“You've tried the best. Now try the rest. Spacer's Choice!”
October 25, 2019 4:56 PM   Subscribe

The Outer Worlds [YouTube][Launch Trailer] “Set in an unspecified future in which humankind has begun to colonise other planets, The Outer Worlds is easy to describe but in no way derivative. In essence, as a single-player, first-person action-RPG, it’s Fallout in space. There is a steampunk vibe, as well as art direction that harks back to 1950s sci-fi comics such as Dan Dare and The Eagle. But the look, feel and game world are distinctive and fully realised, and it addresses modern concerns, such as the disasters that happen when mega-corporations assume the role of governments. [...] What ensues is a delightful sci-fi romp with razor-sharp writing, lashings of humour and immaculately observed characters that put most game franchises to shame. The gameplay is well crafted, too.” [via: The Guardian]

• To Boldly Go Where Mega-Corps Have Gone Before [US Gamer]
“I miss the old Sci-Fi Channel. I enjoy how television has caught up to film in terms of quality and the caliber of stories it tries to tell, but I also love that B-grade genre television that found its home on Sci-Fi (now called "Syfy") and other networks. Stargate SG-1, Sliders, Farscape, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 were all fantastic. CW's Legends of Tomorrow is the current standard-bearer of that type of TV; shows that knew they lacked the budget and backing to do something bigger, and had a lot of fun with the resources they had. The Outer Worlds from Obsidian Entertainment feels like it fits next to those shows. It bursts on the scene as the proper response to Bethesda's handling for the Fallout series, even if lacks the resources to truly compete on equal footing. Instead, this is a smaller, more focused game that knows what it can pull off and aims directly at it. From the opening moments, it feels confident in its characters and presentation, crackling with a verve and life absent in some other RPGs.”
• The Outer Worlds Will Rattle Your Idea Of A Perfect Planet [Kotaku]
“The universe that The Outer Worlds takes place in is bleak. Halcyon is a corporate-owned colony consisting of two planets of workers, a mining outpost on an asteroid, a ship called the Groundbreaker that acts as a waystation for groups of workers going to and fro, and a prison planet. Things are in dire straits, as the workers suffer low wages and long hours while the wealthy live in a gilded city, unconcerned with their plight. Several questions drive the game: How do you create the ideal society? And who is at fault for bringing this one to its knees? What adequate punishment exists for those responsible, if there is one at all? The Outer Worlds acts as a mirror this way; you answer these questions via the myriad choices you can make in the game, your moral standing met with visible consequences. You can also avoid all these questions in favor of just shooting everyone you see and taking everything in sight, though as time goes on, you will see how your selfishness affects the people around you.”
• A bold, colourful solar system full of jokes. [PC Gamer]
“This is the beginning of a quirky romp across a solar system ruled by brutal corporations. The Outer Worlds is a light-hearted RPG that aims to emulate the Firefly fantasy. You fly from planet to planet, gather a crew of misfits, pick your way through a series of moral quandaries, and shoot people with cool laser guns. The game's retrofuturistic aesthetics and dark sense of humour pitches The Outer Worlds against Bethesda's Fallout games, but there are important differences. True, you have ray guns, and companions who will shoot enemies and stand around staring awkwardly into walls, but this game isn't a sprawling sandbox experience. You hop between planets and space stations, exploring fairly large (and very pretty) zones full of corporate employees staving off plagues and wild animal attacks. Each area is loaded with loot and sidequests, but it's a tight and prescriptive RPG. You fetch science fiction gadgets for quest givers and make some entertaining moral decisions. That's not a bad thing, but in a world of 70-hour RPGs it's useful to set expectations. The Outer Worlds is a pulpy choose-your-own-adventure experience. If you don't go in expecting a deep systems-driven sandbox, it's a pleasure to breeze through.”
• Ridiculously good role-playing in a capitalist hellscape [Polygon]
“The game unfolds in an extremely “old lady who swallowed a fly” fashion. I need a ship to get where I’m going, so I should go over there to hire one. Oh no — the guy who owned the ship is dead, and the thing is broken anyways. Guess I need a power supply. Well, the person with the power supplies needs help with a little problem ... you get the idea. Before I know it, I have a full quest log and I’m trekking out with some companions to murder raiders, find lost citizens, and check out a power plant. This is a society run by corporations, like the aforementioned Spacer’s Choice, and almost everyone I talk to is an employee or cog of some kind in that ecosystem. It’s hard to kill, or even fight, a corporation; if you destroy a CEO, another will be appointed. All of this leads to a large-scale confrontation: Welles wants to tear down the Board that runs the colonized Halcyon system and unfreeze all my fellow Hope colonists so he can reform society.”
• See you, space cowboy. [Gamespot]
“The Outer Worlds adopts the most compelling innovations of modern Fallout games, emphasising immersive exploration and impactful, action-oriented combat in a game engine (Unreal Engine) that actually makes those things feel good by contemporary standards. It shares Fallout's satirical but incredibly bleak look at the future, but is free of its tired tropes. Critically, The Outer Worlds exhibits the same depth of soul as the early Interplay and Black Isle Fallout games (as well as other games in the '90s PC RPG genre) with a genuinely complex, interconnected narrative web of relationships and events that feel like they can change in a seemingly infinite number of ways based on the character you want to be, the variety of choices you can make, and the actions you take. Given the studio and the key people responsible (original Fallout creators Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky), that last trait isn't surprising. But it's not the only element that makes The Outer Worlds an excellent space Western adventure--that's just the incredibly sound foundation that elevates the game's great world-building, wonderful characters, and multi-layered quest design, on top of punchy combat and consistently sharp writing.”
posted by Fizz (93 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is the game that prompted me to spend money at the Epic Store.

