Humanity shares its largest space station with everyone properly trained. But as tech advanced, it’s likely we’ll leave a few behind on our way through the stars. Outpost Delta shows us what space station defense systems may look like in the future. In this sci-fi adventure, a single drone and its AI companion must defend the remnants of an entire space station.
Outpost Delta Gameplay
The very first level of this sci-fi adventure introduces us to a nameless space station. After coming out of storage as Delta, I was greeted by an AI who called themselves Joule. Thanks to them, there are clear instructions on how to move around the level. The movement controls were your pretty standard fare, while Z decreased gravity and C increased it. Manipulating the gravity was very cool. While there was no gravity, Delta was able to fly around with ease. However, the defense drone can only do this for a short time. They can fly around. But this ability makes it easy to deplete the finite amount of fuel. It was surprising how quickly it depleted. This is very important to pay attention to. The first time out, I fell right into lasers and died.
Gravitational pull is indicated by a set of arrows: three red arrows and gravity was strongest. If the three were light blue, the gravity was completely off. When I pressed Z to get a single light blue arrow, I could ‘moon jump’ through the level. While that was no trouble, I found I wasn’t shooting correctly the whole time I was playing. Holding down the left mouse allowed for sustained fire. Till I had done it by accident, I didn’t know it was possible.
Enemies were not difficult. But if there were enough, a careless player might become overwhelmed. And be sure not to hit the right mouse button by accident either. I hit the button by accident and took too long to react. I was forced to go very far back from where I was. The game made up for it with a sweet laser beam weapon. Fortunately, it possesses infinite ammo. So using sustained fire is no problem.
The Remnants of Humanity
Humanity has always assumed they would leave a lasting legacy. Outpost Delta suggests that what we may leave is just a shell. A human space station has been falling apart for millennia. And just as its last systems begin to fail, an AI begins defense protocols. The player comes into the story at this point.
The game reminds me a lot of the sci-fi adventure Alien. And the enemies remind me greatly of the Metroid series. Awakening from storage, Delta is greeted by Joule and told he’s what’s left of humanity. Even if the drone is metal and wires, some might feel sympathetic to their fate. The drone has one objective: defend the space station from all outside threats. Those come in the form of the Klaath.
While playing as the defense drone, I had wondered something. What is it defending, exactly? While springing into action is admirable, I wondered if it was simply a lost cause. Does Joule ‘feel’ like helping Delta defend the space station? Or is it simply her programming guiding her forward?
If I Could Change One Thing
I found the game to be pretty amazing. The gravity manipulation was surprising. And it was lots of fun when I got to do it. While there were elements I loved, there was one I absolutely didn’t. The roadblock I ran into was the map. For a short while, I didn’t feel that I needed it. But when the time came, I struggled to understand it.
The “you are here” icon was a blurry yellow dot. And it blended in with the off-white borders for corridors. It took some time to understand the map. But I also would have appreciated having certain locations labeled. There also isn’t really a legend to tell people which icons mean what. There would have probably been more time adventuring and less deciphering a map. As such, I found myself getting repeatedly lost. This was because I wasn’t sure if certain places had already been visited. The last issue with the map was the corridors themselves. Instead of the hallways and elevator shafts being colored, they were see-through. Had the ‘fill’ color been solid, the map might not have been an issue.
Outpost Delta is a game worthy of its position in the Metroidvania genre. While the map was a huge issue, I still loved the game. Once I understood the map, I found it much easier to work my way through the derelict spaceship. Unfortunately, that didn’t prepare me for crushing myself with the elevator. Overall, I had a great time. It went through events at a steady pace. And it reminded me of my first experience with the Metroid series. Anyone looking for a new platformer to play should look no further, as Outpost Delta is the sci-fi adventure you’ve been waiting for.