Fallout In Space
It would be very difficult for me to talk about “The Outer Worlds” without bringing up the Fallout series. I am a hardcore Fallout nerd and I tried to go into the Outer Worlds with the expectation of it just being a “Fallout in space” game. Thankfully for you and I, it’s not. It’s much better and still retains details from their previous ventures from Fallout. That being said. Let’s get into it, shall we?
To Infinity And Beyond
The Outer Worlds drops you right into the action. Your character wakes up from being frozen for hundreds of years alongside thousands of other colonists. A crazy doctor wakes him up and tells him it’s job to figure out how to unfreeze the rest of his fellow colonists and essentially save the universe. It’s a fairly straightforward and albeit cliche story, but it works. The Outer Worlds doesn’t waste any time letting you know that this is truly your world and you can do whatever the hell you want in it. Did someone just give you a side quest but you just want to that keycard now? Kill him. Sure, you lose the quest, but now you can move on much faster.
Want to show up to one of the local colonies and just massacre everyone? Outer Worlds has you covered. The amount of freedom they give you from the get go can be a bit overwhelming. This a first person RPG and they want to commit to that and it works.
Look Ma, I can dodge bullets!
I was pretty curious about how the combat would play out in this game. I love the Fallout series, but I have to say it never truly had a great combat. I loved the V.A.T.S system and I was hoping they would just straight up duplicate it for “The Outer Worlds”. Thankfully I’m not making this game. Obsidian decided to go a different route and give us “Time-Dilation”, which is essentially just “Bullet-time”.
Having this ability truly changes the battlefield. What could have been just a run of the mill generic shooting fest is turned into something a bit more tactical. The ability to slow down time and pick out specific targets and body parts to hit really made me feel like every fight I encountered was a different experience. Also, for the eagle eyed gamers if you hover over any NPC when “Time-Dilation” is active it tells you little funny facts about the characters. Definitely give it a shot.
It takes three to tango
Most RPG games in this day and age have some sort of companion system. Even if it’s just so dumb NPC tagging along to take the brunt of the damage, it’s become pretty standard for most RPG’s. The Outer Worlds takes the companion system of the Fallout series and knocks it out of the park. It doesn’t give you a lot of companions during the game, but the ones it does are unique, well written and extremely fascinating.
The hardest part of the game for me was deciding who to bring with me whenever I left my ship (You can have two companions follow you). The companions will butt in from time to time to conversations you’re having, creating a chance to activate some very unique dialog options as well.
While many games that allow me companion fail to make the companion anything but just damage fodder. The Outer Worlds makes the companions a blessing and less of a burden. They can hold their own and they all bringing their own unique ability you can activate, with a pretty sweet if not tiresome cutscene every time you activate it.
Obsidian has once again proven they are the kings of writing in video games and always set the bar. This game is no different, I generally grow tired of dialogue trees after sometime, but I couldn’t wait to engage in conversations with the various and lively NPC characters in this world. Knowing that how I built my characters stats can affect the conversation always made each encounter unique.
I’ve got the skills to pay the Bills
I would be remiss if I didn’t take time out to talk about the leveling up system and perks. The skill system is standard for the most part but with some interesting takes on it. When you start off the game you get to choose what kind of character you want to be and choose from options like perception, intelligence, strength, etc. Many common things to RPG games. Then there is a perk system with three tier levels.
I found myself struggling when it comes to leveling up my character, each point felt valuable and not just something to get out of the way. I definitely want to go through another playthrough and try out some different character stats to see how it plays.
The one very unique thing The Outer Worlds does is the “Flaw system”. At any point during the game an option will open up that tells you that you have a “flaw”. One example I received is that I have the flaw of drug addiction. If I were to accept this flaw it would lower my perception and intelligence by one point, but reward me with a perk point.
I think this is a very unique take on the standard RPG tropes. Personally I never really accepted any of the “flaws” besides one or two, just because I didn’t really think it was worth the consequences. Yet again, still a very fun option to include.
Is this 2015?
While I would love to praise the Outer Worlds for all of its glory. I simply have to speak on some issues with the game. The very first one are the graphics. Listen, I get it, when a game is that big you can’t expect to have “Top Notch” graphics, but these graphics are sometimes just laughable.
Framerate constantly working to catch up, things not loading in all together. Lifeless facial expressions (Not Mass Effect Andromeda bad, but still). I was very disappointed by this. I thought a game that has had a good amount of development time to it and is coming out in 2019 would be held to a higher standard.
Moving on to my next point. The load times. Seriously man. I know that our generation is not the most “patient” when we live in a world of instant gratification, but having to wait almost fifteen to twenty seconds for a location to load just seems like far too much time and took me out of the game and made it quite frustrating when trying to travel.
The Outer Worlds is a love letter to all the RPGs that have come before it. Balancing skill building elements with a solid combat system and a unique world we’ve never experienced before. This is a game you pick up and never want to let down. I am aching to get my second playthrough going.
While the biased nerd in me wishes Obsidian would start making another Fallout game. I will gladly take whatever they give me. Obsidian is a master in what they do and with developers like this pumping out content it can only put a smile on face thinking of what they’re going to do next …please be Fallout!