Yes, you read correctly, this is not a review…well not in the traditional sense of listing a bunch of pros and cons of how the game has presented itself with some deep philosophy about cheese.
It will be kind of dissecting and kind of talking about the game while also providing information.
But isn’t that a review? Yes, but now I will be pouring heartfelt passion into it about The Outer Worlds being so bloody brilliant.
Up until release, I have not looked into anything about The Outer Worlds, no reveal trailers, previews, nothing, maybe a brief glimpse at most, but nothing more. So going in blind was an understatement, and only knowing that the developer was Obsidian Entertainment that made Fallout New Vegas, a game people holds in high regards. No, I didn’t play New Vegas, I was too busy melting my brain on other shooters.
So, loaded up and the start screen greets me with an aesthetically pleasing Retro yet magical Sci-fi inspired music, could easily just leave it on in the background.
Just to be clear, don’t expect some soppy emotional story-driven plot in The Outer Worlds, there is seriousness in actions and dialogue, but the rest mostly lean towards comical in nature, like imagine how one talks about how “awesome” Mondays are, it’s clever and witty commentary with each character, and there were a few times I was in stitches from laughter because of the rather colourful conversation with a shopkeeper.
There are companions you will unlock that will be joining you on your grand space-faring adventure, but it is during exploration when the two companions you choose, most of the time have these natural conversations that break up some of the silence.
Worthy of mention is the retro-styled posters during load screens and the writing. The poster is varied between wildlife diagrams, movies or just plain advertising. Even though you will see them a lot, they are just fun to look at.
The writing is the best have seen. From the story structure down to the dialogue is deserves for each word to be heard as much as they are too be read, given if you have subtitles on. Characters become alive with excellent voice acting.
BACK TO THE STORY
The story sets in the distance future where you and a few hundred cryo-frozen people are tasked to travel to a far galaxy to expand the human empire. But as far as plans go, that idea went out the window and the ship got stranded in space…just floating…for 70 odd years.
You are soon revived by a Dr Phineas Welles, which strangely resembles Rick Sanchez in terms of general antics. After a brief mission briefing, like really brief, you are soon the captain of the ship The Unreliable which serves as you HQ for you and your crew. The ship itself is a character with ADA at the helm, making sure everything is running smooth. For an A.I., she can be quite expressive, but sadly those conversations only happen when on the ship, so randomly timed chit chat with ADA.
Your main task is to secure a certain chemical that will revive the rest of the cryo-frozen colonists on the ship, and even though you will be bombarded by side quests, you soon uncover a deeper conspiracy.
Right, with all that you are kind of set and ready to go. The game plays like most First Person Shooters with an open-world setting, broken up into smaller segments for a far richer environment to explore without feeling like taking on a continent.
Gunplay is fairly solid with really meaty weapons including a flamethrower…A Freakin Flamethrower! There is even a slow-motion effect aptly named Time Dilation, and explained by Dr Welles a side effect of coming out of prolonged cryo-sleep. Ironically enough, the effect is a sign of Rapid Cell Explosions, but yet it is used to make enemies not so alive.
Weapons can be upgraded with parts you either buy or find in the environment, but can only be applied to a weapon via a workbench. Weapons themselves have to be repaired to prevent mid-combat failure. Even with the variety of weapons I can use, I felt like I always used energy-based weapons as they are really effective.
As for the combat itself is simple yet solid, and is kept fun with companion abilities. Companion abilities and your own can be boosted with Perks, only you the player get attribute points. Gunfights, or most fights for that case, don’t last long, but thankfully Creep Killing supplies a steady XP income. Your biggest XP bonuses are obviously main and side quests, but it is how you solve them. Your decisions lead to a certain outcome, so it’s best to think before doing anything major. One of my earlier missions could have gone either left or right, but I then learned about a third way, but it requires more leg work as you play the middle man in the negotiations.
STYLISH YET FUNCTIONAL
The Outer Worlds has a unique style to it that looks generic but stands for more. From characters to base mechanics, it is all old school design choices from sound and colour palette.
The game is made with older design choices like how different characters look kind of similar because of just a few changes, RPG conversation branches, and again the music and sound is just amazing and does exactly what it is supposed to do to immerse you in the world set ahead of you.
The worlds you go to each look amazing with vibrant colours and vast sky-boxes with planets in the distance, or really close. I will admit I have taken a few minutes and just gawked at the sky at how pretty it looked.
Besides all that, The Outer Worlds has a wealth of in-game information to sink your teeth into, expanding the lore of the land, well space, and provides you with a deeper appreciation of what goes on and what transpired in past events.
AND ONE LAST THING!
To sum the game up, it will be saying that I am pleasantly surprised and well entertained with the writing. Minus some bad points, like why did I spend around 25 minutes making my character, only to have him/her seen when standing still? In-game menus don’t count.
To rate The Outer Worlds on its merit and execution, I would say it stands above most and does so with a confused grin. Half the time I know it’s good, the other half I can’t put my finger on, yet I still like it.
Also, I am also not sure if the game is poking fun at other RPG titles about their generic style and design, but itself uses it and does so flawlessly.
Thank you Obsidian Entertainment