I have to admit that The Outer Worlds hit me by surprise. I absolutely overlooked any previous reports about it and didn’t catch a glimpse of it at any gaming conference or event. So when I saw it coming through the list of upcoming game releases, I didn’t put it high up in my priority list. But even after watching the trailer, I was already hooked, and then after finally playing it, I was really surprised by how good it is. Why exactly? Well, let me try to tell you a bit more about The Outer Worlds and why it feels familiar even if you don’t know why.
The Outer Worlds was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and was published by Private Division (Parent: Take-Two Interactive). Next to a few other good titles, Obsidian is well known for being the minds behind Fallout: New Vegas, one of the most vivid parts of the Fallout franchise. As you play through The Outer Worlds, you will feel a lot like being in Fallout, but not as if it was a copy. It’s more as if it was a new part of the series, which for some reason, happens in space and on distant planets. They also infused everything with a tiny bit of slapstick humor, which really adds to the overall tone of the game.
What exactly happens in The Outer Worlds?
As always, I will try to tell you a little bit about the story and how the character progresses through the game without dropping too many spoilers. You start the game and are swiftly introduced into the setting. We are in the distant future, and corporations have begun to deploy colonies on various planets and space stations. To bridge the waiting time of long-distant space flights, the colonists are put into cryo-chambers to sleep through the trip. However, one of the colonist ships had a problem, and the people in cryo-sleep were never woken up, as the ship ventured through space.
An archetype of a crazy scientist locates this ship and tries to wake the colonists, but naturally, he is a wanted man, and the authorities show up shortly after. Due to the limited time of his mission, he can now only complete the progress for a single colonist, and you guessed it, that’s you. You can now create your character’s gender, look, and starting abilities. Now you escape together with your savior with the intention of coming back later to save all the colonists who have been stuck here for decades now. You accompany the scientist, and, as it is the good manner of all RPGs, you are tasked with a series of quests now to get starting with your adventure in The Outer Worlds.
What’s the overall feeling like?
If I had to pin it down and compare the feeling with other games, I would directly say it feels a lot like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4. But as I already said, not like a bad copy of these iconic titles, more like an extension in a different setting. The feeling is also a bit more cheerful and colorful than the Fallout games. It is a wee bit as if you were a cowboy in the times of the wild west, just in space. You can usually choose if you want to be the sheriff or the villain, though when making decisions. Even though corporations are doing nasty business to extort people and planets in The Outer Worlds, the environment is still relatively okay in comparison to the setting of Fallout after their war ended with a global nuclear bombing.
All the NPCs you meet, feel like they are actually thought through, and have a backstory. Basically, everybody who is not a generic person, and actually has a name, will be mostly interesting to talk to. The animations of the people talking to you are so-so and not the best you’ll ever see, but I like how they tried to fix some things in The Outer Worlds, that were a little off in Fallout. For instance, when you approach someone sitting or from behind and engage in a conversation, they would properly stand up or turn around to be in your view as you talk with them and not awkwardly stay where they are or look into the wrong direction.
In The Outer Worlds, you get to own a space ship relatively early in the game. Basically, after you are through with the tutorial, you can already call yourself a captain. As you progress through your adventure, you can meet many interesting NPCs from which some will be giving you quests, and others might even join your crew. When you exit your ship and embark to tackle your quests, you can take up to two companions with you, which you can also freely equip with weapons and armor. Your companions will not only support you in combat but also buff your abilities and have a sort of ultimate attack which you can request from time to time.
There are a lot of weapons to loot or buy, and you can also combine them with mods in a fun way. If you’re skilling engineering, you will also be able to tinker on your items to improve them easily and level not only yourself up but also your gear. If you spend some time grinding and fight every monster and villain on your ways, you will level up quickly, and I don’t think you will have any problems with gameplay being too hard. I feel that the game is more about the experience and the decisions you take as in how you want to solve problems and not so much about how big your guns are. But for all who prefer a challenge, you can also increase the game difficulty, of course, directly or on your second playthrough.
Yes. Yes, it is absolutely worth playing. If you liked Fallout games and if you enjoy RPG in space, this one is on top of your “must-play” list now. I got the title through my Microsoft Xbox Game Pass subscription directly when it launched, but in retrospective, I would say that it’s fine to purchase The Outer Worlds for a regular AAA title pricing. Here’s a link to their Amazon page, in case you want to check prices and options.
It’s not all perfect in The Outer Worlds but that’s okay. I would have liked more of the open-world experience of Fallout but obviously you cannot build so large scale maps for various planets to play on. To be honest, I give a solid 4.5/5, and I am hoping for more great games and characters to come soon from the Obsidian Entertainment forge. I also recorded my first 2,5 hours of gameplay and added the video below for you to check into. Enjoy!
YouTube: Let’s Play – The Outer Worlds [Gameplay, No Commentary]
Photo credit: All the visuals are owned by Obsidian and Private Division.
Editorial notice: The author did not purchase the game but acquired access through a private subscription plan. Before writing the review, the author played 17+ hours of the game to gather enough experience with it. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. Without additional cost to you, we might earn a commission if you decide to purchase something.