“The Outer Worlds” is a great, albeit flawed, journey

Kolby Spomer
A&E Editor

Video games lately have been amazing. The graphics in games like “Death Stranding” are breathtaking, the gameplay in things like “God of War” feels better than it ever has, and the story in games like “Red Dead Redemption 2” can now rival Hollywood blockbusters.

While I love all of this, it also means games have lost a sort of “old school feel” as of late.

There hasn’t been a lot of video games in recent years that remind you of that feeling you get from something like the original “Fallout” or even 2009’s “Dragon Age: Origins”. In other words, RPGs are getting less common every year. That’s why Obsidian Entertainment’s newest game, “The Outer Worlds”, feels like such a breath of old air.

What I mean by “breath of old air” is that this game is a by the books traditional RPG. You take on the role of a spaceship captain, light years away from earth. You get to decide who your captain is, be it a surrogate for yourself or your favorite character from Star Wars.

You then go on different quests and jobs, deciding not only the outcomes of these missions but also the fate of the world around you. The game focuses on dialogue and encourages players to try to come up with alternative ways to solving problems, instead of the usual “shoot it” solution found in most games.

While all of that is great, it also hinders the game. Just because things feel like the good old days doesn’t mean it’s as good as it once was. The game foregos a lot of the innovations newer RPGs benefit from, like fun combat and immersive graphics. The game also lacks depth in a way. A lot of other games, like “Mass Effect 2” for example, have a focus on your companions. Their stories and conversations with you slowly get more and more intimate over the course of the game, changing their relationship with you outside of these conversations.

In “The Outer Worlds”, your companions have these missions, but I found myself wishing for more after the game ended. The companions all have essentially one quest that you can finish as soon as you’d like, with little to no conversations in between. I missed having my companions comment on current events and our adventures, and I hope the sequel to this game changes that part of the game.

The game also plays a little flat, with combat feeling a little flat and the environments feeling empty. I wish the planets you visited had more places that made them feel worth visiting. I found myself wanting a lot more from this game, which in retrospect is somewhat clouding my love for it. This game is one I dearly love, which is why I’m so critical. I believe it can be a lot more.

My biggest piece of praise for “The Outer Worlds” is that it I was excited to play it the whole time. I haven’t been so eager to experience a game like this since last year’s “Red Dead Redemption 2”.

So while this game definitely has its problems, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone interested. It’s worth a try at least.

Header photo courtesy of The Outer World’s Facebook page.

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