On October 25, 2019, Obsidian Entertainment, the developers behind the success of Fallout: New Vegas, launched an entirely new IP, The Outer Worlds. This first-person action-adventure RPG takes place in a star system far from the Earth and claims to replicate the experience of its spiritual predecessors.
So, how has the game aged in 2023, and is it still worth playing? Find out in this review of The Outer Worlds.
When it comes to the gameplay of The Outer Worlds, freedom is the name of the game. The RPG mechanics of this game take you back to the Fallout: New Vegas era. You can create your own character, recruits certain NPCs, and upgrade your skills, your ship, and even your crew. Moreover, your dialogue choices throughout the game lead to branching story paths and affect the endings.
The combat, while sometimes janky, never gets boring as you are free to use the many tools at your disposal. These include an arsenal of ranged and melee weapons. You can even use social interactions to avoid combat situations entirely, fulfilling your classical roleplay itch. All in all, each player can have an entirely different experience, giving room for multiple playthroughs.
This journey takes you to a new frontier in outer space, specifically on a six-planet star system called Halcyion. It was colonized by humans travelling in a ship called the Groundbreaker in 2285. However, a second ship, the Hope, sent on the same mission and consisting of the most brilliant minds on Earth, got lost in transit.
Each planet in Halcyon is designed to be different from the others. Although the map isn’t as big as most modern open-world titles, each area is crafted uniquely with various themes, enemies and resources.
In Halcyon, you play as the “Stranger”, a member of the crew of the Hope. You are awoken from cryosleep in 2355 by mad scientist Phinnas Welles. This is because he wants your help saving Halcyon from greedy megacorps. As you travel through various planets, you learn the darkest secrets of the organizations running them. With the secrets uncovered, your choices will greatly affect the fate of Halcyon.
In The Outer Worlds, the narratives of each planet you visit, every crew member you recruit, and every minor or major NPC you interact with play into the overarching story of the game. The tablets you find describing tales of Halcyon and how your actions change the fate of the world, drastically all work to make this world seem immersive and lively.
Currently, no game is able to capture the thrill of early Fallout games as much as The Outer Worlds. If you’re a fan of that franchise and want a similar experience where each character interaction tells a passionately crafted tale, and players are given all the freedom on how they want to approach the game. In that case, this space opera is highly recommended for you.
In June 2021, Obsidian Entertainment announced a sequel for this franchise, The Outer Worlds 2. So, with the sequel in the works, you should try The Outer Worlds and experience the journey of Halcyon.