It was a dark day last year when the PSN outage first occurred. Gamers were in an awful situation and Sony wasn't in the greatest of positions. That was long ago and, to me, Sony has far outdone themselves in redeeming my trust. Anyway, the reason I bring up that predicament was because, of the few games that fell under the radar during the outage's timeframe, a specific game needs to be brought to people's attention. Outland is that game.
Ubisoft originally intended for Outland to be released on April 27th for the Playstation Network (alongside xbox live arcade), but because of the outage, the game was pushed to June 14th. I feel the game suffered because of this. It was jumbled with a mix of other releases that also suffered during the outage. But why is it that big of a deal? It's a big deal because this game was an amazing experience.
I often sit in my chair with my laptop in front of me and my Playstation to my side. My TV screen shows my list of PSN games and my cursor fixated over the Outland game icon. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly pleases me so much by it, but the music of Outland sends me into a deep trance. I own multiple soundtracks from the likes of Journey/Flower to Arkham City and other big name titles, but Outland's is atmospheric and unique. Oddly enough, I can't seem to remember the sounds when away from the game, but when I turn the game back on, I'm immediately reminded of my experience with the game.
As for the gameplay, think back to the game Ikaruga. For those who don't know, Ikaruga is a classic Shmup (shoot 'me up) style game in which the ship piloted is capable of switching between two colors; when the ship is blue, blue attacks don't harm the player, and when red, the same. Outland follows this exact pattern except for one central difference: it's a 2D platformer. Players take the role of a tribal prodigy (or something along those lines) who must platform his way through various environments and fulfill an ancient prophecy. Outland throws various mechanics, all of which get more complex as the game progresses and unlocks are found.
Finally, the art style must be mentioned. Developer "Housemarque" far outdid themselves in perfecting the atmosphere intended. Outland reminded me of a child's popout story book; a layered environment, yet at the same time remaining two-dimensional. Colors, while remaining to a handful, are distinct and vibrant.
Outland is a PSN game which I believe needs more attention from the Playstation Community. In a time where we're seeing FPS control the market, Outland heralds back 2D platforming with a unique twist. Trust me when I say that it's worth your time and at a measly $9.99, your money too.