The Outer Worlds Review “Buy, Wait for Sale, Rent, Never Touch?”

It feels like it’s been
forever, doesn’t it, since that first time you
heard of Outer Worlds, the first-person
technicolor sci-fi RPG coming from Obsidian. It looked a bit like Firefly
with the saturation turned up to 100, and Fox actually
is supporting it, or a bit like Mass Effect
without the number 3, and the SpaceBoy asking
if you want to play Simon Says with a three-colored ending
because the fourth color was just too freakin’
hard for them to do, unless they could sell it as
a micro transaction later, and sure it is true. We’ve had Pillars of Eternity. We’ve had Tyranny, South
Park, and Pillars II. So you could say we’ve
had a bit of our cake, and we’ve eaten it too. But despite those
titles’ quality, it’s really Fallout:
New Vegas that finds many gamers love with Obsidian. And it’s only
Obsidian that can make you love a lead
character carrying enough radioactive
material in his pockets that his falls probably sounded
like a baby rattle filled with shotgun shells
and some fishing lures. And we finally get to see
if they’ve pulled it off here with Outer Worlds. This comes out October 25 for
$59.99 on PC Xbox and PS4, as well as on Game
Pass for PC and Xbox for whatever your subscription
amount you paid for against. I’m Karak. This is ACG. And as always, it’s
my continuing mission to give you reviews that
aren’t two minutes long or filled with
sponsored bullcrap. If you like the video,
hit the subscribe button. Make sure to activate
all the notifications. Let’s see how the game did. Shall we? So here’s my review
for Outer Worlds. Old lady space via grep
party member special moves and finally no one where
Gallagher went after his comedy act failed. Graphics are first. Outer Worlds does a great
job to separate itself from the developer’s
previous titles, or should I say the primary one
it’s going to be compared to, and that’s Fallout: New Vegas. And the first way it does this
is with its color palette. Everything is purples
and blues and neon greens and deep bloody red. A color palette that channels
No Man’s Sky so damned hard. Sean’s probably looking at
it, and thinking, damn it, I wonder if they have
sandworms in their games. It doesn’t matter
if you’ve taken out century box with explosive
shock grenade launchers on a moon in the midst
of an asteroid field, or just skip any dude on across
the sunlit valley of a planet overrun with enemies,
all hand-picked from the top 10 video the
most colorful creatures that probably live on
alien worlds video. And that color set is
absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere in the
world design, Obsidian goes for let’s make it look
good with a sci-fi flair, but put realism solidly
in the back burner. I’m 100% OK with that. It’s saccharin
for your eyes when you leave your first
little settlement, and go out in the wild lands. It’s instantly noticeable. And remember, this is
not an open world game. It’s more like something
akin to a hub-based world with a movable hub
being your ship. And those locations are a
fixed set of maps, some smaller and some larger. All of them having hidden areas
and long side quest lines. But interestingly enough,
while it’s not open world, the way the game has you
traveling between locations in your spaceship, as
well as how interconnected some of those locations are,
it works them to actually feel like they have a larger
footprint than statistically they do. Many locations
have multiple ways to get to quest points,
secret ways around enemies, and a nice organic feel
to them, regardless of it being more game of
fight than maybe an open world would be. When it comes to
character design, almost everyone
is unique-looking. And for the most part,
gone are the old days of coming into a town
and seeing generic head number 2 with generic
beard number 3, and comb over A. Most of the NPCs have
very unique traits and emotions as you’re working with them,
against them, or just sending them please die messages out
of a superheated gun wielded by a drunken party
member with a top hat on. The crazy isn’t too
crazy, but it’s just out there enough to work. There’s a deft hand here in
the design where function meets funny, and it’s a
reflection of the humor that Outer Worlds exhibits. Armor and helmets
all have enough flair to make them look unique. Some with larger cooling pipes
or accessories hanging off of them. Others are just
giant plastic moons you can slip onto your
noggin whenever you want. Now lip syncing goes
from OK to good. It’s better than many games,
but there will be those times where you’re going to
see a character talking and think to yourself,
are they reading someone’s lips behind me or are
they actually talking to me. Graphically, though,
especially in the cities, Outer Worlds does
have some slippage. The game tries its level
best to fix the age-old 10 people running a city big
enough for 5,000 trope that exists in many of these games. You still walk
through some areas though and wonder how
an economy works if just Joe, Bob, and Peter trade the
