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The Outer Worlds review. AKA: Obsidian's middle finger to Bethesda.

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This game is pretty much Obsidian's "go fuck yourself" to Bethesda. And it's pretty good, especially this year considering Bethesda is currently just making things worse for themselves. 

The Outer Worlds review: Fall deeply into the best Fallout-like game in years

The plot of the game is pretty cool. Humanity was flown to space & they're creating a colony for themselves which they name Halcyon. You were originally one of the hibernated passengers in a ship called the Hope that unfortunately got drifted in space and hadn't been able to settle in the new colony for decades. Lucky for you an eccentric wanted scientist named Phineas Wells decided to get you out of hibernation and then tells you that this colony is run by a bunch of greedy assholes called the Board, and it's your job to help him fight against them, as seen in this intro.

What you do from then on will decide the fate of the colony, and it will be VERY familiar if you have played any Fallout games since Fallout 3. Want to be a space captain that helps everyone you meet, or become an employee of the greedy Board and kill people but becoming rich in doing so? It's all up to you. And it's all 99% bug free with no game breaking bugs to deal with! ;) 


If you think to yourself that this game will be Fallout in space, then congratulations, you are correct. The same usual gameplay of Fallout since Fallout 3 is here: kill people + hostile creatures, loot so many objects & sell almost all of them, talk to people & make choices which can change the outcome in the game world, choose how you want to develop your character personal skills, it's just as you remembered it, though there are a few differences to make it not blatantly Fallout.


For starters, VATS is changed into "Tactical Time Dilation", aka slow motion. You aim at an enemy & depending on which part of their body you aim, you can inflict different stat damages. So if you aim their head while in this mode, you make them dazed. You shoot their butt + groin, you make them, well, wince in pain. You shoot their leg, you make them walk slower. This also applies to creatures & robots, and overall it's self-explanatory enough. It still uses a meter for you to use, and when you get into high levels & unlock perks, that buffs it, this ability will be really damn OP. So good that the final boss can be crippled & made a mockery of in just 30 seconds.


There are 6 companions you can recruit in this game & each one will have their own sidequests, except a robot named SAM. You get to bring 2 companions along with you in the game, and bringing them will actually give you stat buffs when you level yourself up & assign the appropriate perk. You can also use companion skills in combat by pressing their skill buttons, though only if your "leadership" stats is at the right minimum. Other than that though, the combat is good. Like Fallout, every weapon + armor can be modified if you have the right attachments. The guns are punchy and it feels good blasting enemies, and there are cool special science weapons you can use after you acquire them. There's a shrink ray, a gravity blob gun that makes enemies float to the air when it hits them and mind control gun.

No nuke like Fatman though because that'll be too OP in this game. The melee is definitely a step down though because there's no cool finisher animations, so you just whack enemies, but you can make their heads explode when you hit their head at least. 


Some areas in the game are restricted, but you can disguise yourself by collecting IDs that's used for that area. It does have a meter to use & once it depletes and you're spotted, you'll be questioned by the npc, though if you're like me and have a bunch of points for persuasion, you can easily go through it. These areas are of course filled with hackable things & locked doors that you can pick open as per usual tradition, and thankfully there's no need to do some annoying word matching or lockpicking minigame, so if you have enough skills to hack & pick lock, you're good to go! You can kill everyone in that restricted zone if you wish. 


Then there's how the game doesn't just take place in one huge open world. Since you're in space, you can actually use your spaceship & travel into other planets & space ships. It's like travelling to different worlds in Kingdom Hearts. Surprisingly even though you travel to these different planets, the things you get to do are far fewer than Fallout New Vegas & 4. I played New Vegas for 48 hours and somehow I haven't finished the game, and I played Fallout 4 for 111 hours total. Outer Worlds? Only around 21+ hours, and this is me completing every single sidequests, companion quests & main quests I can find. If there's any that I miss, there probably are only 1 or 2. They're definitely going to put more in future dlcs though because I saw some planets in the game that can't be explored yet.


