With the PSN down GameFAQs user Pookistan used his free time to try the MMO “Outside”. This is his review:
My full review of Outside:
First off, it claims there’s no monthly fee when it’s more expensive than any other MMORPG I’ve ever played - The fact of the matter is that even the smallest of gameplay mechanics usually costs money that comes directly out of the users’ pocket! The more you play, the more you pay.
The second claim is of a massive world to explore but when it’s filled with mostly mundane and uninspired environments that’re repetitious and bland it kinda’ defeats the purpose. If that wasn’t enough to ruin the game the exploration aspect is almost completely eliminated because players have different sections they reserve for themselves which make up much of the world - Administrator’s also have no quarrel with suspending an account even if you’re just exploring for the sake of exploring and end up “somewhere you’re not supposed to be.” Beyond that the administrators all play the game, which can lead to a conflict of interests, and can be caught cheating regularly!
It also boasts “incredible NPC AI” when, really, their AI is generally flawed beyond words and oftentimes makes you wonder why you even bother playing the game at all - I mean, seriously, if I have to listen to another NPC talk about the latest rap song I might do something rash. If they were instilled with a little bit of originality and/or intellegence to their uses of dialogue it would have saved this aspect but, no…
“Over 56,400 character archetypes” is a stageringly large number but the fact that when you join the game your character is randomly generated, including gender, renders any significance that number would have to character creation obsolete. Beyond that, classes are grossly unbalanced and the difficulty level is set by what gender you are (Male - Hard, Female - Easy). The fact that you can only create one character and once he/she is dead it’s permanent makes the whole game a rather unenjoyable and borderline frustrating ordeal.
They also claim that it supports “PvP” which wouldn’t be a problem for me if it didn’t overshadow the cooperative aspect of the game ten-fold! Most players are immune to suggestion and have a mentality of “well, what are you going to do for me” which makes it a chore to get anything accomplished that you don’t set out to do yourself (you know it’s a bad MMORPG when 80% of what you do you do solo). Just as a side-note I’ve noticed that women in particular use the “block messages” feature wayyy too much even if you’re completely polite and refuse to help most men - The fact that their difficulty is set to easy makes this even more frustrating (why do I work twice as hard as this girl but she’s a much higher level than me?).
Finally, the “highest resolution graphics” they claim the game supports is certainly impressive but the fact that you can’t turn the 3D off is somewhat frustrating especially when you take into consideration the fact that a little under half of the userbase requires glasses to see it without it looking like a blurry mess! Although I have no problem with 3D I don’t like wearing glasses to see it properly and I really don’t like having the option to disable it.
Though that’s it for the claims that’re made in that ad I can also safely say that there’s more broken systems in that game then I know what to do with even if you disregard the unbalanced classes, gender bias, and administrator cheating. There’s no HUD which oftentimes leads to confusion and you can’t even tell if/when you’re gaining experince or leveling up, you can merely observe your level in relation to other peoples’ level - It’s just unorthodox and doesn’t work very well.
In this games’ defense I will say that it has absolutely fantastic physics and weather effects but if you do anything interesting with them you’re likely to be met with an administrative backlash - Why have the streets full of cars if you’ll get suspended for driving fast through them? Why have weapons readily available if using them will do the same? It’s somewhat understandable given the risk to your character as well as others but, seriously, everything fun is met by administrative discipline! There’s even visualization mods available that’re awesome but, again, will get you suspended - The only exception is one sanctioned one that actually kills your player the more you use it even more-so than the unsanctioned ones (WTF!?)!
All-in-all it ends up feeling like it’s still a primitive beta - I mean all the glitches have been ironed out but very little works how it should. Every time I go back I wonder why I even bother playing at all which is why I generally play other games that aren’t so flawed - I know of a ton of other games that are more satisfying and certainly more fair that cost a lot less to play. In the end I’m guessing it’s probably going to be a relief when my player dies so I don’t have to play it again - Though the administrator’s are mostly to blame, a lot of the blame goes to the userbase as well. It’s just obvious that this game is a mere shadow of what it could’ve been but bad choices by the administrator’s for the sake of instant gratification and wealth have made it into a pretty monumentally bad experience…
PS - The sex minigame is interesting but the fact that it can kill the player without warning is kinda’ messed up (some think it’s a glitch and some think it’s a joke the administrator’s put in to amuse themselves)…