Outrage is a ghost of a game. There's next to no information out there about this highly underrated WipeOut clone from NMS Software, only speculation and deduction. So few online words are written about it I wonder whether it ever existed at all, and there's ample evidence to say that it didn't. Whether its release was cancelled, buried or massively overlooked, its obscurity is nothing less than an Outrage.
What I have managed to find is that this was once conceived as a sequel of sorts to that Windows '95 package game Hover. Within its code, the name Hover is referenced along with a Microsoft copyright and the codename MD2. I've seen some speculate that this might mean "Microsoft Direct3D Example 2" and might refer to it being a showcase title or demo for Direct X 2. Under NMS Software's entry on Mobygames, it states that while the game went gold, it never got released thanks to the company going under in March of 1999. Then again, the copyright for this game embedded within its data says 1998 so who knows. I did find one Australian forum member at BetaArchive claim to have the original CD that was published by GT Interactive's Value Division, but not the packaging. A leaked copy perhaps? I've found no other reference to it in GT Interactive or GT Value's back catalogue.
Either way, the game itself is very much a WipEout clone, and competently done one at that, even it was to be a budget title (if it ever released that is). There are 6 stages (and their reversed alternatives) which have an open world feel to them. Not only does the road ahead branch off at different times, you can also travel away from the set track to find hidden bonuses or areas. This is where the 'budget' label of the title is most obvious. Some hidden branches take far longer to race down than the obvious route so if you ever want to get first, forget about exploring. Your hover car has to pass under checkpoints in order before you cross the finish line and it'll become very time consuming to reach them again if you miss it.
The game does have weapons, but not a damage system. Cars will simply slow down to a crawl if hit. Power-ups are plentiful, their glowing multicolour orbs scatter each stage with abundance. They're not always placed in the optimal location, though. Every one of these small balls have a risk attached to their reward, making their collection not entirely worth it. A little more time in the Q&A stage could've fixed this, but then it is a budget title. Or a cancelled one.
At higher difficulties, your hover cars play more like bumber cars than futuristic racing machines. This option is tied to the choice of vehicles with 2 available for each setting. It's the kind of difficulty that feels unfair and a little broken when compared to the likes of WipEout or Rollcage. Those games managed to be insanely hard, yet it was always a test of skill and dexterity rather than patience. Lower difficulties play much better while still retaining an adequate challenge as you speed through the interestingly desined courses.
In the end, Outrage is a pretty good time. It's fairly featureful for a budget title and solidly polished for one that apparently never saw a release. There are a few niggles here and there, but these are ones that can be easily overlooked at a budget pricepoint. Even if it did actually come to market, Outrage is unfairly forgotten. It deserves more of a spotlight for those who like their futuristic racers like I do. An ultimate find of an extremely hidden gem.
To download the game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DxWind and dgVoodoo to run on modern systems. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 137 Mb. Install Size: 226 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Outrage is © NMS Software
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me