The Outer Worlds - Nintendo Switch

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Features

  • The player-driven story RPG: In keeping with the Obsidian tradition, how you approach The Outer Worlds is up to you. Your choices affect not only the way the story develops; but your character build, companion stories, and end game scenarios.
  • You can be flawed, in a good way: New to The Outer Worlds is the idea of flaws. A compelling hero is made by the flaws they carry with them. While playing The Outer Worlds, the game tracks your experience to find what you aren't particularly good at. Keep getting attacked by Raptidons? Taking the Raptiphobia flaw gives you a debuff when confronting the vicious creatures, but rewards you with an additional character perk immediately. This optional approach to the game helps you build the character you want while exploring Halcyon.
  • Lead your companions: During your journey through the furthest colony, you will meet a host of characters who will want to join your crew. Armed with unique abilities, these companions all have their own missions, motivations, and ideals. It's up to you to help them achieve their goals, or turn them to your own ends.
  • Explore the corporate colony: Halcyon is a colony at the edge of the galaxy owned and operated by a corporate board. They control everything... except for the alien monsters left behind when the terraforming of the colony's two planets didn't exactly go according to plan. Find your ship, build your crew, and explore the settlements, space stations, and other intriguing locations throughout Halcyon.

Product Description

The Outer Worlds is an award-winning single-player first-person sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore a space colony, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.

Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds.

9.25 Game Informer Must Play

The Outer Worlds

Good Company

by Joe Juba on Oct 22, 2019

Game Informer Must Play

Your crew on the Unreliable are some of the best and brightest in Halcyon – but considering the sorry state of civilization in deep space, that isn’t saying much. Your compatriots include a religious zealot, a heavy drinker, a compulsive cleaning robot, and other imperfect individuals. However, despite their flaws, this plucky team can help you find remarkable and unconventional solutions to the colony’s biggest problems. Whether you want to heal a rift between warring factions or destabilize a governing body, the underdogs of the Unreliable can get it done.

Like the misfits it features, The Outer Worlds finds inspiring success despite its rough edges. It has technical and visual quirks, and can veer dangerously close to feeling archaic, but these aren’t the qualities that define the game. Instead, The Outer Worlds distinguishes itself with a crumbling space colony controlled by cartoonishly evil corporate interests, then sets you and your party loose to explore, aid, and incite. Maybe that involves gunplay and innocent casualties – or maybe you can talk your way out of conflict altogether. The Outer Worlds finds brilliant and fun ways to blend signature aspects of well-known series like Fallout and Mass Effect; it is a space adventure featuring a likable cast and an irreverent-yet-dangerous frontier, with entertaining gameplay bridging the gaps.

The single best part is the freedom you have in approaching the various problems plaguing Halcyon. The corporations have done a terrible job taking care of their workers/citizens, so you need to reroute power, recover salvage, and reconcile militant factions across various planets and space stations. As you try to address these issues, The Outer Worlds deftly presents options beyond simple “stealth or melee” scenarios; depending on how you build your character and which tasks you complete, you can pursue a wealth of available options with rewarding outcomes.

In one case, I needed to access a high-security area in a government building. I found a woman who could sneak me in if I convinced her I was interested in a romantic rendezvous, or I could investigate a lunch-related feud between her and a coworker to win her over. Another option was simply stealing a disguise, which also required a silver tongue to divert suspicion if detected. Of course, I could have also opened fire and fought my way through, but I was so adept at lying and persuading that I usually only considered naked hostility as a last resort. This kind of flexibility makes The Outer Worlds especially satisfying, because no matter how you specialize, the team at Obsidian provides something clever to do apart from deciding how to kill folks.

Though I often sought nonaggressive solutions, I had fun with combat when it happened. Again, the flavor of encounters changes based on how you’ve allocated your skill points. My first character was melee-focused, with lots of points invested in buffing my companions; eventually, they could handle most fights without me. For my second playthrough, I made a more active hero, specialized in handguns and rifles with perks spent on improving a tactical time-slowing power (similar to Fallout’s V.A.T.S. system). Regardless of your focus, the controls are responsive and feel great. I especially liked firing off my companions’ cinematic attacks.

The crew of the Unreliable are solid traveling buddies, assuming you choose to recruit them. In different ways, they all struggle to find a place to belong in Halcyon, and I enjoyed getting to know them gradually through a mixture of conversations, ambient banter, and personal quests. However, these interactions are too sparse. What’s there is excellent; their dialogue and stories are well-done, and I like how most of them don’t fit neatly into established archetypes. But they can also feel oddly peripheral considering the time you spend with them by your side.

Structurally, the game follows the blueprint established by classics like Knights of the Old Republic. You go to a planet or settlement, do some quests, and eventually make a bigger decision that determines the fate of the area. Over the course of my two playthroughs – one thorough, one fast – I saw these scenarios play out in different ways, and I was a bit disappointed at how black-and-white the options are. Most boil down to siding with a heartless corporation or a group of freedom-loving dissidents, though completing sidequests usually reveals an optimal third option, like bringing feuding groups together. This predictability diminishes the magnitude of the seemingly significant choices, and combined with the static explanation screens you get during the ending, this is an area where The Outer Worlds feels outdated.

Even if the larger beats don’t always land, The Outer Worlds shines with a constant stream of small, bright moments. An amusing interaction with a clueless guard. A sugary corporate jingle. A brutal sneak attack. A solution to a problem you are sure won’t work, but it does. The team at Obsidian excels at encouraging creative experimentation within its responsive and absurd setting, ensuring that every visit to Halcyon is full of delightful surprises.

CONCEPT

Create a unique RPG that finds a meeting point between Fallout and Mass Effect, with space-faring action and choice-driven progression

GRAPHICS

While the visuals aren’t cutting-edge, the colorful graphics do a good job conveying the strange new worlds of Halcyon

SOUND

Your crew has an excellent cast of voice performers, and the music successfully evokes wonder and urgency as appropriate

PLAYABILITY

Cumbersome inventory management is my only complaint on this front. The controls work well otherwise, regardless of your preferred playstyle

ENTERTAINMENT

Finding your way through (or around) various problems is fun, and a streak of silly humor keeps the tone light enough to counterbalance the darker themes

REPLAY

Moderately High

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Specifications

General

Brand Name Private Division
GameStop Exclusive false

Ratings

ESRB Rating Mature
ESRB Descriptors Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Gameplay

Number of Players 1
Perspective 1st Person
Genre Action

Fandom

Publisher Name Private Division
Developer Name Obsidian Entertainment

The Outer Worlds - Nintendo Switch
$27.99 - $59.99