same freakin’ $5 back and forth for services rendered. It’s like, hey, Joe, Bob, here’s
that $5 I owe you for the beer. Thanks, Peter, oh,
here’s that $5 back I owe you for the bracelet I
bought for one legged suit. It’s just back and forth. Also while there
are some moments of true environmental
storytelling in the game, apparently, all their cleaning
robots absolutely suck. And a lot of times that can
leave you with some futuristic Praetorian Guard looking
{} standing over the top of their best friend and
lamenting about the lack of exciting things to do in
town like he sees that crap all the time, just
shrugged and thought, John was a jack off anyway, so
the best place I can stand is on his dead face. One thing you notice
when traveling is that some pop-up does occur,
as well as some low detail textures that can
rear their ugly head. But it’s not exactly
noticeable, and it does nothing to really neuter the incredible
moments of coming over a hill and seeing two warring
cities, one on each corner, their old bulb and sputtering
electricity billboard signs flashing supposedly safe
areas for travelers at night. If Outer Worlds is set
to max settings anywhere, it’s an atmosphere. And of course, that
brings us to performance. Now I got to play on
the console Xbox One. It’s pretty rough
with what looks to be an upscale 1080p
picture from a lower res, while the Xbox X runs a native
4K and a very usually solid 30 fps dropping frame rate
occasionally when coming into some areas after a load. It looks really good and there
are some nice antialiasing solutions there that keeps
the image fairly stable. I will say that if you hate
chromatic aberration, sorry, because it’s here
and it’s in droves and you can’t turn it off
though on the PC you can. Personally, I think Outer
Worlds presentation is gorgeous overall despite some
hiccups, and it’s a visual discourse on the
argument between open world and hub worlds, and
which is better. And it scores a couple
points for the latter. And that brings us to gameplay
and a bit about the story. You play as a person from earth
sent to the Halcyon system in the galaxies largest
ejaculation as frozen space and women are flung off from the
earth into the depths of space to find a habitable egg. And in this case, that
egg is the Outer Worlds in that system. Far distant planets beset in
almost Western sci-fi setting of danger and exploration. Think Firefly mixed
with Flash Gordon and you’re more
than halfway there. Now speaking of
halfway there, that’s about all the farther
your ship gets. Accidents will happen and
they’ve happened here. And while everyone
else showed up on time and basically gold rushed it
up, you show up 70 years later, after all the
various corporations have got a stranglehold on the
planets and the moon’s space stations and other
mysterious locations that exist in the game. But don’t worry. It’s not your fault, your late. Spaceship telemetry is
not your field of work. But getting down there with the
help of a mysterious benefactor and clear on the way out for the
rest of the people on your ship is your job. That’s once you figure
out who you actually is. First off, you start
the character creation by picking a male or a female
thrown some general looks their way like beards
and scars and makeup if you’re worried about
randomly attending a cowboy ball, your staple on a hairdo
from an assorted number, and so on. And while this isn’t the most
robust character creator, I like the variation. Yes, you can create some
straight up monsters. [LAUGHS] Just absolutely nasty. These are humans whose mothers
will just say, nope, and leave them in the maternity ward
and sneak out the exit. Now, from there, you jump
into the character attributes. These really define
how you’re going to play like strength and
dexterity, intelligence, perception, charm,
and temperament, and they dictate your
basic capabilities. Then, you pick your skills. Skills come into play
both behind the scenes, but also usually what
you’ll see being challenged in the narrative
systems in the game and are augmented
by the attribute. And at first, scale points
related skills in groups until you get to
50, then each skill has to be raised on its
own individually up to 100. For example, one point
the category ranged affects handguns, long
guns, and heavy weapons reflecting a shared basic
knowledge of guns in general, but mastery requires focusing
points on one of them. Also for each 20
points spent, you get special unlocks,
leadership in this case, giving you the ability
to command your party members with special attacks. Others have the ability
to pickpocket, so on. One thing, I liked about this
is that Obsidian made sure that the first unlocks were the
largest impactors in gameplay. That way, you don’t
have to level up to 60 to get most of the
special actions. There’s a couple outliers
to that rule, but not many. Lastly, you pick an aptitude. Consider this,
what you did prior to being frozen into a
giant dumb colon or sickle. Things like construction
where shock damage is reduced or factory worker
