- spiritual heir to Fallout: New Vegas;
- several large hubs instead of an open world, and hence:
- expect loading screens;
- but also great freedom in completing quests;
- rather than a superhero, a character with real flaws and weaknesses;
- completing the game should take about 30 hours.
Just as you don't judge a book by the cover, you don't judge a game solely for its graphics. Completing a few quests in the still unfinished The Outer Worlds from Obsidian Entertainment, practically the entire visual design made my cringe inside. And it's not so much about quality, but the artistic style – too colorful and incoherent. However, it all becomes more irrelevant as we dive deeper and deeper into the story-driven missions, or even minor side quests. Instead of focusing on the outer layer of the game, we're immediately engulfed with the game's inner world – the factions, residents, their problems, relations between them, and the omnipresent humor.
The Outer Worlds is a pure-blood RPG, where we can not only act exactly the way we want, but even speak the tone we want, and that's in most of the dialogues. It's us who decide whether we want to be a noble hero, a mouthy brute, a cunning liar, or a common idiot. We decide if the task ends quickly or develops into a whole different story – one that's incredibly engaging, too! The new game from Obsidian is not another, long-awaited Fallout, but perhaps this will give it a chance to really spread its wings, establish its own universe, worthy of the spiritual heir of New Vegas – that's how the creators of The Outer Worlds describe their game.
The awakening of the colonist
During the short game show, I had the opportunity to play the very first minutes of it, which, unfortunately, I can't tell you much about – mostly because I don't want to spoil anything for you. However, I can tell you that the prologue was captivating, long and exciting. The story outline of The Outer Worlds, on the other hand, isn't a secret. Like in the Passengers movie, we are one of the colonists sleeping on a ship sailing towards a new home, the Halcyon system, the most remote colony created by mankind.
As it turns out, however, the ship is more drifting than sailing, and the fate of the colonists doesn't concern anyone. Except a certain character with the name as colorful as his personality. Finneas Welles wakes us up and asks for help in saving the remaining thousands of people. We find ourselves in a world reigned by powerful corporations; in places, where everyone's struggling to make ends meet. Given the freedom of choice – is it still going to be just about the colonists before the end of the game? "Well, yes, and no," I heard from one of the developers.
Ashes to ashes?
We don't know much about the main storyline of The Outer Worlds yet, but we had the opportunity to get acquainted with various quests and missions. Gone off the deep end, we get to one of the largest locations of the game (the world isn't open – it consists of separated, large areas), the offers were plentiful and diverse, depending on the NPC we met. One guy, called Nelson, wanted us to retrieve his "dust," smuggled in on cute, local animals.
We could either demand a much higher reward for the job, using persuasion – or humbly accept his first, penny offer. Then, having returned with the collected goods, we could lie and hold onto the precious cargo, complete the order, or continue the thread, because Nelson apparently found that something doesn't add up. What follows is a meeting with another surprising character and new choices – should you settle the matter peacefully, or using force? Will you ultimately try to deceive Nelson, or keep your word? Will you bear his babbling, or maybe lose it and punch him right in the face to bring him down to earth?
The production of the game is directed by two people well known to all RPG game lovers. The first of these is Tim Cain, the producer of the first Fallout, whose back catalog also includes Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines and the first Pillars of Eternity.
The second dude is Leonard Boyarsky. He, in turn, was the Art Director for the first Fallout, was also one of the creators of Arcanum and Bloodlines, but later embarked on an adventure with Blizzard, where he participated in creating the world and story of Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion.