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The day has finally come and we are ecstatic to have released Outland on the PlayStation Network. Many of you first heard of this platformer/Ikaruga mash-up when we first announced it at our Digital Day event last year and got a deeper dive when PlayStation.Blog’s Sid Shuman gave a quick preview from PAX East 2011.
The idea of the game is simple: you are following in the footsteps of an ancient hero looking to prevent the destruction of the world at the hands of the goddesses of chaos. However, mix in the polarity switching and you have one amazingly challenging game.
Housemarque, known for their work on Dead Nation and Super Stardust HD, has been receiving a ton of praise on Outland, including 1UP calling it “one of the best downloadable games this year”. Let’s take a deeper dive into the development of Outland:
As we are now about to release Outland, I thought it would be nice to share some thoughts on developing the game, especially on its main feature, the “Ikaruga” polarity mechanic. Thinking about it almost two years later, it feels like we came about the concept easily and naturally.
At the very beginning I had an idea on creating an action adventure platforming game that would give the player similar emotions and encounters I experienced when playing some of my favorite platforming games in the 80’s (Pitfall II, Jumpman Jr., Rick Dangerous etc. – see, I never had a NES). Early versions of Outland had a guy jumping, shooting and sliding around in a jungle environment. We expanded that basic gameplay by adding a special spirit mode that made the character move faster and cause more damage.
Last fall I was introduced to Outland, a side-scrolling PSN action game that casts you as an urban nobody turned spiritual warrior. The dreamlike visuals, acrobatic platforming and sharp swordplay showed plenty of promise. Since then, developer Housemarque (creators of Dead Nation and Super Stardust HD) has fleshed out the game with a more fluid feel and gameplay depth that will make fans of the classic 2D side-scroller Castlevania: Symphony of the Night beam with delight.
A gorgeous introductory cinematic introduces you to the protagonist’s plight. As a nameless, faceless modern-day city dweller, you’re haunted by visions of a vast wheel endlessly turning. Maddened by the hallucinations, you seek out a shaman who guides you on a path of spiritual awakening and an uncomfortable truth: You’ve been chosen to fight in a timeless, cyclical battle with a pair of god-like Sisters who created the world and now seek to destroy it. Lucky you!
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