where you supposedly picked up the extra
skill by not getting smashed in the machinery. Always with Obsidian, going
that extra mile here explaining and a bit of narrative
why the bonuses make some kind of sense. Also every other
time you level up, you can take perks which adjust
various, mostly physical, parts of the character. Party members also get their own
smaller perk ladders as well. And then you’re off. Outer Worlds begins
simply enough. You have a ship and
like all good ships, the thing’s a piece
of shit and is broken. So you’re questing to repair it. You go about exploring the
cities, talking to characters, getting quests that take
you both around the cities themselves, as well as out into
the unknown past, whatever, guard walls that protect the
small bits of civilization that exists and into danger. Every location also has
its various factions that you can raise or lower
reputation with by doing jobs, and trust me, that
balance is going to be the name of the
game for many people as you play Outer Worlds
because none of these bastards get along. It’s like throwing a
sandwich into a freight train of starving people just
claws and teeth and nails. This is where the flexibility
in Obsidian’s writing starts to come through as each
situation is a bit different. People in the same
groups don’t get along. Old alliances are broken, then
reborn, then broken again. Enemies are friends,
friends of friends, friends who are
enemies are now friends with your other enemies. There’s a very nice lived-in
feeling to the game worlds location, and a lot
of twists and turns. And much of that is due
to the narrative that explains the rise and
fall of the groups prior to your arrival. What really helps
this game though is the ability to finish
questing a number of ways. If you want to take
out a group that murdered someone just so you
can get on someone else’s good side, you can. Or you can threaten
them to leave town, then follow them out and murder them
in the seven-acre alien woods like a homicidal
Winnie the Pooh. Or you can twist their
use to something else. Or leave them and
hope whatever happens doesn’t come back on you. As you explore
your beset by skill checks and dialogue
to fix broken items, work through the lives
of striking dockworkers and horrible leaders, perform
some amateur sleuthing, do some intimidating, and
pretty much everything else you can think of. Skill checks also dictate what
options you have in discussion, and yes, it is possible
to have dead ends. And speaking a dead ends, a
lot of those will be outside, and that’s where
Outer Worlds shines. Colony locations, now
empty as the city’s limits have shrunk down due to
constant animal attacks that leave decayed buildings
on the outskirts of a lot of these cities,
each positively overflowing with enemies from creatures of
all kinds like cannibals check, ruffians check, scalawags check,
scoundrels check, strangely nice family asking you come
to dinner, checkity check. Wait, no, no. It’s at those times
it’s actually best to remember that everyone in
Outer Worlds can be killed. And to kill, you use them
weapons and swords and hammers, axes, poles,
starves, stun batons, and all manner of up close
weapons are available. And each has combo
moves of its own, as well as an assortment of
ranged weapons from handguns, shotguns, long-range
rifles, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, mini
guns, flamethrowers, and a number of
special and hidden guns laying around the world. Also Obsidian has
absolutely nailed it out of the park for people who
are stat hounds as each gun has a detailed number of
stats from max ranges to aim spread reductions, noise
range for alerting enemies, DPS, damage done when a weapon
soaks through armor and more. All of the weapons
can be modded in slots with items you find
in the game world from changing their
entire damage type, which is actually
really useful as plasma does more damage to humans,
but electricity does more to robots. And depending on where you are,
you might need to switch it. You can also do different
special effects and barrel, sights, and quick
reloads and more. As you’re fighting, you
can also slow down time for placing shots. It also allows for you to use
your HUD to see the information on the enemies like weak spots. It also won’t take long for you
to happen upon your first party member that you can
have join your team. There is a lot of variation
here while each character has their own special move as well. They do have a small
number of AI sets you can choose from
like up close, mixed, or long-range attacks, how
far they stay away from you, and how aggressive they are. It’s not much, but
it actually helps. But to me, it’s
the special attacks that are just hilarious. The game splits off
to show you as each goes about their business
like one of your characters that for reasons I can not
fathom double leg drop kicks everyone bugs and
lizards and slugs and humans and hounds
and even flying creatures just ups and
[INAUDIBLE] geneticism. I love that mix of
