The Outer Worlds’ Senior Designer Brian Heins, has said that their aim is to make the game’s story be in grey, not divided in black and white. These comments are important at a time when the debate around whether games should be political is heating up.
Heins said that their goal was “to give the player enough grey. The good side isn’t purely good, the dark side isn’t purely dark. It’s all different shades of the individual motivations of the characters.”
The Outer Worlds is being called the spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas. Part of the reason behind this is that Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, alumni of Fallout, are at the helm of this project. So when Boyarsky said that this game was not focused on criticizing political ideologies, there was much confusion since Fallout is known for doing just that. The senior narrative director of Outer Worlds then clarified that there would be political themes but that wasn’t the ultimate focus.
The Outer Worlds is based in outer space, where corporations have colonized different planets. Some believe that this could be a perfect analogy of the current world. Heins says that is not so. The world is based on the dynamics of early 1900s America. There, the industrialists and robber barons were grabbing for power until the US Government introduced regulations. This game wonders if in The Outer Worlds, this has not been so.
But you have to remember the game is set in outer space and has its fair share of sci fi elements.
Heins told GamesIndustry.biz, that the level of corporate interference was very different in the game. The game’s corporations have a level of control that real life corporations don’t. According to him, this lent a certain kind of absurdity to the games.
However, there are “echoes” of real life because all of us have been annoyed by bureaucracy at times.
Heins said that the reason they didn’t want to make the corporations seem like “big faceless evil corporations”, is because they aren’t. He had been on the inside and they were not faceless or evil.
He talked about how he had experience with Ea, Take-Two, Rockstar and now, Microsoft. And that had made him understand that there was a reason behind every decision. But these decisions were not explained to all individuals.
The Outer Worlds subverts the trope that the Board, the group that oversees the corporations running each colony is evil. You see the events unfolding from their perspective as well.
Taking this approach forward, there aren’t clear cut good or bad choices. All the choices will a proper rationale behind them and proper consequences.
The Outer World will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch.