In our review The Outer Worlds, Michiel explores the corporate-dominated Halcyon solar system to spread his message of love and equality.
When I walk my co-writers to their favorite open-world game, I mostly get indignant looks with incomprehension. That I even dare to ask this question! Obviously, it’s Fallout: New Vegas, released in 2010 by RPG experts Obsidian Entertainment. Nine years later, the studio ventures with The outer worlds again on a first-person RPG in a dystopian future. The comparison with New Vegas is therefore never far away, even if it is a brand new IP. Obsidian Entertainment makes a bold attempt to bring back the magic of yesteryear, but never really comes close to the level of its inspiration.
In any case, the vision for the future in The Outer Worlds is still far from promising. In the 24th century, big corporations have full control, which means even space travel is completely privatized. For example, the Halcyon solar system is wholly owned by a dozen companies that rule with an iron fist. Life in Halcyon is therefore characterized by many duties and few rights, even to the extent that suicide is tantamount to the corruption of social goods. Despite this grim setting, The Outer Worlds rarely, if ever, makes you feel bad thanks to the humor that permeates the entire game. Even when Obsidian Entertainment presents your characters in the most desperate situations, the many hilarious dialogue options keep you going. encourage you to put everything in perspective.
The Outer Worlds is a storytelling masterclass in other areas as well. Each character you meet is well worth knowing better, the strengths being the various companions you recruit during your adventure. For example, the side quest for your companion Parvati is a great compromise between humor and attachment, helping the shy engineer prepare for a date. The game’s many other quests also impress with interesting characters and moral dilemmas, and even manage to cover up that you are too often presented with simple recovery quests.
The game’s upgrade system also deserves praise. As befits a good RPG, you get complete freedom to build your character. However, in The Outer Worlds, each skill offers multiple benefits, so even hyper-specialized characters are never completely helpless in certain situations. For example, a high level in Persuade of Intimidate not only ensures that your sociopath Gladjan prides himself on sticky situations, but human and animal enemies regularly run away in fear when you encounter them in battle. Multifunctional skills turn out to be a great choice from Obsidian Entertainment, although it’s best to play the game at one of the higher difficulty levels to make sure the system stands out. After all, the game is very easy at the lower levels, so developing a non-combat character ultimately has little to no negative consequences.
Unlike Fallout: New Vega, Obsidian Entertainment didn’t create a completely open world this time around. Instead, you explore a whole range of distinct planets. Although these planets are relatively small, the many colorful and breathtaking views invite you to explore every corner. However, the lack of a fully-fledged open world soon becomes apparent when every visit to a new planet falls into the same pattern. After collecting all possible quests in the local colony, enter all enemy colonies to pick up the necessary quest items, then return all assignments. The sense of wonder you get when exploring the great open worlds of, say, Fallout or Skyrim, is almost absent here.
In-game combat is functional, but rarely, if ever, a highlight in your adventure. The ability to use the Tactical Time Dilation system to slow down time and shoot certain limbs of your opponents certainly provides the necessary tactical depth, especially in combination with the unique abilities of your companions. However, this potential is distorted by a lack of variation in enemies and intelligent behavior of both those enemies and your companions. Again, the game gets a lot more interesting here at the higher difficulty levels, but The Outer Worlds punishes you for it with “sponge ball” enemies that you empty entire warehouses. The fight is certainly not bad, but it is not a high flight either.
Overall, The Outer Worlds is a more than entertaining RPG and an enjoyable reunion with interesting worlds, intriguing characters, and often hilarious dialogue that only Obsidian Entertainment can imagine. However, the lack of a full-fledged open world quickly leads to repetitiveness, and the combat isn’t entirely convincing either. The great writing work makes up for this and ensures that you visit your next planet in the Halcyon System and its many kind inhabitants with great enthusiasm.
For this The Outer Worlds review, Michiel played the PC version of the game.
Source : IGN