On Oct. 25, 2019, Obsidian Entertainment released “The Outer Worlds.” Announced at The Game Awards 2018, “The Outer Worlds” was revealed in-depth at E3 2019. Fans flocked in droves to the game upon its release, excited to once again have a game from the creators of “Fallout: New Vegas.”
While the creators of the game explicitly stated that this was not a “Fallout” game and would not have any tie-ins to the series, fans still were excited and slightly apprehensive to see what Obsidian would create. Known for helming one of the best atmospheres and worlds the “Fallout” series has ever had, it was a disappointment when Bethesda severed its partnership with Obsidian.
However, it was good news, as Bethesda’s over-reaching ideas have flopped in the past few years, most notably and recently with “Fallout 76,” which announced it’s new subscription service, Fallout First, last month.
Apprehensive and excited, fans downloaded “The Outer Worlds” and began their adventure. The opening sequence gives off much of a “Fallout”-style vibe, introducing us to the story of the Hope, the first civilian carrying ship to set off for the new colony of Halcyon.
“The Outer Worlds’” setting is based off of a point of divergence in actual human history. Instead of being assassinated, William McKinley lived, which meant that Theodore Roosevelt never became president and large corporate trusts were never broken up. This created a classist society which was dominated by mega-corporations. The corporations conglomerated into a government of sorts known as The Board.
The Board promised a productive, happy life, provided that you served a small term of indentured service working for one of the corporations. The Hope, the first ship to contain these hopeful colonists, was thrown off course and lost – or that’s what The Board wanted everyone to think.
The story begins seventy years after the loss of the Hope, when the colony is in full-swing, albeit falling apart and in a poor state of existence. You begin by watching someone break in and release one of the cryo-pods from what we can assume is the Hope. This triggers the character creator, which has a very “Fallout-”esque feel to it as well.
You can change a range of options very akin to the “Sims 4” character creator which allows for the adjustment of nearly every aspect of the body. The skills allotment feels like “Fallout: New Vegas” in a strange way.
Once you’ve designed and named your character, you sit through one more cutscene before you begin. To get you into the planet, you literally are rocketed through space in what can only be described as a flaming metal death pod. This statement becomes more apt when you emerge from your space pod and find exactly what – or rather, who – you’ve landed on.
There are ten main companies that make up The Board, and you’re introduced to the first one shortly after you begin. Spacer’s Choice, Auntie Cleo’s, Rizzo’s, ARMS, Kolway Pharmaceuticals, Universal Defense Logistics and Terra One Publications are the companies in The Board, but they aren’t the only companies in existence in Halcyon. There are several independent and smaller corporations that you’ll discover as you play.
In terms of gameplay, the game feels smooth and seamless in its weapon handling and combat sequences. The witty dialogue in addition to powerful gear and even better companion abilities all join in to make the game a truly enjoyable experience. The characters feel like a part of the environment and feel alive, versus just being there to progress the story.
Even the smaller side quests feel important to the game, and there are companion side quests in addition to the main storyline. It is, however easy to miss the activation point for a quest, or to entirely bypass a character’s companion quest if you don’t spend enough time with them.
That said, you’ll find yourself wanting to switch companions based partially on skill, but also based on location and how your team gets along. You end up growing attached to the characters and your choices will influence how the major battle of the game goes for your character. It’s a fight for the universe – the only question is, what side will you be on?