The horror genre holds a very special place in my heart. Ever since I was exposed to Ringu at a young age, I’ve been chasing a very specific feeling that only scary movies, comics, and games can fill. That feeling isn’t fear, either, but a very unique sense of tension and fascination that the genre can pull out of it’s most obsessed fans.
Outer Terror is very obviously made by people who feel that same calling to the dark and spooky side of media. The inspiration from the Golden Age of horror comics in the 80’s and 90’s is plastered all over the game, to the point where every level serves as an interactive horror comic of its own.
This unique presentation is enough for me to give Outer Terror a recommendation because you’re definitely not going to find anything else like it on the market right now. Fanboying aside, however, I do still have to give the game a fair review, and most people who aren’t already sold on the presentation of the game are going to be wondering how it plays. What kind of gamers is this game going to appeal to? How well does it excite as an action roguelike?
My answer? It’s kind of a mixed bag.
Outer Terror is an action-adventure-arcade-roguelike, which is a very long-winded way of saying that the game plays a lot like Vampire Survivors. Various weapons and boons will make it easier to tackle an increasingly larger horde of enemies. Your character will periodically and automatically use the items you stack on them, with the only player involvement needed being movement, dashing, and the use of a few key items.
It is a gameplay style popularized by the aforementioned Vampire Survivors and one that I haven’t seen too many games emulating since (for a lack of trying on my part, I’m sure.) I think Outer Terror uses the mechanics really well, and it fits with the overall look and vibe of the game.
Though Outer Terror is a horror game, it’s not going to scare you. Think of it more like a B-List Monster movie. There are definitely terrifying themes at play, but it’s more about having a good time and being fascinated by the creepy monsters than it is about scaring your pants off.
You begin a level in Outer Terror by selecting from a list of Comic titles, each one bringing a unique story, setting, and enemies to face. I was quick to notice an SCP story in the lineup, which I thought was a neat little tie-in.
At this point, I should mention that I played an early release, review copy of this game. My experience with the game may not be the same as yours, so please keep in mind that some changes have probably been made by the time you’re reading this!
You’re going to like some of the stories more than others. The weakest, in my opinion, was actually the aforementioned SCP title, which I thought felt really incomplete and had strange pacing. I’m actually pretty sure, after viewing the store page, that this story is no longer SCP related at all in the final game.
My favorite was definitely The Gray Death, which might not be the story’s title on launch. This story follows an old and terrible god giving its “gift” to humanity, forcing them into giant twisted flesh mounds ala James Gunn’s Slither. This is also the level that seemed to play as intended the best, as some of the others in my copy featured bugs or seemingly scrapped gameplay mechanics that I’m sure won’t make it into the final game.
Once you’re in your story, the gameplay is two part. First, you move your character about the screen, shooting increasingly large hordes of monsters and collecting experience. Once you have enough experience to level up, you can select from one of three weapons to add to your periodic firing. This is the game’s roguelike element.
The second part of the gameplay involves traversing the map, interacting with NPCs, and continuing the story, such as helping a professor secure a town from the hordes of gray death. Like I said, you’re going to like certain stories better than others, and that will affect your enjoyment of the level.
The game has a number of different characters that you can play, each with their own special abilities. Initially, you should only be able to play the two characters tied to a comic’s story, but with my copy, I was able to select the whole roster after playing the story with the desired characters once.
One of the best things this game has going for it is the co-op, allowing two players to take on the levels at once. While I wasn’t able to try this out personally, I could definitely see how this game would be a lot more fun with a friend.
There isn’t much more to say about Outer Terror. It is a neat, short game with a unique presentation you aren’t going to find anywhere else. Each level will take maybe an hour or more for you to finish, and probably less with a friend.
I imagine the devs will continue to add more stories in the future, giving this game a potentially endless lifespan. With the addition of these, alongside new weapon buffs and enemy types on occasion, I don’t see Outer Terror getting old too quickly for anyone who can latch onto the simple but addictive play style.
The Final Word
Outer Terror is a game with a unique presentation and a tried and true, deceptively addicting gameplay model. The enjoyment time of this game will definitely vary from person to person, but fans of similar games are sure to find plenty of hours of fun in this title.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Outer Terror is available on Steam and Epic Games.