Video Game Thoughts: Outpost 2

Outpost 2: Divided Destiny was a 1997 real-time strategy game by Dynamix for the PC. I got this game at a local swap meet. The vendor was probably illegally selling it. His booth had a mountain of Outpost 2 boxes. I think he found them in a dumpster somewhere and was now trying to make some money off of them. Outpost 2 wasn’t that great of a game. It didn’t sell well, so it’s believable that a video game store threw a bunch of copies out.

Despite the game being average, I did have some fun in it. I liked the whole story behind it. Earth had been mostly destroyed by a massive asteroid. A few humans were able to get off the planet in time to search for a new Earth, with the hopes to restart human civilization. The planet they found looked like a good place. They set up prefab shelters and started “terraforming” the land into the earth that humanity loves. The conflict in the game came from two sources. First, humans were not united in this task. There were two factions with very different ideas on how to go about turning the planet into a new Earth. All the missions had the player fighting the opposing faction.

The other source of conflict was “The Blight”. Early on, an experiment gone wrong in the process of terraforming created this mysterious chemical that was capable of breaking down organic matter into the base atoms. The Blight was the main enemy in most of the missions. I was always fighting time to complete the mission objectives before The Blight hit my base.

The basic story was pretty cool to me, but I never got into the gameplay much. I just hated that nearly every mission had a strict time limit. I wanted to build as many units as possible, research all the technologies, explore the whole mission map area, and more. That wasn’t possible in Outpost 2. I was constantly being pushed to complete missions fast. Even the single player skirmish mode (Colony mode) tended to have time limits. I did like that this game was more about base building then destroying the other faction. It felt like a game of SimCity but with some simple combat options to fight enemy cities instead of just city management. Unfortunately, that whole thing was counteracted by every mission being timed.

The graphics and sound were passable but nothing amazing. I didn’t find anything memorable about them. The campaign was also anti-climactic. I am pretty sure the developers planned a third game to wrap up the story, but Outpost 2 never did well enough to warrant a sequel. Instead, players were left with a bad ending. The colonists had hope, but nothing good came of it.

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