The Outer Worlds is—to Bethesda’s blushes—the most Fallout game to release since Obsidian Entertainment last had its hands on the series. Developed by that same Obsidian, the title seeks to recapture the sense of single-player wonder that has been lost.
What is The Outer Worlds?
The Outer Worlds is a first-person RPG with shooting elements. The title is a love letter to games such as New Vegas and Borderlands, balancing character building with a colourful, futuristic aesthetic.
Story-wise, the game is set in a future where megacorporations have begun colonising and terraforming alien planets. Players assume the role of an employee of one of these corporations, who awakens from cryogenic sleep to discover that their ship has gone astray.
The Outer Worlds features the usual branching story and faction-based reputation system Obsidian is famous for, as well as tight first-person controls and an open-ended customisation system. Oh, and some of the original creators of Fallout are directing this game, too. No biggie.
Why are we excited?
A better question would be: why aren’t we excited? After the sobering disappointment of Fallout 76—and, some may say, Fallout 4—single players have been itching for a good, first-person RPG game in the mould of Fallout for a while.
With the pedigree on board, Obsidian can do some truly great things with The Outer Worlds. The game presents the industry with an ironic overtone: a company reclaiming an IP that was once its own without purchasing it back, merely by producing a better product on similar gameplay and aesthetic terms.
Of course, The Outer Worlds exists outside comparisons with its distant cousin Fallout. So far, the gameplay demonstrations have presented a look at a varied and colourful world, straight out of a Jean Giraud painting. The retro-fetishist and steampunk aesthetic and designs come across as refined instead of tacked-on.
So far, the developer has boasted about the game’s multi-faceted and branching choices, where players can do, well, anything. Developers have been using that shallow description for years, but it rings true in The Outer Worlds. Obsidian is famous for following through on its ambitious design goals.
Single players have been crying out for this sort of game—multiplayer-free—for years. As far as gamers as a demographic go, we love choices, imaginative worlds, and, most importantly, playing a game on our own. Obsidian understands that; it appreciates the act of play.
When can we play it?
The Outer Worlds is set to release some time in 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Are you keen to revisit an RPG dystopia again? Ecstatic that Obsidian Entertainment is dipping its toe back into action-RPG games? Let us know in the comments about your thoughts and reservations, then come back tomorrow when we list a handful of our staff’s favourite games that missed out during the consensus vote.