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Voxel classic 'Outcast' hits Kickstarter

tech reviews Updated: Apr 09, 2014 15:15 IST

Known for pioneering the rendering technique that now powers international success "Minecraft," 1999 game "Outcast" has returned in the form of an ambitious but achievable Kickstarter campaign.

Seeking $600,000 by May 7, the bare-bones concept pitch has brought in a cumulative public pledge of over $95,000 after just one day on the fundraising platform.
That's despite fans' widespread pleas for further information, artwork, and insight into how the project is going to shape up.

For its part, the team at Fresh3D -- a Belgian company headquartered in France, with a US arm based in Delaware -- reunites several key members from the original "Outcast" crew.

Taking place within a parallel universe, the 1999 sci-fi action-adventure embraced open world exploration well before "Skyrim" or "Grand Theft Auto III," and it even beat "Shenmue" to the punch. It featured fast-travel pets years before "World of Warcraft" and demonstrated a considerable advancement in AI prior to the bar-raising "Halo."

But why "Outcast Reboot HD" instead of "Outcast 2"? At the time, the original may have been critically acclaimed, but high-end hardware requirements put it out of reach of most PC gamers -- it was a cult classic tasted by only a few.

These days, it's no trouble for even the lowest-spec laptop -- especially with a repackaged edition available from GOG at $5.99 -- but Fresh3D's bods want a souped-up "Outcast" for the modern day.

"When 'Outcast' came out it was way ahead of its time," explains creative director Franck Sauer during a pitch video. "It's aged quite a bit since. What we want to do now is recreate 'Outcast' in high-definition glory with full details for your latest machine."

And the prospect's proven quite enticing for early backers.

Beat the $600,000 target and stretch goals include support for Virtual Reality headsets, Mac and Linux and next-gen console versions of the game, and even an additional new world to roam around in as the team looks toward the eventual creation of "Outcast 2."

The "Outcast Reboot HD" Kickstarter runs until May 7, with an anticipated release in October 2015; its early bird tier provides access to the game for $20 (€14.50).