While Microsoft surprised gamers last year by announcing they had acquired Obsidian Entertainment, the developers were already working on a multiplatform title for release. The Outer Worlds was announced during the 2018 Game Awards last December, and during E3 2019, GotGame was invited to see a behind closed-doors demo of the game. While we didn’t get to play, we had a pretty good idea of the mechanics of the game. To put it simply, it’s space Fallout, and that’s a great thing for WRPG fans.
Our demo of The Outer Worlds starts in a town still in development. The protagonist seeks information on various corporations on terraformed planets, speaking to locals and doing various tasks. In our demo, the player ends up talking to Catherine Malin, a business owner that has a grudge against a man named Clive Lumbergh, the self-proclaimed “King of the Monarch”. Clive runs a factory that harvests and sells bacon tumors from creatures known as cystypigs. Catherine requests that Clive’s factory gets shut down, and also proposes returning Clive to her, dead or alive.
Choice is the main feature of The Outer Worlds. Players can take Catherine’s mission, but it’s ultimately up to them on how they play it out. They can go find Clive and kill him, or even convince him to come back with you. Players can even follow dialogue to take a counter offer from Clive. Good, evil, in-between, these options are all available for the player to explore. It’s all about the actions and how dialogue options are handled. Dialogue has the standard options like “charm” and “intimidate”, but there are some fun ones too. Particularly, the “dumb” option is available for players with a minimal intelligence statistic.
Combat in The Outer Worlds will feel familiar to fans of games like Fallout: New Vegas. Instead of V.A.T.S., players have access to Tactical Time Dilation. Using a story explanation, the player exits cryosleep with a sort of space sickness. This condition allows the player to perceive time differently, slowing it down and giving them a chance to strategically fight enemies. Everything turns purple and this ability runs off a meter under the player’s health bar. It’s a cool effect and the game utilizes it well, giving a bit of a sci-fi twist to the familiar mechanic. After that, combat is basic gunplay, but with more futuristic weapons.
When reaching the factory, we were shown some stealth mechanics. Players can increase stats to improve their sneaking skill, but they still want to proceed with caution. Robotic guards patrol in a consistent pattern, so players will want to pay attention to progress. Hiding behind cover and timing movement is key here. Of course, if players want, they can also shoot their way through. As mentioned before, it’s always about choice. Players can even use their dialogue options to trick enemies, suchas using a factory intercom to invite all the employees for dinner with Clive. Apparently, none of them want dinner with him, and they all end up quitting.
Overall, The Outer Worlds is shaping up to be a WRPG in true Obsidian fashion. An open world with a sci-fi setting might just be the change of pace that Fallout fans would crave. The planetary landscapes are colorful and filled with indigenous life, creating a cool atmosphere. Luckily, those interested won’t have to wait too long, as The Outer Worlds releases on October 25th, 2019. It’ll release on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and will also be coming to PC on the Epic Games Store. Are you looking forward to Obsidian’s newest RPG?