So The Outer Worlds… What a bloody surprise this has been. Genuinely until about 11am last Friday my awareness of this game was minimal, as all of a sudden it just seemed to explode – Getting high review scores, being advertised as a better Fallout in space and a game you can’t miss if you’re a western RPG fan, it definitely piqued my interest. Luckily it was payday and I could just about afford this game, and I’ve got to say, I’m so glad I did as it’s probably my game of the year so far, and it’s definitely deserving of the high review scores.
To be honest, believe the hype; this game has me hooked and there really isn’t much at all that’s negative about this game. To me this game is a mix between Bioshock and Fallout with the colourful visuals of something like No Man’s Sky – You play the game from a first person perspective and it’s essentially a “choose your own adventure” in space. From discussions I’ve had with others here who are playing it as well we’re all having very different experiences from me, even down to the weapons they’re using, if all that doesn’t have you drooling I don’t know what will!
So the game opens up from the title screen and you’ve near-immediately got to get a hold of a ship; along the way you’re given a choice to get your first weapon, where some lad is injured and asks you to heal him (only available if you’ve started with the right med points) which you can do or attack him and put him out of his misery – I chose to heal him then shoot him with the gun he just gave you… And that’s the game in a nutshell. You’re pretty much completely free to do whatever you want in this, regardless of morality, and I really feel that there are consequences to how you act.
Soon after you get to the ship you discover it has no power and you need to go to the nearby town (Edgewater) to get some – Immediately you’re thrown into a quest on who to get the power from, who to help, picking up side quests and companions (who give you more quests) along the way and it’s just bloody brilliant. You’re constantly driven by a strong narrative choice, moreso I feel than a lot of other RPGs I play, as you really have to think how to act and in giving you this choice, the game forces you to explore everything and talk to everyone before making your decision, as it’s very possible to miss something and potentially make the wrong decision. This in turn makes the possibility of another playthrough very, very appealing. To be honest this is one of the main aspects of the game that makes it so great, the unique stories and missions given which are backed up by deep characters…
The characters of this world are absolutely sublime, including your companions – I’ll touch on them first; as is the way in most RPGs you get followers to help you on your quest for… Whatever you may be doing in this game. However these companions didn’t feel like “X medic with healing skill” like in Fallout or Skyrim; they’ve got a personality, a backstory, a different set of abilities that help you in the whole game (not just combat) and you get to know them; say the right thing and you’ll unlock a few side quests as well to make your playthrough even more enjoyable! They’ll also remember what you do, for example if a certain companion from Edgewater is with me and I diss it, they’ll pipe up and defend it; this makes the whole game feel more realistic but not in the (arguably) boring way that Red Dead Redemption 2 was! Then you’ve got the NPCs and the game has done well where pretty much 80% of the people you CAN speak to will have some sort of side quest, or information for what you’re doing, and this even can change depending on who’s with you. By following a companion’s side quest and taking them with me to a certain location I’ve opened up a whole romance side quest – Not even for myself! Needless to say the characters and narrative is deep as f’!
Behind all of the story and characters is a wonderfully crafted world which is rife for exploring, but not made too large so you get bored or lost. Once you repair your ship you can pretty much fly around the galaxy to wherever you want; each area you land in is open world, but because of the way it’s broken up it feels more concentrated, and it works. I’ve enjoyed not pointlessly walking for ages through an empty wasteland to an objective. Every time you land you have a certain area to explore/fight in following your arrival and objective markers, and there’s usually a good mix of open world which will have humans and creatures to destroy, as well as various settlements and buildings to explore and pick up new side quests in. What I really enjoyed were the little sci-fi additions such as random creatures running around, a device that cloaks you when going into restricted areas, ray guns, space suits, planetary expanses and much more.
What I’m trying to say is that this is an amazingly well made, deep, explorable game and it’s one that I can’t wait to get lost in over and over again. Truth is I’m only about 8 hours in (maybe a bit less), so as I explore more planets and the choices weigh heavy on my mind, things could change; hell, I haven’t even touched on the fun combat or awesome levelling system, so keep your eyes peeled for my full review. In the meantime you can see how much I’m enjoying it here:
If I was to score it right now it’d be a…