In The Orbit Of Intrigue And Excellence: A Look Back At The Outer Worlds.
In the boundless expanse of the universe, where the stars paint unknown wonders, Obsidian Entertainment invites us back on an interstellar journey. The Outer Worlds was released back in 2019 and it called to us for adventure and exploration in multiple worlds. Now, in 2023, we return to embark on the same great galactic quests and escapades with the “Spacers’ Choice Edition.”
Set amidst the same chaos of an alternate future, where mega-corporations hold dominion over colonised worlds, players are thrusted back into action with the base game and all the DLC included. Let's take a closer look at this masterpiece, again.
In this review I’ll be taking a look back at this modern classic and delving into the vibrant worlds that The Outer Worlds has to offer.
A Lightspeed Recap
For those who haven’t played the game or have just forgotten, let's do a real quick recap on what exactly happens. Ready? OK then, ADA, begin the recap;
The game begins with its character creation section, not the best in terms of appearances, in the most literal form, the way you look isn’t exactly important so its clear why there's not that many choices in terms of looks. The main time you’ll spend on is choosing your attributes since each one will heavily impact your gameplay, but more on this later.
You’re greeted by a mad scientist named Phineas Welles, who recruits you to save the colonists that are trapped on The Hope (A colony ship) after being in cryosleep for decades. What a way to be woken up.
As you explore the Halcyon system, one thing seems apparent, it’s ruled by the Board, a mega-corporation that exploits and oppresses the population. There’s a large divide between the rich elite and struggling masses.
Your choices throughout the game will impact the balance of power and the fate of the colonies. You can choose to side with Welles or the Board or even make your own path.
The game plays very similar to Fallout: New Vegas, I wonder why?
ADA: Because it is created by Obsidian Entertainment, the same developers for this game.
Thank you ADA
ADA: You’re welcome.
Anyway, like New Vegas, the Outer Worlds is a first-person RPG game with enough mechanics to satisfy most of us. The controls are simple to use and I didnt feel the need to replace any of the binded buttons. There’s no learning curve to the controls and by the time you’ve landed in Edgewater it should all be easy to use.
The character creation process is a bit lacklustre, there’s very few options to choose from and little in the way of customisation, at least in terms of the character appearance. Where the game’s creation really focuses is its attributes and skills. There are three main attributes that you can range from low to very high; Body (Strength and Dexterity), Mind (Intelligence and Perception) and Personality (Charm and Temperament). These make up the foundation of how you will play the game, want to be a smooth talking scientist? Increase Charm and Intelligence, or perhaps a strongman who loves melee combat? Strength and Dexterity will suit you better. You have a limited number of points to put into these attributes, so choose carefully.
The skills you choose don’t matter that much all the time since you are able to go back to your ship and modify them when you need to, just keep in mind that some situations may need you to go back and rethink your picks. When you level up, you also gain more skill points to invest in your character. This is great as it lets you go for a Jack-of-all-trades build or more of a specialist build.
When you level up, you can also access Perks. These are little things to help boost your character and come about every two levels or if you take a flaw. When you take a flaw, you’re essentially sacrificing one part of your character to enhance them. For example, if you take the Permanently Maimed Flaw then you will take a -20% to Offence Skills in exchange for a perk point. This can be either really good or really bad depending on the character you want to build, I’m sure the smooth-talking scientist build wouldn't mind this flaw though.
Whilst on the subject of choosing to do something or not, let's talk about the decision making that you will need to do. The Outer Worlds is known for its emphasis on choices and how they can impact the game. Each choice you make will have a significant consequence or sometimes even consequences that will affect the characters, story, location or other things that you may not have discovered yet. I played through the game multiple times with various builds trying to uncover all the choices and situations that can occur, I still have yet to find them all. One of the first choices you need to make happens before you even play and that is, once again, the attributes you pick. If you want an in game example, the first “big” choice comes in near Edgewater where you have to divert power from a source to either Edgewater itself or The Botanical Lab. I say “Big” because once you have made your choice, you do have the option to go and attempt to make amends with the side in which you cut power to, although this choice isn’t always available.
Now, don't get me wrong, consequences aren't great and for the most part it sounds like a negative for the game, however, The Outer Worlds balances its consequences in a much more reasonable way then most. The companions and their abilities help the game to function if you don't want to be a lone wolf character and if you do… well, that's fine too. They make the game feel more real, always being by your side and giving you advice, help and banter in some of the best ways. They each have their own personalities, backstories and life goals plus they act like real people would in their situations. They interact with each other, don't always agree with you or other characters, give you bonuses and above all, they feel like real people. The companions that you can pick up along the way really make you feel like the captain of a crew that will stick with you. The only downside to them is that you can't have more than two with you when you go off exploring.
By the end of the game you will have made a lot of choices and all of them will have affected the ending. The endings you can have in the Outer Worlds vary from good to bad. You can doom everyone in the colony to a life of servitude, rule with an iron fist or help the colonists escape the Hope and start an uprising. You can even do the reverse of this and send the Hope flying into the sun to meet their untimely death, without them ever knowing. There are many endings and everything you do in the game will shape the future of the Halcyon System forever.
ADA: Or until a sequel comes out or you replay the game.
Thank you ADA.
ADA: You're welcome.
My Cosmic Conclusion
In the realm of Sci-fi RPGs, The Outer Worlds emerges as a bright star, not just for its well-crafted worlds and unique characters but also for its profound exploration of the human condition, all wrapped up in a nice present with a bow orbiting it.
As the journey through the Halcyon System comes to an end, I can't help but want to play through it again and change some of the choices I made to see what other outcomes may have happened. I am well and truly entranced by all that The Outer Worlds has to offer and can't wait to be awakened from cryosleep once more to crash land into a moral crucible, where right and wrong blur.
In conclusion, The Outer Worlds is more than just a few comets of choices and dilemmas, it is a journey through a galaxy that beckons with wonder and mysteries. It invites players to be curious about their consequences due to their actions and revel in the unpredictable nature of its narrative. Anything to add ADA?
ADA: No, you described the game with adequate information captain.