E3 2012: Outernauts is the true Pokemon experience on Facebook

Outernauts preview
Outernauts preview

When we first heard word of Insomniac Games' first Facebook game, Outernauts, we jokingly dubbed it "Pokemon in space." After some time with the game during E3 2012 in Los Angeles, we can safely say that our description was no joke. However, Outernauts seems to have a leg up on the competition where other similar games fall flat: story, environment and combat.

Outernauts sets players in the shoes of an Outernaut, which is kind of like an astronaut, but one out to do more than just explore the galaxy. It's the Outernauts' job to capture various alien beasts and study them in hopes of bringing them closer to an ancient alien artifact. Of course, another organization known as Sludge Co. is after the very same relic, but for nefarious reasons, no doubt.


This mission to beat Sludge Co. to the artifact spans numerous planets, all presented in a charming '50s art style not found in too many Facebook games much less games at all. Just like in Pokemon, people settle their disputes using the alien beasts they've captured for study, which come with a number of interesting abilities to use in battle. While the game's many environments employ light puzzles to make navigating the world a bit more interesting, the battles are where its at.

When players encounter Sludge Co. goons, they'll get to do battle in up to three versus three bouts. Since each alien beast has four attacks to choose from, many of which pack extra status effects, its pays to learn what each attack does. Players can set up an enemy monster for destruction using their various alien beasts' abilities in conjunction. It's this type of strategy that games like Pokemon do so well, and other Facebook games in the monster-catching sub genre have failed to.

Outernauts screens
Outernauts screens

It certainly helps that Outernauts has character in spades. Everything from the various monsters (and their evolutions) to the cast of characters, Outernauts is all about making its world and characters memorable. This is designed to be Insomniac's next big franchise, after all. Whether that will be the case on Facebook, a platform generally intended for adults, will be interesting to see pan out.

Based on our first impressions, Outernauts deserves such a following at the very least. We've been holding out for a full-featured Pokemon-like game on Facebook for some time, and with a lengthy story campaign as well as player versus player features , Outernauts could very well be just that. Plus, it helps to be absolutely adorable.

Are you excited about Outernauts on Facebook? Does this sound like the monster-catching experience you've been waiting for? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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