Online's Outpost 2 - Divided Destiny
Bilodeau & Jim Bray
2 puts you in command of a colony on New Terra. The colonists have split
into two factions and you are the leader of yours. Besides managing the
resources necessary for your colonys survival, you must also guard
against attacks from your fellow colonists in the other settlement.
Outpost 2 has more
focus on the management skills than the combat. Bases are not necessarily
just built with a click; instead, you may have to train your people in
order to have the necessary skills to complete the task at hand. Theres
less action and more planning involved here. The graphics are small and
similar to each other which will also increase the amount of concentration
Just as some people
prefer chess to Risk, some may prefer the micro-management of Outpost
2 to a more action-oriented title.
The game is also quite
different from the original Outpost, which saw you burrowing madly underground
to build major portions of your Outpost. This version takes place on the
surface of your planet - though it does share one feature with its predecessor:
it unfolds at a pace that can most kindly be described as leisurely.
There are other similarities,
too. You still have to send out your robominers to bring ore back into
your colony - though this time you also have to set up routes for the
vehicles to haul all the stuff back to your base, kind of like you do
with your gold miners in WarCraft II. And later on you can start mining
for "rare" ores.
In fact the game is
quite similar in concept to the "Warcraft II" strategy games,
more so than the "simulation" type of game that characterized
the first edition.
Sierra says Outpost
2 plays in real time, which may explain its pace (it takes some four years
to get through university, after all!), and you have to learn how to balance
the management of your colony, controlling your construction and growth
so that it doesn't leave you lacking in research or materials. There are
24 different missions to try.
Naturally you'll be
tried by natural disasters - and you may run into some combative other
humans if you're not careful. Up to 6 players can take part in Outpost
2, playing competitively or cooperatively (guess which we chose!) over
the network or the Internet.
The screen is set
up in a quite straightforward manner. The main window shows you a bird's
eye view of your colony (or wherever else on the planet's surface you
want to see) and you can scroll around it by moving the cursor toward
the edge of the screen in the direction you want to go. The top right
secondary window shows you the whole gaming surface, while the lower right
window gives you information that varies depending upon what building,
vehicle, or report you've asked for. Between the two secondary windows
are a row of buttons that access the reports, including factories, labs,
resources (human and otherwise), communications, and the game options.
One thing we found
quite cool was the way day and night are represented, which made the game
As your colony builds
you make scientific discoveries that help you along, including ones that
allow you to build different types of buildings (like a vehicle factory
or hospital) or different types of vehicles.
There's a lot more
to this game than the first version and you may want to start with the
manual because there's so much to learn and if you don't learn it you'll
be toast - and so will all your loyal colonists. But if you're interested
in a good sim with which to while away some spare time, you might want
to check out Outpost 2.
is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. You can find more of his columns
can be reached via e-mail at StevenB@msn.com.
And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site
of The Edmonton Journal, at http://www.edmontonjournal.com.
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