The Prototype That Was Outcast
Appeal, the developer of the action-adventure game Outcast, released on the PC back in 1999 by Infogrames, was working on a sequel. Outcast 2: The Lost Paradise, was in development and was going to be released on PC and PS2, but was cancelled around 2001. Before the project was canned, they had a real-time prototype running on a PS2 Dev Console, which, to be honest, was looking quite amazing.
Watching the video, which shows the prototype running, if this was running on a PS2, one can only imagine what would the PC version have looked like? The game had similar high quality visuals, which you would find in a game like Far Cry 2. The draw distance is amazing; also, the polygon count appears to be high to make the environment look realistic. I also liked the way that Appeal made the snow 3D, and not the usually 2D sprite stuff, which developers used back in the day.
The characters were very detailed, and they managed to get some good facial expressions, which was something that developers struggled with back then. The game played smoothly, and even when action was happening the frame-rate seemed to stay steady. Indoor visuals maybe did not offer much different to what was out at the time, but to be honest, there was not a lot they could do different with the furniture and walls, that was not done already. And vehicle interiors, like corridors in planes do not need much detail as in real life we don't really look and say "Wow look at that wall, doesn't it look amazing?"
It was a great shame this was cancelled when it was, as looking at the technical aspect of the game this could have given Halo 2 a run for its money. And I do honestly believe that if the PC had some killer rival to Bungie's Halo series, then we could have seen it as a franchise on our beloved gaming platform, instead of the really poor effort that the first Halo title was, which ran like Master Chief had been drugged. Let us just hope that this will see the light of day again, even if it's a Kickstarter project to help get the funding it deserves.
For those, who miss this game, thanks to a project called OpenOutcast there is going to be a fan-made sequel named Outcast: Legacy of the Yods. The developer team managed to get a testbuild version online, so any bugs and glitches can be sorted out and then a demo can be released for the fans to play. A copy of the free Crysis Wars trial needs to be installed in order to play. The best news is that it will be free.