|The Outer Worlds|
|release date||October 25, 2019|
On October 25, Obsidian Entertainment released The Outer Worlds. Before its release, gamers knew that they were waiting for a solid space western or Fallout: New Vegas, but without the post-apocalypse and with acidic colors. Everything turned out that way, but in addition to positive elements, the game has problems. How bad everything is and whether The Outer Worlds has a chance to become the best RPG of 2019, read in our review.
The Outer Worlds takes players to the future, where humans colonize distant systems in search of a better life. First, civilization comes to new worlds, then capitalism, but then it only gets worse.
The colonies in the Alcyone system are decaying, the worlds need fresh and bright minds, scientists, educators, engineers, intelligentsia. They are then sent to Alcyone on the huge ship «Hope», where they are immersed in cryosleep. But the space ship is lost, and after 70 years, the Hope with frozen colonists is found by Finneas Wells, a scientist rebel who rebelled against local corporations and wants to wake up and deliver thousands of great minds to the Alcyone colonies so that they revive the world of people that has fallen into decay.
For the plan, Wells lacks some elements and details, so he wakes up one of the sleepers — the main character. The character is sent to the nearest planet to sort out the situation and help Phineas return Alcyone to the path of development.
The Outer Worlds is a game where there is no Good and Evil. Here you will not meet either classic heroes or clichéd villains, because everyone has their own dark and light side, which means that human souls are only gray.
The plot of The Outer Worlds does not pretend to depth and revelation. This is a well-told story, through which the player is intimately acquainted with the world. True, it won’t work to immerse yourself up to your ears, the game is not as large-scale as the same recent Fallout, and it is clear that the creators did not have enough time and money to deepen their world and make the immersion maximum. Still, they did a great job with what they had, so there is something to see, do, and explore just around every corner.
The Outer Worlds doesn’t have a large open world, but the locations are large enough that they don’t look like gut-sized maps with quests. The player and his team move on their own spaceship between planets and huge drifting stations. Moving and dividing into such hub zones is reminiscent of Mass Effect, but you don’t need to refuel.
True, the limitations of the world are also visible here, because half of the planets are not accessible. Most likely, locations will be opened in future free DLC, otherwise why add them to the game, not let gamers go there and do nothing with them. This is not in the rules of the venerable developers from Obsidian, so we are waiting for developments.
At the same time, the locations themselves are quite extensive and filled with life, however, they still cannot compete in area with modern open worlds. Although the scale in this vein is not needed for the game. It is better for the creators to diversify the cards themselves and make more available planets.
Lots of side quests. For the most part, they are no worse than story missions, but there is also a classic for the RPG genre: assassination orders, finding out the fate of a missing resident, tragic love stories, and more.
The Outer Worlds plays and feels like an old school role-playing game with full role-playing, sociable partners, branching dialogues that greatly influence the further passage and a hero who can radically change the world, because every decision brings tremendous changes to the lives of thousands of people.
Despite the good old «RPG», the passage of The Outer Worlds will take significantly less time than any of the games that it looks like. The story campaign can be completed in 15-17 hours, and if you grab the lion’s share of interesting side quests and build relationships with partners, it will take 25-30 hours maximum.
The combat system of The Outer Worlds is peppy, but for some reason greatly simplified. Shooting here is fun, but the enemies lie down effortlessly, so the familiar challenge to the player’s skill, as in Fallout: New Vegas or Fallout 4, is not felt. What can I say if the first time my character died like this on the fifth or seventh hour.
And if you want to get confused, it is better to immediately play on high difficulty. For the very best, there is a super-difficult level, with full-fledged survival elements, food, sleep, a minimum of saves, no fast movements, the final death of partners, and so on. True, all this is available only after a complete first passage.
In addition to ranged combat and shooting, which was equipped with slow time to make it even easier to hit enemies, The Outer Worlds also has melee combat, but this is perhaps the worst part of the game. Fighting with swords, hammers or huge space blades is simply not interesting here, because the fight comes down to wooden strikes, blocking and repelling an attack. As a result, it is boring and not necessary.
It is much better to extinguish the enemy from afar, using a relatively small but interesting arsenal of weapons. In addition to standard pistols, machine guns, rifles, machine guns, shotguns, plasma guns and other crap, there are non-trivial guns shown in trailers. Some reduce the enemy and make him more vulnerable to attacks, others throw adversaries into the air, and they wave their limbs helplessly while they are finished off by their partners.
And yes, as in any classic RPG, The Outer Worlds is allowed to play not alone, but with friendly NPCs. There can be a maximum of two partners for tasks with the hero, and there are six of them in total. Each has its own story and quests, tragedy and fanatical affection, shortcomings and useful bonuses for the hero. But twisting love with them and dragging anyone into bed will not work. Mass Effect is here only in the global map.
