Review – Outward Definitive Edition

When Outward originally released in 2019, I made my love of the game clear in my review. It was such an ambitious, unique, yet familiar title that managed to deliver on the promises of it’s premise. A RPG that put the adventure back in adventuring. One that was supremely difficult, but instead of relying on “YOU DIED” or “GAME OVER” had a bunch of defeat scenarios from being captured or robbed to really kick you while you were down. However if you’re looking for me gushing over the original game, look at my other review. Here, I’ll be focusing on the new changes in Outward Definitive Edition that make this the definitive version of an already great game.

The Definitive Edition is even better about the original’s love of using color, no brown and grey generic RPG here.

First off, there’s the DLC. The original game had quite an impressive tail of post launch support, though I never played myself. I’m glad I didn’t though, because Outward Definitive Edition takes all that DLC and organically merges it into the base game. The intention was for a new player to not even realize they’re playing something different, and it’s mission accomplished. Not only that, but feedback players had about the DLC has been taken into account. So content and mechanics have been tweaked and reworked in response as well. It’s so much more than the usual pack everything together and resell most of these collections end up being. See Darksiders.

The coolest part of the game remains the ability to go full splitscreen co-op, the only RPG I know to ever try something like it.

It’s not just the DLC that’s been reworked though, it’s the whole game. Really, the whole thing. In response to fan feedback, as well as things the developers themselves didn’t like, almost everything in the game was touched in some way. Combat and everything involved was rebalanced and smoothed out. Monster spawns in Dungeons were changed with an eye for difficulty and variety. To make things harder, to be clear, as this is Outward after all. And brutal RNG drops for quests and crafting have been smoothed out to be fairer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Finally, the graphics and music were touched up. In the case of music, it’s a lateral improvement. I already loved the music in the base game, and this is just more of what I loved, with more tunes added to the soundtrack. The graphical enhancements are more of a mixed bag however. An improvement over the original game to be sure, but that’s not saying much. It wasn’t a looker then, and it’s not a looker now. Even though the performance is much improved over the PS4 version, I still expected more on a PS5. Still, it’s great to play, and same-screen co-op is way more viable performance-wise now. Better than nothing, I guess.

Magic is complicated to learn and cast, but so very powerful to be worth it.

I can’t convey just how impressed I was with Outward Definitive Edition. I would have been happy with a standard THQ Nordic styled remastered collection, but it was so much more. It was almost on the same level as the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, which I still hold as the gold standard of re-releases. There was so much love and care poured into every part of it, and in many ways it feels like a brand new game. I can only hope that this isn’t the last we see of Outward or its delightfully brutal and ambitious style of RPG adventure.

Graphics: 7.0

It may be a graphical improvement over the original but that isn’t saying much, and while performance isn’t bad, it should still be better, considering the hardware.

Gameplay: 9.0

The Definitive Edition polishes, refines, and merges everything from the base game and DLC to deliver something special.

Sound: 10

The music is still absolutely fantastic, now with more tracks for greater variety.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Outward is a game that’s genuinely satisfying to figure out and conquer. This Definitive Edition fixes a lot of its older issues, resulting in a much more enjoyable experience.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Outward Definitive Edition is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and PC.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Outward Definitive Edition was provided by the publisher.