WAYPT: The Outer Worlds

A man wearing a costume smiling moon head.

I know, I know, I said I wasn't gonna write about the big AAA games, but I'm not gonna pretend I don't play 'em, and it is what I'm playing today, after all. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't writing this partly to get in a quick cheap shot at Bethesda for continuing to blow it on Fallout 76, but it's mostly tangential. (A subscription service to a game that is literally the example of how not to do a game release? Really? Really?)

At any rate, The Outer Worlds is essentially Fallout in Spaaaaaaace. Obsidian Entertainment developed this game; if you don't recall, they also developed Fallout: New Vegas, which is still generally regarded as one of the best in the Fallout series. I'm not going to call it derivative, but it will feel suspiciously familiar to Fallout fans. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just not a new thing.

A first person view of a hand holding a pistol, in a run down bunk-style bedroom
i'm not gonna say it's the most similar but it's pretty close

It's a bog-standard action RPG in terms of gameplay. There's a relatively unique weapon mod system and no shortage of weapons with which to tinker. The companion system reminds me a lot of Mass Effect¹, which is to say your NPC companions have actual personalities and opinions instead of being bland reskins of one dull machine gun with legs. If it's not especially innovative, it's at least engaging.

The rumor on the wind (that Obsidian has categorically denied) is that The Outer Worlds is Obsidian's answer to Fallout 76, and something of a dunk on Bethesda for how colossally they've blown it on the series and for how they ran Obsidian around with last-minute demands on various things in the past. I have heard people insist this is bullshit rumor-mongering, and I have heard people insist this is absolutely true; I'm making no judgments as to what the truth is. At any rate, Fallout 4 was okay, but it wasn't New Vegas by any stretch. If it really is a pissing contest to establish who truly "owns" the series, this is a solid win for Obsidian.

A woman, Parvati, with brown hair tied back and slit goggles on her head, complaining about her boss
parvati is the best companion no further questions

You'll need a fairly beefy setup in order for The Outer Worlds to run smoothly – if you have anything less than an NVIDIA GeForce 10-series GPU at the bare minimum, you'll probably run into skipping, screen tearing, and slowdowns. According to the official specs, a GTX 1060 is optimal. (I have a GTX 1070 and it runs great for me.)

Action RPG fans will likely be pleased with it as long as you don't go in expecting anything especially innovative. You can also get it fo' free² with the Xbox Game Pass, which is also for the PC and IMO is solidly worth the $3.99 a month (resenting extra tithes to Father Gates notwithstanding). I dunno that I'd drop 60 greenbacks on it, but getting it plus a few other pretty good games for 4 bucks a month? It's at least worth a go.

¹ if you haven't played the Mass Effect series, I strongly recommend you do – most computers can run the first game in the trilogy at this point and they're easily three of the best action RPGs of all time

² okay, not free-free, but free-r



Occasionally reality-prone. Cross-stitch, synthwave, and video games.