The Outer Worlds Review

The Outer Worlds is a first-person action role-playing game. The game was released on 25th October 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It is currently free to play via Xbox Game Pass. There is also a Nintendo Switch version set to be released in 2020. It was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Private Division.

Adventure in Space

The Outer Worlds is a huge open-world adventure. At the moment, it is a completely solo game with rumors of multiplayer options to come later. When you begin the game, you are being awoken from stasis by a crazy looking scientist. You create your character by choosing attributes, skills and a job from before you left Earth, which I think is a great touch. Afterwards, you get to choose whether you want to be male or female and how you want your character to look.

When you have created your character, the crazy looking scientist introduces himself as Phineas Welles, and he breaks the news that you have been stuck in stasis with your whole colony for decades. The ship that you began your journey on is called Hope, and it is stuck in space because of problems with its skip drive. Phineas Welles then puts you into an escape pod and sends you down to a planet called Terra 2.

When you land on Terra 2, Phineas Welles has arranged for you to meet a spaceship captain named Alex Hawthorne. This doesn’t quite go according to plan, and you end up needing to take the ship for yourself. As you make your way through the beginning area, you will go through a bit of a tutorial on how to play. This is presented through helpful tips that pop up on the screen. Before you can become a spaceship captain, you will need to take other steps. This introduces you to a nearby town and other towns after that. From there, your journey begins. You will complete missions with the aim of saving the colonists from the Hope. That is, if you decide they are worth saving.

Decisions, Decisions

Everything within the game is entirely down to the decisions you make. This covers not only how you act and what you say but also who you save and who you kill. It also means deciding things like whether a town or city thrives or falls. With The Outer Worlds being based around decisions, this will also determine the outcome at the end of the story.

The ship that you obtain is called The Unreliable. When you become the captain of The Unreliable, you have a cabin where you can sleep, store items and use a terminal to read messages that other characters have sent you. With each major decision you make, you will obtain a decoration for your cabin. The fact that you gain decorations for your room based on the actions you take is great. After every major mission or big decision I made for a town, I found myself going back to my ship just to check on what was new.

The Outer Worlds’ Characters

There are so many completely different and unique characters within The Outer Worlds. Throughout the game, you will come across people that will ask if they can join your team, and you can use them to help you in your adventures. They each have their own personalities and skills. You can choose to bring them along, or you can decide to reject them and leave them behind. At any time, you can also tell them to leave your crew. The ship itself is controlled by a computer system called ADA. She is full of character and can be a real smartass, but she is an awesome and hilarious part of the game.

Along your travels, you will also meet a lot of different groups of people. Again, it is up to you if you decide to help them or hinder them. You can speak to different people in each town to obtain side missions that you can complete. I found that everybody I spoke to was really interesting. I was glued to the screen listening to what each person had to say because I was intrigued to know more about them.

As you complete side missions along with the main missions, you will gain reputation for each town or city, which can be good or bad depending on how you play the game. You can be completely loved by one city and hated by another. If a city really hates you, they will attempt to kill you on site, and you will be unable to complete side missions for these areas.

Building Your Character

Right from the beginning of the game, you will be able to choose which skills you want to focus on. Pretty much everything in the game gives you at least some experience. As you gain more experience, you will grow in level, and each level gives you 10 skills points. You can use these on whichever skills you like. The skills are broken up into groups, and each skill point will increase all of the skills within that group. When the skills get to 50, they will be split up, so you will have to pick the specific skills you want increase.

Every other level you will also get a perk. There are loads of different perks to choose from that will strengthen your character in some way. To build your companions’ skills, they will gain a perk point every few levels that you gain, and you can select which areas you want to improve for them. Throughout the game, I found it especially handy to increase the conversational skills like persuade, lie and intimidate. This was helpful for obvious reasons. There are also skills for hacking and lockpicking, which I found really useful.

Armed to the Teeth

Skills and perks aren’t the only way to build your character. You will also need a decent set of armor and weapons to match. I found that the best way to get armor was by destroying my enemies. I don’t think I actually bought any armor or weapons throughout the entire game, and this is because they are easily obtainable by picking looting them from your defeated foes after a big fight. If you aren’t getting many items from looting enemies, there is always the option to steal armor and weapons as well. I never struggled to keep myself at a high standard for being protected, and you can find ammo for your guns absolutely everywhere.

There is a large variety of weapons within the game that includes an array of guns and some unique melee weapons. You can also pick up special weapons called “science weapons” that offer something a little bit different. Some of them will confuse enemies or shrink them, etc. A big part of the fun within the game is experimenting with the different weapons. You can also add modifications to your armor and guns, and these include adding effects such as plasma, shock and more.

Terminals and Access

While playing The Outer Worlds, you will come across a lot of terminals. Sometimes these just hold useless information, but it’s always fun to be nosy. Other times you will be able to use your hacking skills to learn extra information during a mission or just by snooping around a town or city. There are also times where you need to use terminals during missions to gain access to other areas. The biggest and only real problem I found with The Outer Worlds was dealing with some of these terminals.

There were so many times where the terminals would not work. I wouldn’t be able to press simple buttons like ‘continue’ or ‘quit’. It stopped me from gaining experience from using my hacking skill because I was unable to select it. When this happened, Ifortunately wasn’t really that bothered with missing out on a bit of experience from hacking. The moment that this issue started to really frustrate me was when it stopped me from completing a side mission.

I was completing a mission where I needed to access a terminal in order to unlock a science weapon. The terminal asks you a question, and you need to give the correct answer. When you have done this, the screen changes to show that you have given the correct answer, and you then need to select ‘continue’ to finish the task before the science weapon will unlock. I was unable to select the ‘continue’ button, which meant I lost out on a science weapon, and I had the corresponding side mission stuck in my mission log for the rest of the game. To a gamer, there is nothing worse than not being able to finish a quest because of a bug.

An Amazing Experience

There are so many things about The Outer Worlds that I absolutely loved. The biggest thing that I enjoy about the game was the actual story. As I have mentioned, the story changes depending on your actions, and the story that I ended up with was amazing. I really enjoyed it the whole way through, and I was completely addicted. One of the days that I had played it, I started at around 11AM and stopped playing at around 12 midnight. I played it so much that I actually got a headache. I enjoyed every moment of it.

The fact that you can decide how you want to play the game just adds to it. It makes you feel like you are in complete control and that you have all the power. The gameplay for The Outer Worlds is great. It feels like a cross between Fallout and Mass Effect. It is as if they have taken all of the great things from those games to create this wonderful role-playing space adventure. Like Fallout, the game is both futuristic and retro at the same time. It has bright lights, cramped towns, spaceships and everything is colorful and creative. The loading screens even manage to keep your attention because of the retro-style posters and articles they present you with.

Another great thing about The Outer Worlds is how hilarious it is. The game offers players some great conversations and banter between the characters in the many towns and cities, between your companions and in the options you can select during your conversations.

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher: Private Division

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Release Date: 25th October 2019

Do you agree with our review of The Outer Worlds? What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below.

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