Adventure gamers looking for something off the beaten path get more than they bargain for in Outcry. This point-and-click exercise in the surreal from Russian developer Phantomery Interactive is certainly a step removed from the norm, but it\'s also so relentlessly strange and impenetrable that it\'s nearly impossible to play. Style has been elevated over substance in every aspect of the design, resulting in a trippy game that\'s appealing only for its bizarre atmosphere, philosophical pretensions, and striking visuals.
Even the basic storyline is tough to figure out, because you\'re given little to go on. The game begins with the anonymous protagonist (you have to check the manual to find out that you\'re a \"middle-aged writer\") receiving a letter from his estranged brother. Apparently your brother is a scientist working on a \"paramount experiment that unlocks new horizons of human cognition\" and involves getting \"in precise sync with inner frequencies.\" The letter he sends you is tangled and nonsensical, and it hurls you into the game knowing precisely zip about what you\'re supposed to be doing. Getting the news that your brother has disappeared is the only part of the game\'s opening that is the slightest bit understandable. Various documents and recordings left around his abandoned residence seem to indicate that his experiment involved ancient megaliths, time travel, checking out alternate dimensions, separating human consciousness from the body, coming up with a recipe for really great salsa...that sort of thing. You eventually uncover a grab bag of goofiness about ancient secrets and the nature of reality. Still, none of it really connects. Either something was lost in the translation from the original Russian, or the storyline was just too New Agey in the first place.