It's totally worth it!

(Also: if you don't want Epic to have your credit card number, you can buy a code at the Humble store.)
posted by suetanvil at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is the game that prompted me to sign up for Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription. I didn't feel like shelling out $60 for a game that I wasn't sure I was going to like, so I shelled out $5 and picked up the game this morning.

This game is an absolute delight to play, it's like a more tightly focused Fallout 3 or 4. It also has a bit of a tongue-in-cheek BioShock feel to it, specifically with regards to it's satire on capitalism and corporations.
posted by Fizz at 5:07 PM on October 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


Sounds like the Borderlands Franchise to me. Not that that's a bad thing.
posted by evilDoug at 5:14 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Oh thank god Fizz I was wondering what was taking so long for this post...

This game is SO GOOD.

New Vegas + Mass Effect + Borderlands + Bioshock + Firefly

It's funny that the worst thing most reviews I've seen can say is that it doesn't innovate, and maybe I'm old, but that's just fine.
posted by Gaz Errant at 5:15 PM on October 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


Sounds like the Borderlands Franchise to me. Not that that's a bad thing.

It has a bit of the Borderlands story-aesthetic but not so much the gameplay. With gameplay, it's more in line with the Fallout games. I think Gaz Errant has it right, it's basically New Vegas + Mass Effect + Borderlands + Bioshock + Firefly.

I only played for about an hour this morning before work but I was smiling and laughing the entire time.
posted by Fizz at 5:18 PM on October 25, 2019


I'm really enjoying it. It's essentially a lunch portion Bethesda WRPG, and it also neatly fixes a lot of the traditional issues of these games by simply being an Unreal Engine game instead of Gamebryo/Creation/Whatever Bethesda is calling it. Like, the shooting is actually decent, and the scripting doesn't have a million ridiculous bugs, and the characters don't all look like burn victims. And it's UE so if you don't like something it's doing graphically, someone on Reddit has already solved it with an .ini edit.

Sounds like the Borderlands Franchise to me. Not that that's a bad thing.

It's FAR more subdued than Borderlands, and the writing is nine thousand times better. And apparently they used union VA because Ashly Burch is in it. (BTW the VA is excellent)

Oh, also the music is good!

