The Outer Worlds review

The Outer Worlds was created by Obsidian Entertainment, the developer of the cult game Fallout: New Vegas, and published by Private Division. Perhaps that is why The Outer Worlds embraces the most compelling innovations of modern Fallout titles, emphasizing it with immersive, exploration and action-oriented combat by contemporary standards that feel good thanks to the Unreal Engine engine. But we can’t just call The Outer Worlds a Fallout game, it’s perhaps the best possible version of a Fallout game.

The Outer Worlds review

At the forefront of the elements that make The Outer Worlds the perfect space adventure are the game’s wonderful planetary atmosphere, great characters, and an incredibly solid sharp-writing foundation that consistently elevates the multi-layered quest design alongside strong combat. You are just one of thousands of people hibernating on an abandoned colonial ship in The Outer Worlds, when a possibly notorious scientist sets you free and enlists your help to save the rest of your frozen peers. After a rigorous character creation process that includes a range of variable attributes, perks, and aesthetic customizations, you get to work on a solitary planet.

The planets are all owned by troops that want to use their ecosystems as part of a larger supply chain, and numerous vending machines from different companies fill towns with their shiny logos trying to lure you in. In fact, The Outer Worlds is filled with strikingly colorful local details. The planets you will visit are impressively diverse and sometimes beautiful.

The Outer Worlds game story

Corporations have taken us beyond the boundaries of the solar system, but businesses that build life on the galactic frontier have paid a heavy price. As middle managers take on the roles of regional managers, commerce has now come to the fore. Some of the companies mentioned seem to exist mostly as manufacturers of weapons and consumables. Corporate capitalism pervades everything in The Outer Worlds, and research into how it can affect society on various levels creates a surprisingly well-thought-out status quo despite its parody-like appearance.

You are the only one awakened among the exploited in Obsidian’s brutal RPG. Your colony ship has been left for dead and needs resources to awaken the rest of the frozen colonists, only thanks to Phineas Welles, a mad scientist. This leaves you navigating colonies in search of both answers and resources. Most of the places the main story points to involve some sort of conflict between a company and a group that lives outside the established rules. Your goals will often intersect with these rivalries and take you through a spiral of intertwined side quests until you finally choose a side in a big moral choice at the end of that chapter of your adventure.

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The Outer Worlds gameplay

The Outer Worlds lets you kill any character in the game, and the world will reshape and progress without them. You will talk to many people in The Outer Worlds. How much you make is up to you, but chatting with the game’s entire cast of supporting characters is anything but tiresome. You won’t have to put up with frivolous or overly dramatic shifts, not only because of how focused and nuanced the script looks, but also because of the variety of response options that allow conversations to flow largely naturally for your player character.

Although you will fight as a lone wolf in the game, you have the option to recruit six characters to assist you. But it’s a pleasure to have friends to accompany you on this journey, and that, again, comes from the power of character writing. These characters even chat privately with each other. Of course, their general behavior is mechanically conditional, but the illusion created by the game is very pleasing. Companions have their own customizable skill trees, equipment gear, battle tactics, and special abilities you can command them to use.

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Despite having strong RPG foundations, the combat in The Outer Worlds is focused on first-person action, with things like parrying, blocking, and dodging on top of an array of melee and firearms. However, there’s a hectic and fast-paced fluidity to combat that feels so good. This is backed up by some enthusiastic sound design that does most of the heavy lifting to give satisfactory feedback to all guns.

With the game’s difficulty levels, things like elemental damage, equipment modification, companion synergies, and special effects allowed by consumables can be safely ignored. On the “Supernova” difficulty level, the danger of combat increases, your ability to save your game is limited, and survival mechanisms such as hunger and thirst come into play, making you feel all the mechanical difficulties of the game.

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