Like a hero, partners need to be equipped and equipped with weapons, they have their own skills and bonuses that are used in battle, like additional bonuses or power-ups.
The hero himself receives ten points of characteristics after taking a new level and one skill point every two. The former are invested in the character’s ability to fight, communicate, hide, pick locks, and so on. In short, a standard RPG set. The latter increase health, the amount of cargo carried, running speed, give all kinds of bonuses, and so on and so forth. As you understand, there is nothing in The Outer Worlds role-playing system that would not be familiar to everyone who has played other games of this genre.
Of the unusual, there is a system of vulnerabilities. For example, you cleared a location with robots for a long time, and they inflicted a lot of damage on the character, in this case the game will offer the hero to accept the fear of robots, which means that next to them some of his characteristics will decrease. In return, they give a skill point. Each phobia deprives the character of different stat points, and all of them are capable of causing different unpleasant features, from fear of heights to fear of certain monsters. To accept them or not, everyone decides on their own, but on normal difficulty there is no sense in them.
There are a lot of things and loot in The Outer Worlds. Even too much. Keep in mind that most of the collected trash on the normal and difficult levels of the passage lies idle in the backpack. At the same time, heaps of ammunition, weapons and their improvements, too. There is a lot of equipment, as well as cans of food, drinks and so on. Food and drink give short-term buffs, but with the local simplified gameplay and combat, there is no need for them. But the collected is useful at the maximum level of passage.
The visual style of The Outer Worlds is similar to the wild retro-futuristic-space vinaigrette from BioShock, No Man’s Sky and Fallout 4. The graphics, of course, are outdated, which was also evident from the trailers, but rich and acidic, which makes everything seem more attractive and polished than it is in fact. But not for graphics go to such games. And yet the picture is quite decent even in 2019, especially at maximum or ultra when playing on a PC. It’s a little worse on consoles, but the facial animation is bad here and there. But the talking heads have well-developed emotions: sadness, anger, joy, flirting and even lust — everything is clear from the not very beautiful, but well-made facial expressions.
The modest scale of The Outer Worlds is also noticeable in the absence of epic cutscenes. In some places, according to the plot, we will launch several videos and that’s it. This does not add any disadvantages to The Outer Worlds, but it contrasts with other similar projects and even some RPGs of the past.
Bugs and lags were not noticed, brakes too, although some PC gamers sometimes complain about NPC twitching and even more rare teammates falling into textures. On consoles, long loading times between locations and levels. True, while you wait, you admire the magnificent posters that reveal the world of the game, which is why the expectation does not annoy, and sometimes, on the contrary, captivates.
Separately, I would like to note miniature subtitles and inscriptions in the interface on PS4. I played the game on a 32-inch TV and sat at a maximum distance of one and a half meters, and yet I often had to strain my eyes to read the task, clue or dialogue. I hope this will be fixed in the future, otherwise the creators will have to add a magnifying glass to the game for the Sony console.
The game is based on Unreal Engine 4. System requirements can be called standard for modern projects. To evaluate the requirements of The Outer Worlds, we made a small comparison based on our configuration for testing video cards (bench description here). For testing, a certain sequence of actions at the initial location was replayed.
Maximum graphics quality.
Full HD with Ultra graphics requires graphics cards no weaker than the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580. The game uses more than 4 GB of video memory, but the GeForce GTX 1060 with 3 GB feels more confident than the Radeon RX 570 with 4 GB. And all NVIDIA solutions look more powerful than their direct competitors from AMD.
At 1440p high resolution, you need a graphics card no weaker than the Radeon RX 5700. The GeForce GTX 2060 Super delivers over 60 fps and overtakes the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
A detailed opinion on the performance of video cards in The Outer Worlds will be in a separate review.
The Outer Worlds is a sharp-toothed satire of modern consumer society and corporate ethics. The local residents work for big companies from morning till night, eat semi-finished products, watch TV shows, commit crimes, love, lie and hope.
The game has a lot of black humor and references to Fallout. It was not without sexual minorities, fanatical hard workers, champions of a healthy lifestyle, criminals and those who simply do not care. That is why The Outer Worlds is a subtle, bright, self-ironic parody of our reality. But because of the shortcomings listed above, The Outer Worlds is unlikely to become a cult. There is simply nothing in the game that we have not seen. This is a compilation of the best that is in role-playing games, but not without flaws, simplification in gameplay and combat. Obsidian Entertainment has never been great at shooters, because they never made them, so some claims can be omitted.
The Outer Worlds definitely claims to be the best RPG of 2019. This is a cool game that I would like to recommend to everyone. It doesn’t matter what genres you like. Good games are beyond that.