I have always been a big fan of Fallout: New Vegas and the Mass Effect sagas. When I finished Fallout 4, I was very happy to hear about the new Mass Effect: Andromeda. As many of you know, that did not work out very well.
At that point, I felt that a cycle had ended in my life, that I was never going to play a similar game again. A few years later, I decided to give a shot at a title directed by the creators of Fallout. Oh boy, what a surprise it was. Ladies and gentlemen, this is The Outer Worlds.
The entry is a first-person RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment, later acquired by Microsoft, and published by Take-Two Interactive. The adventure was released for PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One in 2019, but a year later it would arrive at the Nintendo Switch.
Although it is in the future, the universe of The Outer Worlds is located in the same one as ours, but with a slight difference. In this world, William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States wasn’t assassinated in 1901, so he was able to continue his mandate without Roosevelt’s succession.
I don’t know how much you know about Theodore Roosevelt, but here is a fact about him that is relevant to the game’s plot: he did not like monopolies. With him out of the way, a future change will be in favour of the mega-corporations that not only dominated society on earth but also colonized other alien planets.
After a detour in the path of his ship, the protagonist wakes up in one of the most distant parts of the universe. Thus, after discovering that the rest of his shipmates were still in a state of hibernation, he decided to look for the nearest colony. In this way, the adventure of the main character begins, who will gradually discover the secrets of the mega-corporations.
If there is something that defines the gameplay of The Outer Worlds is the wide range of customizations it has. By this, I don’t mean that they only change the way that combats play out, as several of these can even be avoided if the player’s persuasive skills are improved.
Also, he can add all kinds of effects on his weapons and train in three areas of technical skills, which are engineering, science, and medicine. On the other hand, the hero can enlist several NPCs along the adventure that will be his companions. The user can choose two of them for combat, which will enhance the player’s skills or even can be oriented to the technical branch that the protagonist lacks.
All this adds up to the off-combat decision system, where unlike other games (I’m looking at you, Telltale Games), they do affect the outcome of the story. The humor is also part of this adventure, not only some decisions are absurd, but all characters have very dark humour according to the title. Thus, throughout the game the player increases his level, gains experience, and develops a more and more tactical play-style, while forging the path with the decisions that he feels more comfortable taking.
As far as the graphics are concerned, the inspiration is clear. Taking many aspects of Fallout and Borderlands, the realism is combined with a minimally cartoonish animation that instead of looking childish, gives the game its own identity. The colour palette is usually quite warm, so more orange tones are often displayed even for the menu, moving away from its two inspirations where the colour palette tends to be more neutral.
In short, The Outer Worlds might not reinvent the genre, but it doesn’t need to. Their sense of humour, frenetic gameplay, and interesting customization and decision making make its 30 hours of gameplay enjoyable. Also, its endless secrets will make you want to come back to this adventure even after it is over.
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