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Photo copyright:Obsidian Entertainment

The Outer Worlds

What feels like a flawed Fallout game mixed with KOTOR

Last week
2024-05-05
gaming
Action-RPG

Game review

Release date2019-10-25
PublisherPrivate Division
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
PlatformPlayStation 4 (via PS5)
Playtime31 hours
ProgressCompleted + Extras

I take notes as I play the game for things that I think deserve a mention. If something was not mentioned, it is considered "fine" and not noteworthy in any sense.


The Outer Worlds

This is a great game that mixes what I feel is what Obsidian has worked with in the past. The two most noticeable examples for me are KOTOR and Fallout. The game is flawed and doesn't look very good nor is great on all technical levels, but it's enjoyable gameplay and conversations in the world make up for a lot of it.

Pros

  • "Unlimited" Ammo
    Even though inventory is limited, I loved how you could continuously buy and loot ammo, and it would just stack up. I did not reach the internal limit, which I would figure would be 9999. I topped around ~3500, and it was just fun using weapons like the machine gun compared to many other games, or weapons with low ammo count in general.

  • Fun gameplay
    This game had a excellent gameplay loop, and the shooting in the open areas was very fun. Upgrading the weapons was fun. I actually wished there were more enemies, so there were more to shoot.

  • Art style
    I really liked the art style and the more colorful palette for this type of game, even though the technical aspect of the graphics was quite a let-down.

  • Story conversations
    With this being an Obsidian game, conversation trees are something that's really enjoyable as it adds a lot to the story and how you steer the surrounding story.

  • Conversations during gameplay
    I really liked the small talk and conversations party members had in the open-field while you were exploring or battling your way around to the next point of interest.

  • Parvati
    I really liked her a lot, so she became my permanent side-kick for the most part of the game. She is quite the "Cid" as a engineer in the game, but it was also interesting to hear about her personal side compared to the rest of the characters.

  • Planet missions
    A lot of the missions and overall discovery experience of Terra-2/Elerald Vale and Monarch is what I expected and wish I had gotten out of games like No Man's Sky. This is what I want to see more of and it was great.

Neutral

  • Party characters "companions"
    I felt this category was in some ways lacking, since I did not have any interest in half the characters in this game; but the other half was great. I did all the side-character story missions, but overall I did not care for Nyoka or Ellie at all. I initially thought from the trailers that Ellie would have a much more important role than the others, but instead Parvati became that one for me.

  • Ending is a slideshow
    I like the ending being a good summary of what happened in the end, but it's a bit of a bummer that it was just a slideshow of in-game engine screenshots.

  • Limited inventory
    Like with other games, I keep complaining about limited inventory in games with a lot of loot. In this game it's a neutral, since ammo isn't limited in the same sense, which makes it so much more fun, but at the same time, I'm not a fan of requiring using skill points to unlock larger inventory and you get slow if you carry too much. That's just not fun.

  • Slow-motion
    This game had a slow-motion feature, but it seemed completely useless as I never used it when I sneaked up on someone or in full on combat.

  • Party size
    The party size of 3 is a common trait for decades now in RPGs but in this game I felt limited, while 4 would have been the perfect balance for both gameplay and story without having to swap as much.

Cons

  • Loading times
    This game had some loading times I'd not seen since around the mid-gen of PS3 to PS4 era. I played this on PS5 and every loading screen seemed to be around 20 seconds. Which became kinda annoying when you accidentally got out of your ship with the wrong party, and you had to go in again and then out again. Suddenly you waited over a minute. Or just wanted to travel across the town it could end up with double loading screens quite frequently.

  • No in-game clock
    I had to keep time stamps on the side note of when I began and quit for the day since this game does not state in game clock anywhere, not in the menu neither on save file. When I play any RPG I really like to see how long it takes.

  • Artifical planets/DLC
    Like God of War 2018, this game has a world map with planets you never get to access to in the game. Some which are locked behind DLCs. I rarely ever play DLC if the DLC requires me to step back before the end game save where I won't have my end-game gear and upgrades. Then that's just not fun anymore to go back to and I simply don't really care for the DLC.

  • Can't pause
    During important moments in the game, you cannot pause, such as during cutscenes, which clearly was an overlooked feature, since you can skip cutscenes and conversations, so they did half the work.

  • Map
    The map is very basic. The most frustrating part was that fast travel points would interfere with active quest markers, so it was really hard trying to select the fast travel points a lot of times. Also, the "hold select/pad to open map" doesn't really work. You need to hold it long enough then release it to make it open, but most of the time it failed while other games would just open the menu instantly, so I just went into the menu and then switch over to the map.

  • Radar was useless
    The radar navigation at the top of the screen was completely useless in this game. It was not helpful even once. It would have been much better if the game had a mini-map, especially in towns where I constantly opened the menu to go to the map.

  • Barely any space travel
    This game has a waypoint system where you travel between destinations, but you basically only get a cutscene of traveling in the sky at the beginning of the game and end of the game. Would have liked to at least see some kind of take off/landing animations rather than a little icon on the waypoint system.

  • Bad graphics
    The technical fidelity of the graphics in this game is quite astounding in terms of a late PS4 game, as it looks like a mid-PS3 game and in many places there were very low res textures and pop-ins. Even finer details were really shabby, made like the active quest cursor you could see was supposed to be transparent, but had a cropped rectangle making it look like a square or the pause menu was just black with a list.

Final thoughts

Overall it was a good and fun experience. It was a very engaging game with fun gameplay and story but has quite a few flaws. The game feels like a standalone game and not intended to have a sequel. Looking at it as a new IP, there's much room for expansion and is interested to see how it will continue.


Final score: 7.5/10