Outland Preview

You may have heard of Ubisoft’s Outland a few months back with its brief appearance at E3 2010. Granted, the game won’t release until next year, but the title certainly deserves growing buzz.

The first thing you’ll notice when playing Outland is the beautiful background contrasting sharply with the platform gameplay. It’s hard to ignore how gorgeous the game looks. Throw in some good old-fashioned action platforming and you have the makings of a solid title. What makes Outland stand out from the pack is the use of the dark/light mechanic inspired by Ikaruga.

If you’ve never played Ikaruga, simply know that it’s centered around the polarity mechanic. Basically, only bullets of an opposite color can kill the gamer. Stick to one color to get by and absorb any damage or switch polarity to attack. In the case of Outland, press the RB button to switch the character from blue to red. When the hero is red, absorb red projectiles while attacking blue enemies or vice versa.

Objectives sound simple enough. Switch colors to correspond with projectiles to avoid damage and progress through the levels. However, Outland becomes surprisingly challenging as you go deeper into the game. For example, some projectiles overlap colors, requiring you to time your color transitions carefully to avoid damage. Some platforms are color-specific; you must switch colors before jumping on another platform. These little quirks add a challenging twist, making the gameplay much more interesting.

Outland by Ubisoft will be hitting Microsoft’s XBLA and Sony’s PSN early 2011.

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