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The Outsider is an upcoming action/adventure for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC currently in development by Frontier Developments. A release date has not been officially announced, the game was set to release Christmas 2009 but failed to meet that date. A publisher has yet to be announced as well, so things are subject to change.
The Outsider takes place in and around a living, crowded city based on present day Washington DC. The player takes control of a CIA operative and as such gets access to an arsenal of technology, combat talents and weaponry. Something which may prove useful as he, in the game's opening scenario, gets wrongfully accused and ends up as the Public Enemy Number One in the eyes of the media and the public at large. This leaves many different ways to proceed: to wreak ultra-violent revenge, to turn the tables and exploit the shady organisations he is mixed up with for his own ends or crusading to clear his name.
The main feature of The Outsider is how it moves away from the storytelling format prevalent in most games. Its ambition is to weave the story into the gameplay by simulating the characters' aims and motivations, which will give players the freedom to form their own story by interacting with and manipulating these characters. The idea is to give each player his own truly unique experience, which he himself is responsible for.
David Braben, founder of Frontier Developments, talks about potential practical implications:
“With this new approach all the characters exist in the game from the start, and their future actions are not pre-determined - their involvement can be pre-empted by the player, making for some interesting gameplay mechanics second-guessing what is going on, and novel replay value. If you're a contrary gamer like me, who is always wanting to go down the side route, to shoot the character giving the long speech-to-camera, to do the unexpected, then this is the only way forward.“