narrative personality. But here, we also get
a cinematic moment that cuts to them, smashing
someone with a hammer. And there is a moment
for the side characters to shine that sometimes we
don’t get in other games. Nevertheless, no matter
how good of a shot you are, sometimes
that AI is just going to land a lucky
shot on you and that’s when the armor comes in. Armor has its base
stat as well as a mod location for adjusting
a workbench as you can upgrade the items, you can
break them down there, you can repair them, or you
can add armor gadgets, skills, utility mods to the
armor and the weapons. Interestingly
enough, these bonuses stack even if they are
on party members armor. So switching up
members can actually see you raising your ability
to intimidate people, but losing some overall
carrying capacity, and I actually really like that. It stretched the
feeling of strategy of which characters to bring
into something, far more interesting than other titles. All items have a
durability rating as well, reducing damage
taken or damage done. And once you’re able
to repair your ship, you can travel to other
locations in that system. I also like that Obsidian
didn’t ignore the ship itself. They take care of it. They occasionally
have quests cycle back to the ship, and its AI. Also items you find around
the game world in the junk section of your
inventory seem to make it into the party members’ rooms,
which I thought were cool. Now this all sounds
great much of it is. That’s for sure. It’s hard not to have
a smile on your face when you fool some conniving
bastard not once, but twice, and then somehow, also talk them
out of his position of power. But there are some
bumps that I noticed. For example, also
for some reason, when using the controller,
talking, and unholstering the gun is the
same damned button. So talking to anyone or
interacting many times have caused you to just
sling out your smoke wagon like you’re getting
ready to go full poster on some poor dockworker
just happened to be standing next to a
platform you wanted to access. And it looks ridiculous. Also strangely enough for
a game based on quests, you can only really
track one out of them, I would have liked to
be able to track more. Also the gunplay works. It’s not really the
game’s highlight though with weapons having recoil and
such, but not really a hugely tangible tactile
feeling to them. It’s fine and it
works, and the ability to send your teammates out
and mark enemies is very nice. But I wanted a little bit more. As you guys know, I
tried to test the game on all difficulties
so that those who won all the challenge
of a timeless QTE can do the easy way, or you can
have rock hard instant death. And Outer Worlds has
all those covered. It goes all the way from story
which is easiest to Supernova. And Supernova is really
Obsidian’s version of ranger difficulty. It gives them more hit points. It does more damage
from enemies, but it also makes you need
to eat and drink and sleep to live, as well as companions
being able to fully die. Crippling body wounds, weapon
durability takes a huge impact. And the only way to fast
travel is to your ship, only able to sleep in your
ship, and saving is also locked to your ship, as well
as quick saves being limited. Those are some huge changes
to the way the game plays. Outer Worlds really isn’t the
longest game in the world. It’s completed easily
under 40 hours. But it is a very enjoyable
romp through a unique world that feels a bit like other
games all smashed together. That’s for sure. But there’s something
very unique about it. And that brings us to
sound, music, and voice. [GUNSHOTS] Zoe and I were going to watch
the serials as is our custom. She never turned up. I looked around, but she
was nowhere to be found. Which makes me the most
important guard in the colony. Yeah. That means I got a key
to the Minister’s Estate. My own personal
[INAUDIBLE] issued shotgun. They don’t give those
out to just anyone. Yeah, I have nearly made
it to the top my friend. I’m just two promotions away
from on the job bathroom breaks. [GUN COCKING] And the first thing
we’ll cover is sound, and this is pretty good. Overall, the gun
sounds are fine. They have a good
deal to them that it lean towards the energy and
elemental sides of damage types. And most guns have a nice
somewhat canned trail off sound that gives them a wider
footprint, and certainly a longer one than I expected. I do have to say the shotguns
themselves aren’t exactly wowing me. They have a little bit
of a poppy sound to them that just doesn’t
necessarily fit. When it comes to the
environmental sounds, they really do sound good. One thing I noticed
right away is that the towns have
a low ebb of movement and not that typical
one person there selling some tuna fish and 50
people haggling over it kind of sound effects. Outdoors are the same as well. They’ve got a nice
muted sound when someone’s talking in a
helmet versus out of it during excursions. And a lot of various
different animal sounds. Overall, I’d say
it’s pretty good. That brings us to music. One of the first things that is
