The on-screen action gets much more intense than this...
Each area has it's own unique look, and the painted backgrounds are beautiful. A magical guiding light will mark your path. Think of a prettier version of the golden breadcrumbs from Fable 3 and you've got the idea. As you progress through each level you'll eventually come to a giant door which requires a key to open. You'll have to travel further in to the level to find the key and bring it back. The game is designed very well in that the levels feed back into themselves. What I mean by this is that you will eventually come across a giant door with some monster emblazoned on its surface. The guiding light will take you off in another direction. After navigating through another area (sometimes several areas) you'll eventually find your way back to the giant door without feeling like you just retraced your steps. Behind the ominous door is a (surprise) a boss. The boss fights in Outland are challenging and satisfying, which is all you can ask for is a boss fight. After each boss is defeated you get a small dose of story and then the next area of your hub opens.
Outland is a very good action platformer. What makes it even better is that you can enjoy the entire campaign online with a friend. Sorry, no local co-op. Once you begin playing you'll see why. The platforming elements require a full screen display to complete. Split screen would leave players making blind jumps, and a shared screen would be a nightmare, therefore players are not restricted to the same screen. They can both be at different areas as long as they are in the same level.
Throughout the world there are a handful of co-op challenges. These cannot be completed by a single player. Once you have unlocked them, these levels can either be entered from their location in the game world or accessed through the main menu. They are decently challenging and mostly rely on timing type elements for co-op players to progress. Outland also offers an Arcade mode, which is basically a time-attack scenario where players can challenge online leaderboards. The Arcade mode can be played in either single player or co-op.
...that's more like it.
Game progression is saved on the host player's game. On the Xbox 360 Outland allows three save slots per profile. They can be used for either single player or co-op. For example, I have a save slot for my single player game, and another save slot for my co-op game. If you are a joining player you won't have a save data on your own profile. I didn't get to see how co-op worked for the PS3, due to the PSN outage. We did have a few issues with lag here and there, but overtime it seems to clear itself up.
Overall, Outland is a stellar experience for ten dollars.. The controls are tight, the visual style is captivating, and the gameplay is challenging.
The Co-Op Experience: Story co-op and co-op challenge rooms for two online players.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.