The Outer Worlds (2020) is a futuristic role-playing game where you are a colonist working to thaw your team and colonise the planet. Exploring, talking, shooting; how you do this is up to you, in what soon becomes a tangle plot of corporate control and individual freedom. It's a game that creates a huge adventure, but one that is sculpted by your choices in combat and conversations.
As you explore the world in first-person you can take on town quests and jobs for locals. These missions are more than just shooting your way to victory. You could choose to persuade, lie, sneak, or hack your way in and out of a situation. Each choice comes with a consequence, and each consequence will forge the path to one of the 23 available endings.
When combat is unavoidable you have the ability to slow down time and target enemy weak points to incapacitate them in specific ways. Shooting their head stops them seeing, or in the arm and they can't shoot. This is intentionally complex but offers a novel puzzle element to the combat.
The combat is complemented by a flexible weapon system that lets you loot and customise firearms to suit your mission. This avoids the feeling that you can't take on certain enemies until you have found the right weapon and encourages you to progress at your own pace.
A big draw is the fully voiced, dialog system that offers tens of options for each conversation, depending on your character's development. These conversations make it clear that each character you meet has a story of their own for you to discover.
As you progress, your choices in these conversations and other interactions result in a substantially branching direction. Unlike other branching games, there's little assumption of which are good or bad choices. Instead, the focus is on consequences from your choices, which you often discover after the fact from the characters you have chosen to accompany you on your adventure.
Our examiner, Jonah Monaghan
, first checked The Outer Worlds 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.