The Outer Worlds combines classic role-playing game elements with shooter action in an open game world. The game is developed by the US studio Obsidian Entertainment, which was acquired by Microsoft. The developers have made a name for themselves with well-known games like Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity. In their latest game, you will meet lots of trigger-happy companions in different worlds. However, there is no beauty here. Rather, you get to deal with garish and unfriendly places where colourful monsters and brutal bounty hunters are in charge.
Slow down time
The story takes place on the outer edge of a galaxy divided among power-hungry corporations, which have begun colonizing and terraforming alien planets. The protagonist of the game possesses a superpower, called Time Dilation: His brain has taken irreparable damage during the many decades in hypersleep, which makes him perceive time differently. He can temporarily slow down time, therefore increasing combat effectiveness drastically. The gameplay itself is strongly reminiscent of Fallout - not just because of the retro-futuristic atmosphere created by the game's colour palette, but also the general design of buildings and objects.
Fights are tackled together with up to two AI comrades, which simply shoot at everything that moves and provide a certain advantage with special abilities. One companion, for example, can call upon a lightning strike shattering enemy groups. Dead opponents then constantly discard loot and experience points that can be used to upgrade your character in a myriad of ways. The improvement possibilities not only concern your character but also your comrades, weapons and armour. Depending on how you distribute your ability points, you can also improve your Time Dilation ability to unlock unique combat powers that can cripple or blind enemies. A further ability allows you to scan enemies and get detailed information about them.
Exciting decisions instead of repetitive quests
The Outer Worlds provides players with the opportunity to shape the future of the game. When talking to NPC's, you can choose from many options and certain missions are sure to lead you on different paths than other players. If you have enough charisma, you can lie to the person you are talking to. The borders between good and evil are often blurred. In the space colony, every encounter has something crazy about it anyways. All living creatures in the game can be killed - a decision which is said to have caused the development team a lot of trouble. For every NPC that is important to a quest, you need to have a backup for the player.
While the playing time of the game is generally kept pretty short at around 20 to 40 hours, the replay value is quite high due to the numerous decision options. The gameplay is meant to give the players as much freedom as possible, while also providing a great story, suitable for a role-playing game - players can also expect similar black humour as from Fallout and Borderlands.