Composed by
Lennie Moore

 

Published by
Infogrames (1999)

 

Tracklistings
1) Prelude
2) Daokas
3) Soldier's Camp
4) Heaven on Adelpha
5) World of Marshes
6) Fatally Wounded
7) Main Theme
8) The Ancient Forest World
9) Watch Out!
10) Let's Fight
11) World of Snow
12) World of Temples
13) Main Theme (Reprise)
14) Oriental Spirit
15) World of Mountains
16) Orchestra Rehearsal
17) Ulukai Dance

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Liner Notes
- Interview

 

Availability
- Get It For FREE!
- Soundtrack available on game disc 2

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Outcast

There just aren't enough action-adventure games! The same thought must have occurred to Belgian developer Appeal when they decided to create the action-adventure game Outcast in 1999. It was in many ways groundbreaking for the genre and for games in general: It was one of the first titles to feature a huge living and breathing world and non-linear gameplay and, more importantly, it was also one of the first titles to feature a real orchestra to perform its score.

Composer Lennie Moore took full advantage of this opportunity and created a score of epic proportions. Every section of The Moscow Symphony Orchestra was put to full use from the brass to the big string and percussion sections completed with exotic instrumentation like the duduk. One of the biggest impacts on the score has the choir though that often takes the lead of the track and adds another layer of grandeur.

The game features five worlds the player can travel to. Each of these has its own landscape and challenges. And each of them has its own musical track that completely merges with the atmosphere of the corresponding world and never ceases to amaze. The “World of Temples” a world that is characterized through its green and lush lowlands features an emotional and soft track with choir giving the impression of quietness and comfort. Completely unlike the “World of Marshes”, a dark and menacing swamp, in which high strings and punctuated brass lets you shiver. Of special interest and one of the best track of the album is the exotic, eastern-influenced cue for the World of the City (“Oriental Spirit”) which features a duduk (eastern woodwind with a very characteristic sound). Each of these tracks is about seven minutes long and thereby seldom repetitive even though they continuously loop.

The battle tracks have a very game-adapted structure starting quietly at first, with percussion only, to underscore the start of a fight that could just as quickly be over again if you were facing one enemy alone, for example. The longer a battle goes on the more energetic and powerful the track becomes thus reacting to the fact that a pretty big battle might be going on at the moment. As soon as all enemies are defeated the battle music fades out giving way to the ambient track. There are three battle tracks in total which isn't that much but they all are about six minutes in length so they seldom get on your nerves. One could argue that the all the action cues are too similar in terms of structure and instrumentation which is true. Creating specific battle tracks for each area would've helped immensely in making the battles more interesting, especially if the theme of that particular area was somehow worked into the track so you always knew which world you were fighting on. Who wouldn’t love to hear the duduk in an action arrangement? But even without that speciality, the battle tracks serve their job very well and add tempo and excitement to the fighting.

Another downside of the score becomes evident when you look at the cut-scenes of the game. Sadly, there are no specific tracks for these in-game movies whatsoever. It is a real pity because they all have a very cinematic feel to them and are crying out for a suitable underscore. The only exception to this might be the ending movie of the game which features an emotional and adapted track for that scene although the very same track is used for the End Credits of the game as well.

Each single track is skilfully orchestrated and performed. The instrumentation is solid throughout although it closely follows your typical, classical arrangement. The big string and brass sections are welcome and the percussion adds rhythm to the mix. Nevertheless, a few more exotic instruments like the duduk or more experimental orchestrations at some points certainly wouldn’t have hurt in bringing a sci-fi fantasy world to life.

Overall, the positive sides of the score heavily outnumber the negative ones. It's simply a superb score with excellent writing, orchestration and performance. It rivals many movie scores and impressively shows how far game music has come in the last few years.