The Outer Worlds
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The Outer Worlds

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The Outer Worlds :: Reviews
Shinobi
Reviewed
11.07.2019
Publisher
Private Division
Developer
Obsidian
Format
1x BD
Digital
Available
10.25.2019 
 (US) $59.99
10.25.2019 
 (UK) £42.99
Platforms
XB1, PS4, Win 
Difficulty
Adjustable
Dimensions
3D
View
1st Person
Genre
Action / RPG
Player(s)
1
1 (XBL)
n/a (co-op)
Options
n/a
Requires
n/a
ESRB
M - Mature 17+
Introduction
     > The Outer Worlds takes place in a space traveling solar system with many locations to explore. It's an action/RPG, which is exclusively played with a fist person view. The player can form a party with two NPCs max, and is responsible for their equipment. Aside from not having a third person view, it reminds me quite a bit of Knights of the Old Republic II on Xbox, also developed by Obsidian. In KOTOR, one can pause time to make tactical decisions, while in Outer Worlds, the player can slow time (limited) for perfect aim. The hacking, item/weapon acquisition, and mind tricks are all too familiar -- and welcome! The game even has  a "Plasma Cutter", which works just like a Light Saber.

     > The story is entertaining, while not full of endless text to read. The player is marooned on a planet, and must repair a spaceship to explore the solar system. Along the way, one will align with certain factions and fight against others. The mission is to discover why the people of the Halcyon Colony are starving, and others are being used as test subjects. The player's decisions will decide the fate of citizens, corporations, and the Halcyon Colony.

     > So the game is out for Xbox One, PS4 and Windows right now, and to be released on Nintendo Switch some time in 2020. It's good to see games like this be released on all current platforms. I'm curious to see if Obsidian releases any DLC in the months ahead, as it would be welcome.

Graphics
     > This game uses the Unreal 4 graphic engine, which many have grown accustom to by now. It's played entirely with a first person view, which works well enough. At first look, one might see landscapes, planets in the sky, and vegetation that are reminiscent of No Man's Sky. Of course, this is a futuristic sci-fi game, yet many of the buildings, advertisements, and weapons have a decidedly throwback nature. That's fine by me. The various, impressive locales include bustling cities, huge buildings, treacherous terrain, large caves, and space stations. On the other hand, the enemies are a bit vanilla.

     > Most of the enemies in the game are either human or android. The rest is based on rats, dogs, alligators, apes, and huge insects. They do move and animate convincingly, though. I especially like the time slowing to show a close-up of the perfect sniper shot .

     > The weapons are varied among clubs, blades, scythes, handguns, rifles, and launchers. The glaring omission is magic -- how can this be? Oh well, the weapons at one's disposal look cool, regardless. My favorite looking melee weapon is the Plasma Cutter (of course), while the Grenade Launcher is the most impressive gun.

     > So what about character creation? Itís a simple, easy set of choices to create a boring male or an ugly female. One might actually come across a decent looking guy, but why do some developers insist on making ugly women in RPGs? Overall, quite weak.

Control
     > Ok, now Iíve have some major time on this action/RPG by Obsidian -- to the tune of 45+ hours. It feels familiar in many ways to KOTOR, minus the time stoppage for tactical decisions. Instead, one can slow time for everyone and take better aim. It is mainly a run-and-gun type gameplay, plus (clunky) fist person melee combat. The ability to change difficulty mid-stream is welcome, as the eventual wall of frustration (for me) does arrive. Thankfully, thereís not too much precise platform jumping to be done. I do love the lock picking, because one either has the stats to succeed or not ó no mini-bs-game. How about stealing? I like this gameís version ó easy to do, and talk or fight oneís way out of it. Lastly, I appreciate the numerous weapons and armor that can be acquired as well.

     > So what about managing level ups and equipment? One earns 10 allocatable stat points every level, plus the occasional perk point. One can earn and assign perks for NPC team members as well. Donít like the direction oneís character is going? The ability to reassign stat points is available too. For weapons and armor, itís mainly about weight; carry too much and one has to salvage, drop or sell items. Itís easy to decide what to equip, and to enhance it. The incessant need to repair is lame, though. A cool feature is the story even involves seeking scientific weapons that have unique effects.

Sound
     > The Outer Worlds has music that focuses on the environment and the situation at hand.  It's largely calm, and occasionally pulse pounding, especially while a major battle is underway. There's nothing particularly memorable, and certainly nothing to make you turn the music down. It's merely effective for the player's current situation. Solid to be sure.

     > The sound effects are [mainly] comprised of groans, grunts, bullets firing, grenades exploding, blades slashing, and numerous environmental noises. I do like the little jingle every time one uses a vending machine, though. The best effect (by far) is the echoing sound of a kill shot -- boom!

Fun
     > The game will take about 40-45 hours to complete at a normal pace. Quests are numerous and reasonable to maintain. Thereís no GPS for quest objectives, but the map marks the target area. Each side-quest is possible to complete, branch or even fail. I failed at least one quest by killing the person that gave it to me (lol). One is free to traverse all the locales that have been opened via quest and key cards. The only thing stopping one from taking a short cut or accessing a particular location is the usual topography or occasional invisible wall.

     > Admittedly, Outer Worlds would've been much more fun with a third person view and magic. However, for what is there, the game is solid and quite satisfying. There's no boring 5-10 minute long cut-scenes to endure. The story is good and not too overwhelming -- whew. Overall, I had no problem playing this game through to the end, and would consider another jaunt at some point.

Bottom Line
     > The Outer Worlds is a great sci-fi RPG, albeit totally first person. There's no option to play with a third person view, which is preferable. The saving grace is the echoing sound effect when one snipes a head shot kill. I think having no magic makes for somewhat boring attacks -- aim, shoot or swing, etc... The locales are a joy to discover, while the towns, buildings, and spacecraft can be quite a labyrinth. Anyway, if a single player, free roaming, first person, action/RPG set in a futuristic solar system sounds good, then The Outer Worlds is recommended. Just don't expect flashy graphical effects, long cut-scenes, or huge enemies.

Pro tip: Raise the lockpick and hacking skills to 100 ASAP, and don't forget about taking advantage of party bonuses to the player's stats.

Ratings
Overall: 8.3 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 7.5 | Sound: 8.0 | Fun: 8.5
~Shinobi~

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