instantly noticeable in Outer Worlds is a feeling of
solitary wonder in the music and there’s a leaner
presentation than, I think, of Obsidian’s past titles. Sometimes, it’s just
two or three instruments and simple melodies
trading back and forth and mending together,
and then apart again. Almost like each one is a
reflection of that small party you’re carrying. Thematically, even
in battle, there’s an almost lonely
feel to the music that exudes from every track. Sometimes, it’s just a
solitary percussive element like the fast heartbeat
in the background. One track though that
I loved was trekking through the barren surface
of a mysterious asteroid and this low alien
tone that kept playing. And it’s one in particular that
just feels haunting and makes you wonder if something
very bad is about to occur. And that really does level
up the tension a ton. It feels very experimental
though overall, especially when compared to previous
games from Obsidian. And I think that works
for Outer Worlds. But some may actually find this
a bit leaner-sounding than they expect when it comes to music. And that brings us to voice. For many, this might be one of
the most important categories in the game as Obsidian isn’t
known for their One, Two, Three storytelling with
choices and dialogue depending on intelligence. We want our no’s and
our yes’s But we also want to just smash
somebody in the mouth and we want to minimize
intelligence to the point that your character probably
dry land drown by looking up during a rainstorm
with their mouth open wondering why the
sky was leaking. And luckily, we can
do most of that. I was pleasantly surprised
how well they handled not only the mains, but also the side
NPCs like the riddled out and scratchy sort of
rat-a-tat-tat kind of delivery a drug user has when you
confront them rifling through someone’s stuff or the first
time you meet a absolutely ripped guardsmen and start
celebrating their successes in life by buying them drink
after drink after drink in an experiment to see if
you can just ignite sweat if a person has enough
alcohol in them. Now one of the standout
elements the Outer Worlds though are the party members and how
they deal with interactions in the game world. Depending on the
character, they can have either a small
amount or a lot to say to the NPCs
you’re talking to, which really makes them
feel like a tangible part of the group. There are some misses
though, especially in the later locations. They have a couple of
NPCs that almost sound like fans that have been
brought into the game delivering a lot of stunted lines. Overall, it’s just a handful. I’d say really good. And this is the last
category, fun factor. It’s true, Outer Worlds
does have a rough spot here or there, especially when it
comes to the shooting, which it doesn’t feel bad. It’s just a little bit
too light and airy for me when it comes down to it. But it’s easy enough to ignore
that because, at its heart, Outer Worlds is a very
enjoyable game and some really cool quests. Also the quest
design is spectacular when it comes to
the later quests because they’ll
have you going back to locations you’ve been to
before and seeing and noticing different things even
coming at locations from different directions. It really does make
use of what it’s got. Also Obsidian games
have a notoriety for being buggier than a red
light district bedspread, and yet somehow, with Outer
Worlds, I had a total of two. And that is spectacular
because bugs stop you from engaging in that
gameplay organically. Here, that isn’t a
problem, and working through the unique locations,
the people, and the quest is always a pleasure. It is very enjoyable to
level up your characters and to engage in those
side character stories, as well as the NPCs. So as you guys know, I rate
games on a “Buy, Weight for Sale, Rent, Never”
it again rating system with Rent being replaced
by deep, deep sale NPC. First of all, I got to say
this, if you have Game Pass, just go get the game. Everybody else, it
is well worth buying. It is worth buying
at this price. It is a very enjoyable
title, very few bugs, a unique world, and enough
content to keep a lot of RPG players busy. You can go through
it in maybe 20 hours, 25 hours if you
just golden path it. But if you don’t and you
start going to the side, and if you crank that difficulty
up, there is a lot of quests here. Many of them hidden. I ended up finding a good
number of quests sort of off the beaten path. And what you get is just
a very enjoyable game. One that has sort
of a nice stealth disguise system,
excellent conversation, and enjoyable
characters throughout. So anyway, that’s it for me. I hope you guys like the video. If you did, give it a thumbs up. If you didn’t, give
it a thumbs down. I would love for
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which in this case they did. Thanks to private
division for giving me the code to review this title. Anyway, that’s it
for me, peace out, and enjoy the rest of your week.

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