Review: The Outer Worlds Game
Obsidian Entertainment, known for Fallout: New Vegas, among others, is back with a brand new IP. The Outer Worlds is a playing field for the RPG enthusiast where you are completely in control. Capitalism at its best in space. Are you for or are you against?
I don't want to say it, but I'm going to say it anyway. The Outer Worlds is the best Fallout game since New Vegas and it's not even a Fallout game! Obviously, The Outer Worlds takes a lot of inspiration from Bethesda's RPG franchise. Not very strange when you consider that the same studio was responsible for one of the best Fallout games ever made. Still, The Outer Worlds distances itself far enough from the post-nuclear-apocalyptic world of Fallout. This has both its pros and cons. We spent a few hours in the unreliable spaceship to provide you with an honest review, which you read on your favorite Spacer's Choice device.
It's like the NS
A little later than expected, your character is awakened by an absent-minded professor on a ship called 'Hope'. The ship would take 10 years to travel from Earth to the Halcyon system. The ship's Skip Drive has since gone to the Philistines, extending the journey for decades. The corporations that hold all the reins in Halcyon have chosen to leave 'Hope' to its fate. No more hope for the travelers. Everyone was frozen anyway (which meant that the journey would only take 5 minutes), so nobody noticed anything.
The professor who invades the ship knows how to thaw you and you are now in a more distant future than you would expect. By having been in the freezer for a little too long, certain side effects have arisen. You can slow down time for a short period of time allowing you to hurl some highly accurate projectiles at your enemies to hit their weak spots, for example.
A real RPG
The fun, funny RPG genre itch has been with me for a number of years, but I can say with joy that The Outer Worlds has filled the void in this genre well. The so-called 'your choices influence the game' titles of recent years have turned out to be nothing more than hot air with the illusion of having one's own choice. This does not apply to The Outer Worlds! Your choices actually have an impact on the game and this starts right away in the character creation.
As soon as you start creating your character you will be greeted with the well-known choices between woman or man, color of your whiskers, the well-known tune. The next step will shape you as a character. You choose an ambition that you had when drilling 'Hope'. What are your specialties? Your choice in this profession will give you certain attributes such as extra points in science for example. These will come in handy later on in the game in both dialogue and slog between the planets in Halcyon.
It doesn't all sound very Fallout yet, doesn't it? That's true, but as soon as you finally set foot on the ground, you notice that The Outer Worlds is more than just a continuation of the New Vegas style. First, the open world is divided among several planets and space stations. This gives it more of a Borderlands or Mass Effect-like atmosphere. Quests can thus take place over different locations so that you can be constantly on a journey. There is no indication of the time differences per planet, so you will not experience jet lag. Promises.
Less physical, more RPG
In addition, the world, or worlds of The Outer Worlds, are less physically oriented than you would be used to from, for example, New Vegas. There is less rubbish scattered and basically everything you can pick up also has a direct function. Most things can be found in closed containers and occasionally there are some cupboards and drawers that you can open. You will not spend hours scouring a certain location because you are afraid of leaving valuables behind. Loot also doesn't play as important a role as I initially expected. Most of the stuff you find is demolished for parts. You will need these to repair your current equipment.
The missions you do also take a little less time because you finish searching a certain location faster. It kind of takes away the 'I'm going on an adventure' feeling, but not to the extent that the missions feel like shopping quests. There is enough depth, even in the side quests and that is what The Outer Worlds really needs.
The game is more of a role-playing game than an action game. You shouldn't be surprised at this finding when you consider that it is an RPG, but modern RPGs tend to lean more towards the action genre with RPG elements baked in for the bonus points. No, The Outer Worlds is a true RPG at its core. And a good one too. Choices in dialogue are enhanced by how you as a person play the game. Have you spent a lot of points in medicine, or science? Then you can often use this knowledge in conversations. In addition, your companions often interfere in the conversation. Each of these has its own personality, with its own ideals, which means that you often have very interesting conversations.
Another point that your choices have an impact on is the reputation system. In many cases you can choose to help someone, or a group, or not. Soon you'll be faced with a similar scenario to Megaton and Tenpenny Tower in Fallout 3. Will you help one at the expense of the other? You quickly start leaning in a certain direction in the society that Obsidian outlines for you in The Outer Worlds and you can express your preference very well.
The Outer Worlds is a true RPG, brimming with humor and plenty of depth in a spatial environment full of diversity. It feels like holding the love baby of Mass Effect 2 and Fallout New Vegas in your hands. And it's up to you to baptize the child, or sell it to the corporation devil. Playing Obsidian Entertainment's new title feels familiar on the one hand and refreshing on the other. Especially the recurring feeling that you are playing through a nicely browned RPG where you take the reins yourself feels very good. The Outer Worlds sets the bar high for the next games in this genre. That's a good thing, because I think we lost that bar. To conclude, I say: "You've tried the best, now try the rest!"
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