The Outer Worlds

Melissa Lim

Obsidian’s Outer World Is in Your Hands

From Obsidian Entertainment, famed developers behind such hits as Fallout: New Vegas comes The Outer Worlds, a colorful retro-futuristic RPG filled with aliens, spaceship colonies, and moon men.

The game is set in Halcyon, a colony in space owned by “Earth’s most distinguished corporations”. In-game, the colony is not a total “open space” environment — each area will still be divided by a loading screen — but players are still able to travel from one area to another without having to return to their “homebase” ship. This allows players to explore around an area at their own pace and complete respective side quests whenever they feel like it.

One of the more unique features about the game is the extremely flexible player customization. You can start by choosing from among many characters (hero, villain, assassin, sniper, trader, liar and many more) whose choices will determine how your game will progress in terms of skill sets. Though there is no set “binary morality” for your character (just because you are a “hero” does not mean you’ll only have the choice to do good), each action will still have some consequence that will drive the overall storyline of your game.

The game is single-player, but you’ll also have the choice to pick up companions to assist you throughout your journey. They all will live on your ship with you, but only two can accompany you on your mission at a time. Each companion will have their own likes and dislikes, therefore if you do something that is absolutely outside of their comfort zone, they’ll abandon your mission entirely. As they come with their own expertise and skill sets, each companion can help you in their own way — companions with a higher strength level will be beneficial in combat, while another with higher intelligence can help you during quest negotiations. As a leader, you can enhance the abilities of your companions, or choose not to and use the additional perks on yourself.

The Outer Worlds has also introduced new characterization mechanics: permanent debuffs called ‘flaws’ and positive attributes called ‘perks’. Your character can pick up optional flaws, and with every flaw, a perk can be obtained in response. For example, if your character clumsily gets burnt a lot, they could unlock the ‘flammable’ flaw. Though the flaw would make your character a little more weak towards fire, the perk in response could help your character improve in another area. The perk-flaw feature will also be implemented into the conversations with people around you, so you shouldn’t be surprised when your companions start teasing how you will always be the hottest of the squad.

As you travel through space, gather a team of misfits, shoot people with ray guns or slice people with electric axes (or not), the game is ready to adapt to your choices, making Halcyon revolve around your hands. Many titles in the past have failed to deliver the concept of “complete choice” in decision-making within the gameplay, but The Outer Worlds pushes the dream of “absolute freedom” further than most, making it a great example of an immersive role-playing game.

The Outer Worlds will launch October 25th for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC.