When I first heard of Outer Worlds, I was excited to play an RPG set in space by the developers of Fallout: New Vegas. Obsidian Entertainment had proven themselves to weave a great story and I was looking forward to checking out this over the top corporation controlled space adventure game. The branding of the game was spot on with the 60s ad campaigns that served to extend to how the corporations in the Outer Worlds itself marketed their stories.
I give a lot of credit to Microsoft for giving me a chance to try this game on launch with the Xbox Game Pass. Right of the bat, I could see this game was better polished than the Bethesda RPGs. It was a game that looked to be made for this generation. The first planet itself was quite beautiful and had a wide range of surroundings.
Being an Role Playing Game, the character could be upgraded in a wide variety of ways. You could choose to opt in for intelligence and charisma, that gave you better dialog choices or just play the game as a dumb person (yes, you can play the game as a nitwit). Apart from that, you can invest in weapon, melee, defense, stealth, tech and leadership. Adding points to each of the skills affect the character in a number of ways opening up new paths in your journey forward.
Investing more in dialog skills can help resolve physical confrontations with a conversation. In fact, I can go so far as to say that you can entirely avoid the climax battle with your sweet-talking skills.
The game has some of the most versatile weapons starting from simple pistols and assault rifles and going to absurd mind control rays and shrink rays. The science weapons are some of the best in the game featuring a number of effects that make it worth the effort of acquiring them.
Normal weapons can also be modified for some heat, poison or electrical damage. This helps taken on the enemies from aggressive humans and wildlife to antagonistic robots. In true RPG form, we can use any weapon of our choice to handle an encounter. Apart from the ranged weapons, the game also features a number of melee weapons that are useful in close combat.
Just like Mass Effect, Outer Worlds also features a robust companion system complete with unique personalities and perks for each of them. One thing I really love about my companions is the small talk they make while traveling with us. In their banter, we learn of their past and their personalities and motivations. It is always fun to hear some of the debates they have between their clashing ideologies.
Whether it be Parvati's engineering prowess, Vicar Max's belief in the working of the Plan, Felix's love for space soap operas, and SAM's general robotness, they serve as great companions in our journey across Halycon.
Apart from the banter, the game also features a number of companion quests, each tying into the past of the companion in some way. Each quest features a unique trip across planets and results in perking up (or bringing down) the focus of your characters based on your choices. Among them, the one that stands out in my mind is that of Vicar Max, especially the ending. It ends on a trippy note with a philosophical debate on motivations and what drives us forward. I believe it is one of the best quests in the game.
The Halycon system features a number of planets filled with life and many stories to tell. From the simple planet of to the corporate homeworld of Byzantium, we get to explore a number of lush environments filled with towns and surrounding wildlife.
Outer Worlds is an amazing RPG. A game that works as advertised allowing you play as you like and provides interesting commentary into the corporate culture. An interesting point I would like to highlight is that unlike other space RPGs, Outer Worlds achieves a thriving dynamic just by making use of humans and their politics in space. It does not require the fallback of aliens to paint unique characters that you come across the different planets.
The game also makes the role playing worth it by making your choices matter and provides a great narrative on the main story and colorful side quest for us to explore. It is a whole lot of fun to gain the trust of factions, making all of them revere you.