If you’re a fan of Fallout New Vegas then you’ll definitely know Obsidian Entertainment. You’ll even most likely be familiar with their other titles such as the Pillars of Eternity or even the Star Wars title, Knights of the Old Republic. The studio’s latest endeavor is The Outer Worlds. Have they nailed it yet again?
One thing to make very evident about The Outer Worlds from the get go is that it’s not an open-world game. The game is actually linear but takes players to different locales/hubs of exploration.
I could compare the maps and traveling of the game to Destiny, actually. The difference mainly lies within what you actually do when you’re in each of these areas. It’s not a giant sandbox Mojave Desert type locale that you’d see in your average RPG.
While I understand and also enjoy the appeal of a good open world role playing game, I see why a linear approach can sometimes be seen as better. The areas that The Outer Worlds has to offer, definitely aren’t devoid of activity in any way. You’ll find yourself pretty busy and spending a lot of time in each area you go to, don’t worry about that.
Each planet also widely vary from the last in terms of visual representation. I really liked how each area had its completely own identity and role in the grand scheme of The Outer Worlds’ main story. The story itself starts with your character being thawed out of a cryostasis pod.
The beauty of the protagonist in the Outer Worlds is how absolutely nothing about them has been written or established. They are a completely blank slate who’s only established role is in exploring the rim of the galaxy that they are in essentially. This task is given to them by the same scientist that dug them out of cryo. This reminds me of how the Courier in New Vegas had nothing about them told except for their one time job as a mailman.
After you’ve been given your ship to go exploring in, The Outer Worlds turns into almost a video game adaption of the Firefly series. The premise and setting are very similar, a renegade group of misfits solving problems in an intergalactic journey. What’s not to like?
The companions are also a major feature of the game since they’re what make up your crew. You know what I mean right? The RPG companions that follow you around, do what you do and occasionally stare off into the distance wondering what’s what while occasionally just following you around and blocking you in doorways.
The usual standard companion stuff. The Outer Worlds companions don’t match up in depth with games like let’s say Mass Effect. However, each ally comes with a nicely established character and personality with their own takes on pretty much everything wherever you go. They also have their own preferences and affiliations and don’t just remain a blank slate following your orders. Fooor the most part.
The core gameplay of The Outer Worlds itself can be pretty condensed into being one conversation after another. You go from talking to this person to negotiating with that person to relaying a message to this person. A lot of the time in the game will be spent in that awkward Oblivion style zoom in on a character’s face during a conversation.
The reason this doesn’t become boring is owed to Obsidian Entertainment’s talent for writing of course. That, coupled with the fact that most of these conversations are crucial in the progression of each storyline also helps.
Finally, the most potent agreement of these interactions is how you have an effect on them since The Outer Worlds is in fact an RPG and these conversation are at the core of Outer World’s gameplay. The stats and attributes you pick and establish for your character all play a part in how exactly you’ll be tackling these issues. Including what sort of options you have.
The Outer World’s combat in between the aforementioned conversations isn’t something to just sleep on either. The combat scenarios can be fun to experience on the different locales the game has to offer.
I also like how the flaw system was mixed in with how getting detected multiple times in a restricted area would actually add to your character rather than just be a one time mistake. This also encouraged players to play on their toes, especially in hardcore mode where it wasn’t actually an option to reject a flaw that the game put on you.
The gunplay in The Outer Worlds wasn’t that bad either. You could really feel the kick in each weapon and utilize them to their maximum potential when you invest in your gun skill tree.
Every skill line is a playstyle of its own which is something I really like about the Roleplaying aspect of The Outer Worlds. The melee playstyle wasn’t something I tried much of since I’ll admit that the close range weapons didn’t have the same oomph as the guns.
The enemy types did vary based on locale and quest but they had recurring patterns throughout. You had long range back benchers, melee specialists running in your face and different animal archtypes like dogs and large flying bugs to name a few. I wasn’t taken aback or surprised at any point by the new creatures that would pop up and nothing really intimidated me as much as a Deathclaw did back in the day.
The Outer Worlds also has a recurring theme of corporations vs slum squatters in a manner of speaking. While the theme is pretty overused in modern media, it fits really well with the atmosphere of space traveling adventures that the game throws you into. It also does a great job of landing the dark and morbid humor that Obsidian Entertainment has always been good at implementing in their video games.
The Outer Worlds is available now for the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC on the Epic Games Store exclusively. I’d definitely recommend RPG and Firefly lovers to give this game a try.