“The Outer Worlds” is an action role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Private Division. Released in October 2019, the game has received significant attention for its engaging narrative, rich world-building, and unique blend of dark humor and social commentary. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of “The Outer Worlds,” explain how to play the game, and provide a list of the top 5 alternatives for those who enjoy this type of gaming experience.
Pros of “The Outer Worlds”:
- Engaging Narrative: One of the standout features of “The Outer Worlds” is its captivating and well-written narrative. The game is set in an alternate future where mega-corporations have colonized and terraformed various planets. The player takes on the role of a character who awakens from cryosleep to find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy. The storytelling is filled with clever humor and satirical takes on capitalism and consumerism, making it both thought-provoking and entertaining.
- Player Choice: The game’s narrative is highly responsive to the choices you make. Every decision, from character interactions to quest outcomes, can have lasting consequences. This depth of player agency allows for a high degree of replayability, as your choices significantly impact the game world.
- Rich World-Building: The world of “The Outer Worlds” is meticulously crafted, offering a wide variety of environments, from bustling cities to desolate wastelands. Each location feels unique and alive, with its own set of characters, factions, and lore. The game’s attention to detail in world-building is impressive and adds to the immersive experience.
- Companion System: The game features a diverse cast of companion characters, each with their own personalities, backstories, and questlines. These companions not only provide interesting interactions but can also affect the gameplay, offering unique abilities and options in combat and dialogue.
- Unique Setting: The game’s retro-futuristic, space-western setting is a refreshing departure from the more common space-themed games. The unique blend of futuristic technology and a wild-west feel creates a world that is both visually striking and thematically intriguing.
- Customization: “The Outer Worlds” offers a range of character customization options, allowing you to tailor your character’s skills, attributes, and appearance. This enables players to fine-tune their playstyle to suit their preferences, whether that’s focusing on combat, dialogue, or stealth.
- Morally Complex Choices: The game often presents players with morally ambiguous decisions, forcing them to consider the consequences of their actions. This adds depth to the narrative and encourages players to think about the ethical implications of their choices.
- Comedic Elements: “The Outer Worlds” is known for its humor, and the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s filled with witty dialogue, absurd situations, and quirky characters, providing a welcome change of pace from more somber RPGs.
- Comprehensive Crafting System: The game offers a robust crafting system that allows players to modify and improve their weapons and armor. This feature adds depth to the gameplay and allows for experimentation with different gear setups.
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- Modding Support: “The Outer Worlds” has a dedicated modding community, and mod support on PC allows players to enhance and customize their gaming experience further. This extends the game’s lifespan and opens up new possibilities for player-created content.
Cons of “The Outer Worlds”:
- Limited Open World: While the game boasts a rich and detailed world, it’s not truly open-world. The game is divided into several hub areas, and while they are interconnected, the exploration is somewhat restricted compared to other open-world RPGs.
- Shorter Playtime: Some players might find the game’s main storyline relatively short, especially if they focus solely on the main quests. However, the numerous side quests and branching storylines can significantly extend the gameplay experience.
- Combat Mechanics: The combat system in “The Outer Worlds” can be somewhat simplistic, with limited enemy variety and straightforward combat encounters. It lacks the depth and complexity seen in some other RPGs.
- Graphics and Performance: While the art style and aesthetics of the game are impressive, the graphics themselves may not be cutting edge. Furthermore, some players have reported performance issues, especially on older hardware.
- Limited Character Progression: Although there is a degree of character customization, some players may find that the skill system lacks depth compared to other RPGs. The progression of character abilities can feel somewhat limited.
Now that we’ve explored the pros and cons of “The Outer Worlds,” let’s move on to how to play the game effectively:
How to Play “The Outer Worlds”:
- Character Creation: Start by creating your character. You can choose their appearance, attributes, skills, and aptitude. Consider your preferred playstyle when allocating points, as this will affect your abilities in the game.
- Exploration: Once you awaken from cryosleep, you’ll find yourself on the spaceship “Hope.” Follow the tutorial prompts to get accustomed to movement and basic gameplay mechanics.
- Dialogue and Choices: Engage in dialogue with the various characters you encounter. Be mindful of the choices you make, as they can have significant consequences. Your character’s skills and attributes can influence the outcome of dialogue options.
- Companions: As you progress, you’ll meet potential companions. Choose the companions that align with your playstyle, as they can provide valuable combat and dialogue abilities.
- Quests: “The Outer Worlds” offers a variety of quests, including main quests and side quests. Take your time to explore the world, complete quests, and engage with the rich lore and storytelling.
- Combat: Combat in the game is real-time, and you can use a variety of weapons and abilities. Experiment with different weapons and tactics to find your preferred combat style.
- Skills and Perks: As you level up, you’ll gain skill points and perk points. Invest in skills that complement your playstyle and choose perks that enhance your character’s abilities.
- Equipment and Crafting: Collect and customize weapons and armor. You can also modify them using the game’s crafting system to enhance their performance.
- Factions: The game features several factions, and your interactions with them can affect the game’s outcome. Consider which factions align with your character’s beliefs and make choices accordingly.
- Morality and Consequences: Be prepared to make morally complex decisions, and remember that your choices can have lasting consequences. The game’s narrative is highly reactive to your actions.
- Exploration: Take the time to explore the game world thoroughly. You’ll discover hidden items, lore, and side quests that can enrich your experience.
- Save Often: “The Outer Worlds” allows manual saving. It’s a good practice to save your progress frequently, especially before making major decisions, to explore different outcomes.
With these tips, you should be well-prepared to dive into the world of “The Outer Worlds.”
Top 5 Alternatives to “The Outer Worlds”:
- Fallout: New Vegas: If you enjoyed the narrative-driven experience and dark humor of “The Outer Worlds,” you’ll likely appreciate “Fallout: New Vegas.” It’s also developed by Obsidian Entertainment and offers a post-apocalyptic open world filled with moral choices.
- Mass Effect Series: For those who enjoyed the character interactions and branching narratives of “The Outer Worlds,” the “Mass Effect” series offers a sci-fi RPG experience with a strong emphasis on storytelling and choices that affect the game world.
- Bioshock Infinite: This first-person shooter offers a captivating narrative in a unique, dystopian world. It explores themes of choice and morality and is known for its rich storytelling and unique characters.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution: If you appreciated the blend of stealth and role-playing elements in “The Outer Worlds,” “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” is a great choice. It combines a cyberpunk setting with player choice and exploration.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: While different in setting and tone, “The Witcher 3” is a masterpiece of storytelling, offering a vast open world filled with rich characters and complex choices. If you’re looking for a deep RPG experience, it’s a must-play.
In conclusion, “The Outer Worlds” is a compelling RPG that shines with its storytelling, player choice, and unique setting. While it may have some limitations, its strengths more than compensate for any drawbacks. With this guide, you should be well-equipped to enjoy the game and explore other titles that offer a similar experience.