The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is a new single-player first-person sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division.
Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
The player-driven story RPG: In keeping with the Obsidian tradition, how you approach The Outer Worlds is up to you. Your choices affect not only the way the story develops; but your character build, companion stories, and end game scenarios.
You can be flawed, in a good way: New to The Outer Worlds is the idea of flaws. A compelling hero is made by the flaws they carry with them. While playing The Outer Worlds, the game tracks your experience to find what you aren't particularly good at. Keep getting attacked by Raptidons? Taking the Raptiphobia flaw gives you a debuff when confronting the vicious creatures, but rewards you with an additional character perk immediately. This optional approach to the game helps you build the character you want while exploring Halcyon.
Lead your companions: During your journey through the furthest colony, you will meet a host of characters who will want to join your crew. Armed with unique abilities, these companions all have their own missions, motivations, and ideals. It's up to you to help them achieve their goals, or turn them to your own ends.
OS Windows 7 (SP1) 64bit
Intel Core i3-3225 or AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
Nvidia GTX 650 Ti or AMD HD 7850
11 hours main story
22 hours main plus extra
34 hours completionist
October 25th, 2019
PS4, Xbox One, PC (platform reviewed)
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Private Division
Rating: M for Mature
The Outer Worlds was first announced at the 2018 Game Awards. Obsidian had a long run of creating action RPGS, including Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the cult classic and criminally underrated Alpha Protocol. While it seems Obsidian has been quiet the past few years, they’ve actually been hard at work releasing the Pillars of Eternity games. Also looming in the backgrounds was the Microsoft acquisition of Obsidian.
Much to my surprise, The Outer Worlds was still released on PS4. The Outer Worlds is a sci-fi, first-person, action RPG game I feel we’ve been waiting for, especially after the industry has had to endure Mass Effect Andromeda, and Anthem. I don’t mean to beat up on those games too much as they do have redeeming qualities and offer fun. But The Outer Worlds delivers where those games certainly choked.
Violence: The Outer Worlds is a violent game. It contains guns, flamethrowers, and melee weapons. certainly not for the faint of heart blood spatters in gunfights and melee.
With plasma weapons and flame enemies scream in pain, the catch fire, burn and end up as piles of ash one of my favorite details.
Alcohol and Drug Use:- One of your companions is an alcoholic, you spend time in taverns bars, you can buy and consume alcohol.
Profanity: Words such as sh!t d@mn f&ck bit@h are heard frequently in dialogue and firefights
Canabalism: During a quest you come across a strange family who turn out to be cannibals. This quest is reminicent of a similar adventure in Fallout 3.
I don’t recall any sexual content dialogue or nudity. In fact, the player cannot romance other NPCs, but one extended sidequest involves the player hooking up NPCs with each other.
If violence or foul language is a barrier for you, don’t play this game.
Religion: There is a faction called the Iconoclasts. This group is an anti-corporatist whose co-leader who refers to Philosophism, to spur his movement. I joined this faction because a side quest involves repairing a printing press which was an important item in church history. Alternatively, Maximillian DeSoto, a companion, is a memeber of The Order of Scientific Inquiry. This faith is the opposite of the Philosophists, who are pro-corpratist.
The story of The Outer Worlds is fun and unique, with dark and twisted humor popping up during deeply inappropriate times. Mega corporations are in charge and colonize and terraform alien worlds. The corporations promise work and citizenship. Similar to the action sci-fi movie Starship troopers. To aid in colonization, massive ships are used to transport huge amounts of settlers. However, one of the ships goes off track and is presumed as lost in space. But the starship Hope is discovered and a mad scientist-type character named Phineas has found the Hope, and slowly starts reanimating those colonizers from their hyper sleep. The only thing is, the ship has been drifting for 70 years and has mostly been forgotten by most people. This fact comes up in dialogue options with your character. But Then Phineas awakens your character. You are then are able to customize your character, his or her background, starting traits and perks. After that point you embark on a mission of saving your Hope shipmates as well as bringing down the establishment.
You will work with a great crew of companions, fight or join factions, and explore vast and varied alien worlds. One of my favorite planets to explore is Monarch. It is a beautiful planet full of marauders, enemy factions, a family of cannibals, and crazy wildlife who want nothing more than to spit acid in your face or tear you limb from limb. I mentioned Starship Troopers above, and I feel that book/movie was a direct inspiration for some of the praying mantis like alien beasts you’ll fight, as well as the heveay corporatist presence. They are swift and tough, and can easily one-shot you if you’re unprepared. Even though Monarch is dangerous, I still plan on wrapping up all of its sidequests.
A second planet of interest is Byzantium. It’s like going to an elitist country club you don’t belong in, on the scale of an entire city. You’re an outsider, the residents aren’t shy about you letting you know that you are inferior. There are other worlds to explore but I don’t want to spoil your discoveries.
I hate to do this, but The Outer Worlds is a deeply political game. It addresses classism and consumerism, with a heavy poor vs. wealthy contrast. The game takes a deep dive at a how corporations treat employees by hiding information, diverting resources from where they should be used, and promising programs like early retirement when they are not what is actually advertized. I see similarities with the movie Idiocracy and The Outer Worlds. Music here consists of lines from corporate slogans and commercials, and the people just buy-in. Its funny because some of the dialog I heard from NPC is some of the same language I used when I was an assistant manager for one of the world’s largest retailers.
Gameplay-wise, The Outer Worlds is great. It’s similar to first-person shooting RPG like Borderlands. Initially, gunplay wasn’t fun and enemies were bullet sponges. However, after I took my time and learned how to use the workbench and upgrade system, combat became fun and engaging; I actually began to out combat.
I absolutely love plasma guns and science weapons. In typical RPG fashion, the game has main quests and side quests. This brings my second real complaint: main quests are too long. I enjoy long games, but if a quest takes longer than an hour to complete, it’s too long. Admittedly, part of this added length involves picking up side quests along the way. In a weird but good way, The Outer Worlds reminds me of several games: Fallout for obvious reasons, Mass Effect because of the outer space exploration and Bioshock because to the weird dark humor and vending machines. Also, a cool combat feature is a time slowdown it reminds me of V.A.T.S. from Fallout, but I like this more.
If you enjoy deep engaging stories and strong RPG elements or science fiction. I completely recommend The Outer Worlds. In a sea of large recently released RPGs I prefer Outer Worlds slightly more than Greedfall but it’s a small margin. For me, science fiction will always edge out fantasy. If you have the time and budget play both certainly do so. The Outer Worlds is definitely more than Fallout in outer space.
+ Fun original story.
+ I love the small details for example pile of ashes after burning.
+I love the zany cast of characters, alien worlds, humor, and dialogue.
+ Throwbacks to Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Fallout but being its own game.
- Quests can become cumbersome.
- A few bugs and small text can be frustrating.
- A steep learning curve for the uninitiated in terms of combat.