Find your World in Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds

Meghan Holloran, Staff writer

“The Outer Worlds,” not to be confused with “Outer Wilds,” is a brilliantly crafted story from the directors of “Fallout New Vegas” Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain. The story takes place in the year 2285, where dystopian space colony Halcyon is ruled by a capitalistic board of money-grabbing companies. Through the course of the game, you have the choice of helping many people in Halcyon break free from The Board’s corporate control or doing The Board’s dirty work. In-between the themes of free will and corporate greed, you explore Halcyon’s many different planets with your trusty companions.

 

This isn’t your typical looter-shooter. “Outer Worlds” is more of a dialogue-based shooter if that’s even a game category. The amount of dialogue options is astounding. Leonard Boyarsky stated in an interview that “..we have approximately 420,000 words of dialog, including player lines, and approximately 600,000 words total.”  The dialogue and action are perfectly balanced. It didn’t get boring with all the character dialogue, in fact, it was a nice break enjoyed the times where you aren’t constantly shooting at an enemy. 

 

Fallbrook, is one of the various settlements your character can explore in “The Outer Worlds.”

In this role-playing game, your actions in-game really do matter. If you irritate the wrong person or lose too much reputation with a certain faction, they might mark you as ‘kill on sight’ and immediately shoot at you. There is no redo button, which the game didn’t make clear at the beginning of the game. If you fail a quest, accidentally kill an important character or enter a restricted area, your faction reputation will either increase or decrease. If it decreases too much, you will be marked ‘kill on sight’ by that faction and if you enter a town controlled by that faction, you may end up in a shootout with the whole town. Essentially, you can miss out on faction quest lines if you kill a non-player-character that was integral to a certain questline.

 

The game is unforgiving in this sense because if you kill a key person; you lose the ability to complete quests for a certain faction and miss out on better armor and weapons for your character. It is also worth mentioning that you can go kamikaze on every NPC while still being able to complete the game. Is it near impossible — yes — but still doable. “Outer Worlds” built in ways for you to pickup quests from people you have killed, for example, if you kill a person that was supposed to give you a quest, You can still loot the quest from their body, or any belongings the quest giver. 

 

“Outer Worlds” gives you a plethora of options to tackle each part of the evolving story, and everything you say or do does impact the final ending. You can either shoot your way through every obstacle, blend in and sneak through enemy hideouts or just talk your way out of situations. All of those skills depend on where you invest your skill points in. The skill points can either buff your characters’ stats, weapons or charisma, or harm your character. The choice of how you distribute your skill points is up to you. 

 

The storyline was very immersive since you can’t meander through it; you actually have to focus on what is happening because the game forces you to make tough decisions. Without giving anything in the plot away, one of the first major decisions you have to make is whether to liberate a whole town of unhappy indentured-workers or cut power to a band of self-sufficient deserters. These challenging choices ultimately affect the ending of the game.  

 

Pictured is a ‘scrap mechanical,’ which is an enemy you will face on your adventures through Halcyon.

Another amazing part of the game was the exploration. “Outer Worlds” does not give you a mini-map of your surroundings while you are playing. You have to physically open up the menu to look at the map. Not having a mini-map directly on the screen felt so freeing. You can immerse yourself and get lost exploring for about the first four hours of the game; hopping from one planet to another taking out enemies and looking for loot; completely ignoring the task at hand. 

 

One part of the game that was really enjoyable was the slideshow reel at the end of the story where the game explains how your choices and decisions affected the course of the story. This is the first game I’ve played where your actions or mistakes have actual ramifications in-game. 

 

Even though there were many parts of the game that was outstanding, there were also a few things that were annoying and hindered the gaming experience. The graphics could be better, for example, some of the character’s faces looked a bit odd when they were standing a certain way or standing near the shadow of a building. Understandably, the game does not have a big-budget. Obsidian Entertainment is only an AA studio; therefore they would not have as many resources and manpower as an AAA studio such as Ubisoft, which releases many blockbuster games every year and has a massive budget.   

 

While “Outer Worlds” was a great game to explore and enjoy, It is a little lackluster. The campaign felt way too short for a $60. Yes, it was a beautiful game with engaging characters and storylines, but it is overpriced for the content it offers. Almost all games nowadays cost $60 but those games usually have endgame content and things to do after you beat the game. “Outer World’s” character development was flawless, but that doesn’t make up for such a short campaign with no content to look forward after you beat the game. Sure, you can replay “Outer Worlds” and try to find all the multiple ways the game can end, but that can get boring after a while. In my honest opinion, people interested in buying this game should wait a few months until it goes on sale for $30. Other than the short campaign, It was an excellent game, I can’t wait for what else Obsidian Entertainment will create in the near future. Overall, I would give this a B.