I like parts in the game where it doesn't take itself seriously. There's a lot of funny banters between your companions when they speak to each other & some quests are pretty silly. Especially with your crew Parvati. Her quest is so damn cute I can't help but smile when I finished it. For some reason though, even though the earlier parts of the game have quite a few funny moments, halfway through the game it all becomes 90% dead serious with the humor being toned WAAAYY the hell down. Like this one sidequest I did with a fashionista that wants to make me a suit. It starts silly because you have to pose for her & get ingredients for the outfit, then you have to do deal with silly stuff in this post office because "oh you're gonna talk to person b next door cause I can't help you with this", but then in the end the fashionista ended up getting killed because what she's doing is breaking the law, so you got the outfit eventually but you feel really bad afterward. WHAT THE HELL???? You ain't Nier Automata game!


Although the game is pretty good and is a good fresh start for Obsidian, there are a couple of things that doesn't make this game an "OMG THIS GAME IS FREAKING AWESOME" game. This is what I call a "safe" game. It works well overall with everything working like they're supposed to, but everything this game did had been done already. There's no epic plot turning moments or unexpected twists like Fallout 4 with the big twist regarding the Institute which turns the entire game on its head & makes you have to do some hard choices. There are definitely hard choices you have to make in the game like the first planet you are in where in the end you had to choose which one of 2 settlement would you support more & turns out you can actually make an option that benefits both settlements if you pick the right options, and the same thing happens on this planet called Monarch with 2 factions there, but that's about it. The overall main quest boils down to "do you want to be a savior of the world and fight back against the greedy Board, or do you want to screw everyone over and be a part of the Board" with no unexpected twist. Why not have a secret third party that flips everything around??


I mentioned before how the game takes me 21+ hours long to beat including the sidequests. This is actually a good length, but for Obsidian, I actually expected a lot more considering that they did KOTOR 2, Fallout New Vegas & Pillars of Eternity with TONS more stuff to do. Hell, they even make a linear game like Alpha Protocol freaking awesome because you can tinker with character relationships and choices in that game that makes for multiple playthroughs, aside from the unfortunate bugs in that game. Waiting to see how the DLC will expand things.


I also don't like how this game dialogue is like Fallout 3/ Elder Scrolls stiff where npcs talk to you with awkward poses. There are a couple of parts with some arm movement to make it not robotic, but it's too few of it. Fallout 4 have more natural body language than this game. Why isn't there more moments like in the opening with funny body language? Also the fact that there's NO ROMANCE. That's right, it ain't here! And from what I read, there was supposed to be a romance sidequest between you & your crewmates, but it was cut for time. URRGHH, the one part of this game that I want, and it ain't here! And the bummer is that the crewmates have great interactions with you which CAN lead to romance if it's allowed, but the game doesn't let you and it's all about "being friends & looking out for each other" instead like Firefly, which this game is heavily inspired by. So all that crew sidequest I did for the characters, how I pretty much went all of my way to help them find peace with their past & help them with their personal issues, even going as far as to pay 3000 currency for stuff that they want, and all it ever amounts to is "thanks Captain, you're a good person"??? BULLSHIT! I WANT ROMANCE DAMN IT!


Then the biggest downer of them all: it ends on a sequel bait, but it ends conclusively so there's no point to it. There's a mystery at the very end of the game regarding the earth, but the main plot is resolved & there's an epilogue detailing what happens to you & the people you helped along the way in typical Fallout style that just completely disregard the mystery about earth. So what's the point of doing it??? Can't it just be saved for the opening to Outer Worlds 2???


So overall, this is a pretty good safe game. It's definitely WAAYYY better than Fallout 76 and a good start for a new series. I give this game the rating of "so good you can't wait for the sequel, or in this game's case the dlcs to see how the story expands". This is a good game to fill the time before Death Stranding. 2 WEEKS TO GO!

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