A Casual Review of “The Outer Worlds”


“The Outer Worlds” (Photo by Ray Gill.)

Ray Gill, Student Writer

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for “The Outer Worlds.” Though, caution is taken. No characters or story details are discussed.

It’s a Capitalist Universe

“The Outer Worlds” is a first-person shooter and sci-fi, action RPG that features consequences. Every mission, side quest, task, and dialog option gives you choices which will result in paths opened or closed. Even something as simple as choosing a dialog option or walking into the wrong room can result in a completely different set of actions and choices available or closing. More than likely, this is a game you’ll be going back to older saves to recover from a bad decision. And you will definitely be making some questionable decisions as you try to find the best choice in the small capitalistic settlements.

Each place in this game you’ll come across settlements where they’re entirely run like a company or might be a full organization. Spacer’s Choice, Rizzo’s and C&P are some of the companies uncovered as you travel between planets. Each company or organization runs itself differently. Both negative and positive reputations are dependent on your actions with them. 

All of the settlement companies that are considered “official civilizations” are overseen by The Board — a totalitarian oversight that judges everything within the planetary system. Your reputation among the settlements The Board govern are reported to The Board. They are the titled antagonists of the game. Society is run similar to those dubbed in the books “1984” or “Fahrenheit 451” where people are treated in a way that wouldn’t normally be seen as moral. 

As your character is dropped into all this, you are given the option to either abandon the mind control of The Board and fight against them or join up gaining titles and fortune. Choices are up to you. At times, those choices can be difficult or seem like the best option depending on the point-of-view.

“The Outer Worlds” features colorful scenery. (Photo by Ray Gill.)

Leveling Up

All these choices would not be possible without shooting, talking, and sneaking your way through the game. “The Outer Worlds” provides multiple ways to complete each quest. Some will give you simple directions such as telling you to go somewhere or do something and return. While others, you’ll be rushing in guns a blazin’ or the opposite where you’re need to use stealth. Unlike other games, some quests can be completed by others or skipped altogether through persuasion, intimidation, or bribing. Hopefully, you have a high enough skill level for any of the actions though.

The game has both a skill leveling tree which gives you the ability to level up while gaining new abilities. These are increased with a skill in melee, ranged attack, defense, dialog, stealth, tech, and leadership categories. Alongside these, there are also perks which give you a special effect every other level called a “perk.” There are three levels of perks which give you better bonuses along the skill tree. Since perks get harder to obtain as leveling up takes more experience each time, Obsidian Entertainment created an interesting compromise for obtaining more perks by opting into the “flaw” system. 

Could You Remain Flawless?

Flaws are exactly what they sound like. You can gain a flaw which will give you an extra perk point with the downside of also getting a flaw. A flaw can be any amount of negativity to your character from a permanent point deduction on some skills, conditional perk deductions when around or doing something to things like removal of an ability or a permanent action like movement speed or loss of the ability to dodge. Flaws can be introduced at anytime for almost any reason, but they seem to mostly come about when you do something repetitively such as getting hurt from fall damage or fighting a lot of robots. Opting in is optional, though, they never go away.

Interesting sci-fi mechanisms are featured in “The Outer Worlds.” (Photo by Ray Gill.)

Perks and skills won’t be enough for you to make it through this game on alone. You will need weapons and this game has plenty. With various types of melee and projectile weapons, you will be able to find exactly the kind of play style you like. Almost every weapon has mods like increase magazine size, speed up rates of fire, and changing damage types. The game also has special weapons which you can not mod because of their special properties and sometimes their abilities. Whatever your playstyle is though, you will definitely be able to find an almost perfect setup. 

Verdict 4.8/5

“The Outer Worlds” was released October 25 of this year by Obsidian Entertainment. Playable on all platforms with a Nintendo Switch version coming in 2020.  The game ties in a mixing of games from “Bioshock” to “Borderlands” and “Fallout.” Though, it doesn’t feel as if it copied directly from any of them.

 The game has enjoyment for everyone. You can try to make everyone happy while taking your time to find the best solution for each problem in the game or you can just not care while running in killing everything in sight. Every play though will be left to find something new like a previously undiscovered area or a new way to complete a quest you didn’t even know was an option. Even after doing everything you can and finally complete the main story, you will more than likely be coming back to play some more.

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