THE OUTER WORLDS
In Halcyon we trust.
By JAY TEE
Combat is great, the time dilation mechanic works well, and the controls are sensibly mapped. Overall, a thumbs up.
The voice acting across the board is superb. In fact, sound design in general is excellent, with lots of fun dialogue choices.
There is an enormous amount to see and do, especially if you wander around and see what’s out there. A generous package.
The skyboxes are incredible, with excellent environmental detail. Facial animation could definitely use some work.
THE LAST WORD
The Outer Worlds is an engrossing and often hilarious RPG, and one of Obsidian’s best titles to date.
THE FINAL SCORE
We use a simple “out of 5” rating criteria for all reviews.
4 out of 5 is GREAT.
A positive, varied experience, with plenty of reasons to invest. Even if it’s just shy of perfection.
*Reviewed on PS4 Pro, with a copy provided by Obsidian.*
The BREAK THE TARGETS badge is for a game that has excellent side quests and/or optional missions and activities.
The LOOT ON THE ROOT badge is for a game with lots of different collectibles, items, and other bits and pieces.
The ANDREX DOG badge is for a game with a memorable AI companion.
The YOSHI’S EYELIDS badge is for a game where the facial animation leaves much to be desired…
The DRAGON’S DOGSHIT badge is for a game with a truly fantastical and / or otherworldly setting.
The KITCHEN SINK badge is an indication of a game that is bursting at the seams with content (either on disc or DLC).
The BARREL OF LAUGHS badge is for when a game boasts a keen, sharp wit and several laugh out loud moments.
IS IT FUN?
There’s plenty activities to distract yourself from the main quest line, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that just being present in The Outer Worlds is an absolute joy. Bizarre looking creatures and angry plant life can be found at every turn, and you’ll often find yourself bumping into folks that are either giving out simple tasks, or have a much more dramatic axe to grind. Either way, there’s multiple approaches you can take in order to achieve your objectives. On top of that, you’ve got a ship A.I. dripping in sarcasm, the option to brutally murder almost any NPC, an equipable flaw that provides other potential bonuses, an upgrade path dedicated to smooth talking your way out of situations, as well as all manner of neat little flourishes that elevate the overall experience.
For no justifiable reason, I straight up bludgeoned an early quest giver. I think it was a member of the police faction on the first planet… In any case, it came from a desire to test the limits of the game design, and hilariously, it worked. Even now, in the spirit of true role play, I still don’t know if my actions inadvertently cut off a potential plot line. I could have looked it up online, but chose to remain in blissful ignorance. If nothing else, this told me that if it looks like you can do something, you probably can. It’s a testament to the thought and care that has been lavished on every facet of The Outer Worlds, and is very much in keeping with Obsidian’s pedigree. Thankfully, core mechanics are also well polished, with smooth performance and non obtrusive combat controls rounding out a much less glitch-
*Sort of. They might be nitpicks, but they are worth noting.*
It’s hard to poke holes in a game made with such obvious love and affinity for the genre. However, there are a few things that stop The Outer Worlds from achieving a perfect score. The menu’s are very cluttered, with absurdly small text sizing (especially with subtitles turned on). Navigating the skill tree, reading collectible items, and generally accessing anything on screen is annoying. I find the player movement to be a little stilted at times, and there’s some stiff looking NPC animation. I noticed it more during dialogue sequences, where the facial animation isn’t great. My final nitpick is the lack of voice acting for the player character. I know this is a stylistic choice, and I’m glad that all NPC’s are fully voiced, but I’m not a fan of the silent protagonist in games where you’re given dialogue options.
*Big ol’ expansions please!*
The very structure of the game itself has been built to support [literally] new worlds. By design, The Outer Worlds seems ripe for DLC expansion, and given the many narrative threads (that shall remain unspoiled here), and their proclivity for adding new stuff to their games a few months post launch, it feels like a safe bet that Obsidian will deliver fresh content in the future. The opportunities here are boundless, limited only by their imagination. New enemy types, gameplay mechanics, and environments are all fair game. One thing I’d love to see expanded upon is the stealth mechanics; full takedown animations, more distraction options, and perhaps new gear that caters to that specific playstyle would all make for welcome improvements. My money is on this years Game Awards to bring us a patented Keighley Scoop.
The Outer Worlds is every bit the RPG you’ve been looking for, with a razor sharp script, bevy of player determined choices, and environments begging to be explored. From the very beginning, you’re given opportunities to shape the game to your liking. The robust character customisation options and numerous skill trees add depth without being overwhelming, and you’ll never be short of things to see and do. Despite the pace of combat, it’s in the quieter moments where the game truly excels; each planet presents a fresh spin on the familiar, and it pays to go off the path and dig around. The characters you’ll meet are varied and extremely well realised, with genuinely funny dialogue prompts that have a tangible impact on how the story plays out. The branching narrative will even evoke your fondest memories of Mass Effect era Bioware.
This is a very, very good videogame.
THE BASICS -
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT -
You’ve got the option of fighting back with one or two handed melee weapons. In this case, the masked goon brought a sword to a gun fight.