Much has been said and speculated over Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds over the past few months. Ever since its debut at E3 last year, fans have been looking forward to the space RPG from the makers of the critically-acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas. Well, their prayers have been answered. After sitting with the game for just over a few hours, I can confidently say that The Outer Worlds delivers on a lot of those promises.
Note that this isn’t the complete review of the game, as we’re still playing it and intend to deliver the review soon. However, I have played it enough to form some opinions on it. And boy is it good! The Outer Worlds is set in an alternate future where society is controlled entirely by large corporations. You, the player, are an awakened traveler from The Hope, an abandoned spaceship that houses a large number of colonists traveling in the start system of Halcyon. Don’t worry, your character doesn’t know any of this just like you when you start. And this is where the fun begins.
As we saw in last year’s announcement trailer, our character has been awakened from cryosleep by the mad scientist Phineas Welles, who’s part Rick Sanchez and part Doc Brown. And those references are crucial for your understanding of this absurd universe that the developers have created here. After you create your character, give it perks and abilities (not unlike the system in Fallout), you set off on your own to find out the mystery of your ship’s habitants and consecutively, your purpose in life. Or you know, you could just go around causing mayhem.
Now, before I go deeper into this article, I must say that I’ve played Fallout 4 and New Vegas only in small amounts. But I have played them enough to see all the similarities and differences that Obsidian draws from in The Outer Worlds. The first of these is the character creator system and the section where you assign them abilities and perks. Anyone who has played its rival RPG franchise will be immediately familiar with the system present here. Not that I’m complaining.
After you’re done creating your character, your adventure begins. The game doesn’t tell you much about its world from the get-go. Instead, it gives you, the player, the option to explore around and find out more about the world through environmental storytelling. Obsidian has been praised for their natural storytelling skills, which is on full display here.
Speaking of storytelling and choices, there’s plenty of the latter here. Being a fully-fledged RPG, the game adjusts itself to the choices you take. Using a basic, but functional dialogue system, you can interact with the majority of characters in the game. Diving deeper into it, speaking to NPCs more reveals not only their backstory but also new information that you can use in quests. Of course, much like contemporary RPGs like Mass Effect, you can choose to play either the good guy or the troublemaker. You can even recruit other NPCs to be in your crew, as well as manage their stats and playstyles.
I’ve only played the game for about 3-4 hours but I haven’t found any intensive morality system. It seems like any trouble you make will be accounted for in the story, and it probably won’t bite you back during regular gameplay. This is a more natural approach than say Mass Effect’s Paragon-Renegade system, or even the morality system present in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The game presents its quests in a natural and meaningful manner, with the player agency being its top priority. You can start or end a quest in multiple ways, and that’s always a good thing. It ensures that my gameplay experience is fresh and different from how my peers would experience it. Although it is too early to tell, it’ll be interesting to see where the story takes us as we approach it from vastly different playstyles.
Coming to performance, the game runs pretty well on our mid-to-high range gaming PCs. We’ve been playing the game at both a 1080p and 4K targeted systems. With the graphics preset at its highest, we’re getting well over 60 fps on both our NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super and 2080 Super powered systems. Keep in mind though that the game is an AMD partnered title, so performance may vary on cards from the red camp. We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at performance in our full review which will be out soon.
Speaking of which, I do wish we’d gotten some more options to tinker within the settings menu. But seeing as how well the game’s been optimized, I wouldn’t worry too much. The game’s art style is gorgeous, and the performance ensures that it stays that way even in the midst of battle.
For now, though, that’s all I have to say regarding Obsidian’d newest entry in the ever-expansive RPG genre. Keep an eye out for this space as we’re preparing our full review.
If you’re interested in checking out The Outer Worlds, you can do so for just $1. Click here to get the discount.