I am someone who never really got into the Fallout series, with my only experience being a few hours into New Vegas. One of my friends gifted me the Outer Worlds boasting that I would enjoy the experience.
I was a little skeptical at first as I didn't find myself very invested into Fallout, but what I discovered is a game that offers amazing storytelling with an expandable world with fantastic side quests. Obsidian Entertainment knew what they were doing when it came to crafting an immersive storytelling experience.
Pros and Cons
-Interesting story that develops by your choices
-Amazing combat with numerous weapons to use and companions to recruit
-Dialogue options that will determine how your character interacts with others
-Lots of skills to upgrade with many perks to choose from
-Fantastic soundtrack, filled with catchy tunes to fit every planet you go to
-Beautiful graphics represented well throughout the planets that you explore
-Tactical Time Dilation skill felt unneeded
-Limited ammo that requires management of how you use certain weapons.
The Unknown Variable
The story starts out aboard this ship called The Hope, in the year 2285. On this ship hundreds of thousands of colonists were put into stasis to Halcyon. This trip was planned to be ten years of travel and a small crew of 24 people would keep an eye on them to maintain and pilot the ship. After nine years, the ship suffered a skip drive malfunction, rendering it incapable of faster than light travel with no way to fix it.
25 years later the ship was found by the Halcyon Holdings Corporate Board but since the colonists had spent a long time in stasis, they could not revive them safely. Thus the Board decided to hide the discovery of the ship along with the public outcry to help them. However, a scientist named Phineas Welles worked for them and hated the fact that The Board left The Hope to die. He went abroad and was able to bring out one person, a nameless protagonist (you can name him or her) is then sent out to retrieve a few things to help save the colonists.
That is only scratching the surface of the story in The Outer Worlds. It’s packed to the brim-full of places for you to explore and things to do, the main story only has about a few missions to it. The game heavily wants you to do side questing and explore its world, there are a few planets that you can go on with their own side quests. Depending on what you do, will determine what you will see on the ending you will get.
Guns, skills, and perks oh my!
The Outer Worlds has some amazing combat with some satisfying weapons to use. You can find assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and plasma weapons to take out Marauders, Raptidons, and many more enemies. Weapons and armor will degrade over time and they will need to be repaired with weapon and armor parts at a workbench. If your engineering skill is at a certain level you can repair them without a workbench or have a vendor do it. You can also equip weapon mods that will give them state bonuses like dealing shock or acidic damage, a built-in scoop, or increased magazine size.
Then there are skill trees, the entire game revolves around this feature and if you want to do certain things, you will have to have that skill at a certain level. These can have a range of skills but they can also have dialogue options for you to choose from, each with their own unique responses.
Each skill will be put into sections, for example, dialog can have, persuade, lie, and intimidate. So when you level up, you can put some skill points into that skill and when that skill reaches level 50, you can put points into something like intimidating or persuade.
You can also get companions to assist you on your mission. They have their own special abilities but they manually follow one principle of dealing damage. They can have their own perks increasing their usefulness and have a say in some conversations. I enjoyed the fact that they can interact with each other which was a nice touch.
There are dialogue options for you to choose from when talking to people which can benefit you, depending on what choices you make. You will need to have certain dialogue skills at a certain level in order to make a specific choice though. So if you want to intimidate someone and it has the number 40 on it, you will need to at least have a skill level of 40 or higher to do that. There is a little more to this skill level feature that I will explain later in the review.
Next are perks, which give you benefits such as extra health, additional carrying capacity, or running speed. You can also acquire a flaw, debuffs that your characters can get, causing you to take increased damage or incur status effects. I recommend getting a few, as you can get some extra perk points by using them, you can be flawed, in a good way.
There are two issues I have with the gameplay which do not completely ruin the experience but are worth mentioning. First, I never found the Tactical Time Dilation skill to be of any use. This skill allows you to slow down time to get a better aim on the enemies, but this was something that was not really needed from my perspective and I never found a situation where I would benefit from using the skill.
Second, there are only three ammo types, light ammo for pistols and shotguns, heavy ammo for assault and sniper rifles, and energy ammo for plasma-based weapons. The shared grouping of ammo makes it difficult to use weapons in the same category as you will simply run out of ammo too quickly. This prevented me from using some of my favorite guns when I wanted to.
Graphics, Performance, and Soundtrack
The Outer Worlds is a beautiful game all around with every planet having something unique to explore. You will find yourself adventuring from thriving cities filled with wealthy residents to others that are dangerous wastelands littered with hostile creatures. The diversity of themes is impressive.
I played on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, with16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while playing and sat at a smooth 60 FPS.