middling gear at best. As you reach later in the game and silver becomes much easier to obtain, the loot system (especially if you use the crafting system to its fullest) really seems to open up. The permadeath elements were put in to satisfy the true masochists out there, and I honestly don’t know why anyone would want it tbh. There is no PS4 Pro upgrade to my knowledge, but it seems to run decently fine on a pro (I played mostly on pc, but bought the game in anticipation for the DLC on psn).

      All in all, if you’re willing to look past some slightly outdated graphics, some slightly clunky (but still very fun in my opinion) combat, and some systems that really do need you to want to explore them (as they are admittedly a little unexplained), the game is a diamond in the rough. There’s a lot of reasons why some people might not like the game, but there’s a lot of things to like as well. Here’s to hoping there’s one more explorer in the world of Aurai!

    • iamtylerdurden1

      Thank you for your poignant response. I love these type of games, but some elements scared me off with Outward. It’s nice to see them still support the game. Combat usually suffers most in budget games, but it sounds decent here.

    • Well, two different opinions never hurt.
      I killed a wendigo with the first fire spell you get… I mean, you can just cheese through most of the encounters. AI is not great, enemies will form a line to get clubbed.
      Also, money has weight. And your inventory suffers from space management (resident evil style) and weight. So a lot of money =/= a lot of goodies.
      The loot is all over the place, at least when you are not sure if all you get is needed later or not.
      I’m not against exploring and figuring things out, but this felt as if I just have read a manual first.. a long one.

    • Answering your question about Elex. I haven’t played it, but I did played and loved Gothic 1 and 2. They have a special place in my hearth. Elex seems close to what Gothic was, just outdated for nowadays standards.
      This game is not even close to that style.

    • @zirocrath Your complaints about the game’s difficulty and survival elements seem to ultimately boil down to ‘git gud.’ It’s lack of hand-holding is what many players enjoyed about it. Also, claiming the game has zero role-playing elements is entirely disingenuous.

    • “Git gud”? It what sense? Combat is not hard, you can cheese through most of it Until you find enemies that don’t get damage from you at all. Like skeletons, which you can only kill with magic… I know, because I had to read in the wiki that. What’s hard is to have to take notes for almost everything, and to having to navigate the wiki at the same time.

    • You literally answered your own question. The game does require some amount of thinking, so it’s understandable why you would struggle with it.

    • watch angry joe’s review fo the game on youtube. it could help to answer your question.

  • Ok, I have played and finished both Elex and Greedfall. See my trophy list.
    Those two games are maybe ten times better, the graphics on Outward are laughable at times on ps4 pro mind you and the controls/mechanics are janky and unresponsive. You will die because of framerate problems not because you are bad… Save system is meaningless too…
    Its a nice game and all but there are no check points unless you make a save and upload in online via ps plus, to save time.
    The graphics is my biggest problem with this game, if you zoom in at your character he/she looks like a doll from the ps1 era, zero facial expression and voice acting is ok.
    There could be so much to love about this game but since its a hassle to play I cannot recommend it to anyone other than the devs. It wasent fun and it wasent good, I bet they will fix the graphics in the future but hot damn they are bad at the moment, like piss poor.

    Dont buy this unless you hate yourself.

    • LOL are you actually trying to blame the frame rate for your being incompetent at the game? Elex was a painfully mediocre experience, and Greedfall, in addition to doing nothing exceptional within its genre, isn’t in the same vein as Outward. Comparing the two seems like a really dumb thing to do. Obsessing so intently over graphics makes your complaints seem entirely superficial. Assuming there will be a graphical overhaul makes you seem like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • I love how the devs are fans of Mega Man Legends. I actually got that vibe in the first few hours of playing the game. Excited to get further into it. I may wait for the PS5 though to hopefully get higher framerate etc.

  • I personally love this game to death…complicated magic system is awesome, if you build yourself like a tank, you feel like a tank, build like a mage, feel like a mage…but it really takes some prep depending on the enemy…graphics are a no biggie, lots of hidden stuff that you can find out from the wiki like special backpacks and weapons, now there is enchanting and vampiric weapons..yet again, if you dont want handholding, this is an awesome game.. ps, the first character is essentially tutorial to find stuff you want for your next character…cause once you find the right trainers, you can build very awesome classes, im looking at you hex mage lol

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