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The Outer Worlds – Review
To the town of Edgewater rode a Stranger one fine day. Hardly spoke to folks around her, didn’t have too much to say. No one dared to ask her business, no one dared to make a slip, For the Stranger there among them had a Spacer Choice Pistol on her hip.
So how is The Outer Worlds? Is it the sequel to Fallout New Vegas that we had wanted for almost a decade now?
Short answer: Yes and here’s why.
Remember in Fallout New Vegas where during one of Mr. House’s quest, he spoke of colonizing Space after he had taken over the town. So imagine getting to play that in the form of Outer Worlds with added humor you’d expect from Obsidian.
The amount of in-universe ads is hilarious to read and listen to as they even tied into the quest of the game sometimes, from Aunty Cleo’s Elixirs (aka their version of Stimpaks) to Spacer’s Choice Space Juice, the smaller detail helps brings the world to be more immersive towards the players.
The art style during the game is quite interesting and colorful, making the game look good even in low resolution on PC and I approve of them using these types of color palettes to make the game look good already. Though the animation is janky at times, I feel it adds the charm of the game since it is a budget title.
Another gripe I have is the absence of any radio station, which I understand is omitted due to budget constraints. It would have fit the game quite well with songs from the New Vegas’ lineup plus the ads from the various factions could have made it quite fun to listen too.
The Outer Worlds plays exactly like their post-Americana cousin, with some inspiration from Bioware’s Mass Effect. The locations you visit are several different colony zones with your ship, the Unreliable (who you can interact to, by the way), being the Hub World. Each of them has its own storyline and quest which you can do to help and/or destroy a colony.
The game’s RPG mechanics are a bit of a hit and miss. It lets you customize your skill points via the main category before those skills can be personalized when the main one gets to 60+ points. A good way to balance your character before going deeper into the game, where you can fine-tune your skills of choice. So you can be a full-on brawler or talk your way over the final boss, Halycon is your oyster.
The only gripe for me is that the Skill Perks that you can choose whenever you level up is quite meaningless, save for a select few. Maybe its sequel could improve on it, along with the gun combat too, as the guns have a weird sense of sway to it even after putting in the points on the respective skills. A thing which Fallout 4 nails perfectly (and that’s the only time Bethesda is getting praise in this review).
Your companions in-game are quite fun to have around, with them having different ideologies in terms of living in Halcyon and bringing fun banter as you wander round together. They even have their own quest which adds more to the charm of this game. You might see yourself helping them get ready for a date or looking for a person who can read French. Stuff like this makes playing through it enjoyable.
For what it’s worth, The Outer Worlds is a 25+ hour’s long campaign of you trying to save the best minds of the galaxy or be the best employee of the Corporation. Its open-ended questline and RPG gameplay can see players like myself doing more walkthroughs in the near future.
Perhaps one final suggestion if Obsidian decides to do another Outer Worlds is adding more variety towards the guns and armor. It’s not fun to have upgraded your weapon, only to see its Mark 2 variant being better after finding it on the battlefield.
I feel The Outer Worlds can beat the Fallout franchise in their own game, just by playing this experience about the dangers of about capitalism in space, you’ll know it’s better than what 76 is from the get-go.
It might not be perfect but where the game excels in, like world-building, meaningful quests, and companions, it shines the brightest. And perhaps, we might have just seen the start of a new franchise taking flight.
Reviewed on a PS4 Slim. Review copy purchased by the reviewer.