The Outer Worlds Review Xbox One
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH:
It’s here! Perhaps this year’s most anticipated release: from RPG legends Obsidian comes the fantastically crafted sci-fi roleplaying game, The Outer Worlds. Does this game really need any introduction? From the original creators of the Fallout games, comes the highly anticipated, highly adventurous and highly addictive experience we’ve all been waiting for. Explore a large chunk of space, encountering many different factions squabbling for power. The Outer Worlds places you in the pilot seat, and lets you choose which path you wish to go down. Merciless space capitalist? Or vigilante freedom fighter? The choice is yours…
One of the first things you’ll notice about The Outer Worlds is the absolutely stunning art style and graphics. A game with good art direction is a game worth investing in and by heck, is The Outer Worlds is pretty to look at. When you take your first steps on Terra 2, you’ll notice how vibrant and colourful the surrounding foliage and fauna is. Everything demands to be investigated. It’s hard not to be amazed by this fruitful world, every little detail is worth taking in and to be very honest, I was very nearly overwhelmed.
Outer Worlds’ art style is like a mash between the art styles of the late Victorian/American Wild West period and that of 1960s science fiction. The retro futuristic style in which most of the in game posters and propaganda are stylised as, give this Wild West feel, in space.
Even the style of the weapons makes you do a double take. I picked up a blaster pistol, or a “Bolter Pistol” which I was just stunned at. It mirrors that of a royal flintlock pistol, it has a beautiful pattern on the side of the weapon and it’s just epic to have in your hand. I must admit, the pistol is now obsolete compared to my other weapons, but I have kept it simply down to how gorgeous it looks. They’ve really put an effort into making this game feel as detailed as possible.
A lot has been said about the connection between this game and Fallout New Vegas, and it’s not hard to see why. As Obsidian were behind both games, the two share a lot of similarities, even down to the music in the game.
The locations in The Outer Worlds are immense. I remember the first time I walked into Edgewater, I was blown away by just the sheer amount of buildings and npcs walking around. The music aided my immersion as I very much felt like a stranger walking into town, in an old western.
When you pull out your revolver, the wild west really does start to kick in.
Combat in The Outer Worlds is varied. At no point, does the game make you feel either too overpowered, or too underpowered. There’s a good balance between the AI and the gun dynamics. There is a “VATS” mode, which is familiar to Fallout players, however it is called Tactical Time Dilation. This lets you slow down time and makes it easier for you to aim and shoot at enemies. It also shows where enemies are most vulnerable, giving clear descriptions of where would be best to shoot.
There’s a plethora of weapons in The Outer Worlds, not all of which are the same calibre. There are three types of ammo: “Heavy”, “Light” and “Energy”. These ammo types cater for the different types of damage weapons can do. In the game, a weapon can do one of five calibres of damage: Physical, Plasma, Corrosion, Shock and N-Ray. Each of these damage types deals different amounts of damage to different types of enemies. And dear me are there a selection of enemies.
The Outer Worlds has a range of different creatures and critters for you to investigate and ultimately kill. You’ll be left speechless with the variety of enemies you can wilfully slaughter.
The most common type of enemy you will encounter are the marauders. A.K.A space “Raiders”, they are the scoundrels that pick on those weary adventurers who dare explore the bounds of barely-civilised space. They are common and can be quite a pain. Most commonly found in small packs, they can also be found in larger bases and occupy abandoned towns.
Marauders are often accompanied by Canids – a type of alien mutated dog. They are relatively easy to kill, but will charge at you and can catch you off guard if you’re not careful.
Stepping it up a bit, the Raptidon can cause you quite the sting if you don’t have your wits about you. They vary in size and some variants can shoot poisonous liquid at you.
The big enemy of The Outer Worlds are the Primals. They are the “Deathclaws” of this game, if you will. They are large and dangerous, and that’s about as much as you should know about them. They can cluster together in groups, but sometimes you can find them on their own. Once attacked, they can burrow into the ground and pop up nearby, often unexpectedly. You have to get your hits in as quick as you can before it retreats underground.
There are so many more different creatures and enemies waiting for you to discover, but I will say this: the robots in this game are a pain to kill, so make sure you have the right gear with you when you encounter them.
In terms of gear, you can modify and repair the weapons you pick up, whether it’s on the fly or at a workbench, the guns you find have a moderate amount of customization. It’s not extensive, but it does let you fiddle around with the weapons and armour, to suit your needs.
In terms of armour, you get the bog standard: heavy, medium and light armour, catering for different class types, be it DPS or Tank, or any other combination of skills and equipment you find necessary to play as.
The strongest element of The Outer Worlds has to be the narrative and character design. Unlike other RPGs, I found myself enthralled with the story this game has to offer and the small little stories of the people I encountered. While talking to the NPCs in the game, I felt a strong sense of immersion and really started to bond with the characters I was interacting with. The in depth character design, especially with the companions really makes you feel for the characters.
One of the best companions, in my opinion, is a woman you meet early on, called Parvati. She’s a mechanic by trade and you learn a surprising amount about her when you begin your adventures with her. During the course of my gameplay, I really started to respect Parvati as a character and she became one of my closest allies. I helped her matchmake with a crush of hers at one point, and found out that she is both asexual and a lesbian. This, especially in a triple A game, is quite admirable to see. For a game that looks old fashioned, it’s quite ahead of its time. The character design, and progression, is nothing short of amazing.
The quests in the game are ludicrously deep. There will be more than one occasion in which you will be torn in what decision to make. Often, I go with my gut feeling and sometimes that’s all it takes. But the quests in The Outer Worlds make you think about things from every angle, every point of view. Good and bad are subjective and it’s up to you to decide what is the best decision to make, and live with the consequences. I really liked the amount of depth each quest has. However, I did feel a little lost during some of the quests.
There was a quest in which I had to negotiate with some faction or another and in order for me to complete the quest, I had to do another quest for me to get their favour. I thought “bugger it” and shot them all, thus completing the quest. Short and simple.
It’s moments like this that the game just allows you to play it how you want to play it. And I can tell you now, there are a lot of bizarre and beautiful moments in this game.
There are so many references in The Outer Worlds to different elements of pop culture, it’s hard to keep track of and sometimes they can be found in unlikely places. For example, after returning to my ship after some wild adventure, I came to find a pack of woolly cows had made my cargo hold their home. Startled, I asked around and none of my companions seemed to know how or why they were there. I left the ship, came back and they were gone. After doing some digging, I found this was a Firefly reference, but by heck did it confuse me.
In conclusion, The Outer Worlds was a terrific experience. I loved every moment I was playing of the game and I felt like this alien frontier I had landed on, was not too dissimilar from the Wild West. I was really immersed with the characters and felt compassion for my companions, which I rarely do in video games. The art design and music really sells this game and presents a fractured society, but one with a charm. Controls and combat wise, everything seemed up to speed and balanced, which is something a lot of games get wrong and it’s nice to see a game that is actually playable and polished upon release. I would recommend this game to everyone, especially those that like to really immerse themselves in the stories and quests of a game so in depth.
Thank you for Reinassance PR for providing us with the code.
Price – £49.99