Monday, October 28, 2019

The Outer Worlds

I don't pre-order video games often. Heck, I don't even BUY video games often. But, I was hyped enough about The Outer Worlds to pre-order it for the Xbox One. It's the latest action RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind Fallout: New Vegas, one of my all-time favorite games. The Outer Worlds is set in an alternate-reality future where President William McKinley was not assassinated. As a result, Theodore Roosevelt never succeeded him, which resulted in large business trusts dominating society. Megacorporations eventually begun colonizing and terra-forming alien planets. In this strange future, The Hope, a colony ship bound for the Halcyon colonial system, is disabled and declared lost after its faster-than-light travel goes astray, leaving it adrift at the edge of colony space. The player character is awakened on board from cryosleep by a crazed scientist with a mysterious agenda, only to find that most of the other colonists are still in hibernation. The player then begins a journey to a nearby colony to investigate the true nature of the corporations and acquire the chemicals to bring the rest of his fellow colonists out of hibernation. The game features several factions and a branching story that reacts to the player's choices.

For an entire week, I hotly anticipated playing. I eagerly awaited 11pm on October 24 (Midnight, October 25 on the East Coast). I spent a decent part of the weekend playing The Outer Worlds between work, rehearsals, and date night. I played enough to get a good feel for how the game works and where it's going to go. I like the story and the way the factions function a lot more in The Outer Worlds than I did in Fallout: New Vegas. The combat mechanics take some getting used to, especially the Time Dilation effect which is similar to the V.A.T.S. system used in Fallout. The characters of the companions/crew seem to be very well fleshed out and they all have interesting backstories and offer unique side-quests.

By far, the most surprising thing about The Outer Worlds is the lack of game-breaking bugs. I sadly come to expect a number of bugs from games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, but several hours into the game, I haven't noticed any bugs in The Outer Worlds yet. If I have any complaints, it's the lack of variety of weapons and armor along with some of the dodgy enemy behavior. You can see in the video below that I am often able to easily approach an enemy from behind or even the side during heated combat without being noticed. Plus, I'm at level 15 and I'm still using the same scoped hunting rifle that I found early in the game to snipe with. Hopefully some game updates and/or DLC will be used to address these issues.

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