If I can criticize it for one thing, it does have an annoying "quirky" AI, which is becoming such a stale trope that congressional action might be needed.
posted by selfnoise at 5:18 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


I hate hate HATE that to play these kinds of epic colorful exciting RPGs I have to consign myself to an FPS. I've made some progress as an enthusiastic but shitty gamer when it comes to platforming (only now in my 30s) but shooters are unworkable for me. Not even Slime Rancher where everything's supposed to be chill can my brain wrap around the controls, and often the camera movement will trigger migraines. I've sat on the couch and watched my best friend play so many games that I want to play, but when I try them it's just endlessly frustrating. I know that like, antigrav electroburst guns are the future or whatever the fuck, but in big games like this that purport to give choice to the player why exactly can't I have an antigrav electroburst knife instead?? I've played like 500 hours of Witcher 3, just give me that in space already.

Harrumph rumph rumph. I love this aesthetic - I've got in my head the elaborate beginnings of a Stardew Valley style sim game in a very similar setting and have been working on it piecemeal for years now, I was exactly the right age for the SciFi channel originals and Firefly and the like, I was raised on TOS and Andre Norton. And I love open world RPGs with apparently great writing and music and a good sense of humor. I just hate guns and wish that didn't mean I have to consign myself to watching a Let's Play or crying in fustration.
posted by Mizu at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


Mizu, melee builds are totally viable in this game.
posted by Gaz Errant at 5:38 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I hate hate HATE that to play these kinds of epic colorful exciting RPGs I have to consign myself to an FPS.

If no one's gonna make a Disco Elysium FPP, I may just have to this weekend.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:41 PM on October 25, 2019 [9 favorites]


I am so excited to play this game. This is what prompted me to get an Xbox game pass. It's not too early to put my kids to bed, right? 5:30pm is "night," right?
posted by arcticwoman at 5:42 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


I hate hate HATE that to play these kinds of epic colorful exciting RPGs I have to consign myself to an FPS.

So as Gaz Errant said, you can focus on melee builds. Also, you can put all your skill points into charm/deception/theft. Which is what I've done and I've already managed to get out of a few situations where at first it feels like violence is the only viable option but having put all my focus into these non-violent/attack skills, it allowed me to smooth talk my way out of the situation.

You're right, there's always going to be that gun or sniper rifle that presents itself, but if you want to get up close with a sword or a knife, that's an option or you could just sneak your way through the game and lie/cheat yourself to freedom. That's what I'm trying to do.
posted by Fizz at 5:49 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Outer Worlds is by Obsidian, the New Vegas guys, aka the ones who make the good Fallout / Bioware games.

I will also say nice things about Disco Elysium in the Disco Elysium FPP.
posted by Reyturner at 5:49 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Here be spoilers from about 4 hours in
Parvati being gay for Junlei is one of the best things I've seen in this game so far! The dialog options and cutscenes just make me squee!

posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


So do you have to do much crafting? I hate that and Fallout 4 was all about crafting a base and growing melons when I wanted to be sniping at deathclaws.
posted by octothorpe at 5:54 PM on October 25, 2019


So do you have to do much crafting? I hate that and Fallout 4 was all about crafting a base

There's a bit of crafting in the sense of using parts to enhance or modify weapons but I'm not seeing the focus on base-building that Fallout 4 seems to have been all about. And like you, I'm glad to see that this is something that has been pushed to the side. I'm here for the RPG-story-elements, the tough decisions, the narrative of it all.
posted by Fizz at 5:59 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I've played this game a little bit since yesterday. I agree it's good and fun without bringing anything new to the genre. Instead it's remarkable how much it feels precision-crafted to deliver a sense of playing a 'classic' (whatever that means) RPG. For example: the slightly-clunky inventory management; the skills and perks firmly separated; the skill checks in dialogue; the emphasis on text and dialogue to tell a story. The tropes used in the worldbuilding and the ironic humor throughout feel instantly familiar. I think it's going to be a hit.
posted by um at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm having a lot of fun with this game so far and often regretting my choices. Regretting my choices is the best part. Replayability!
posted by Dumsnill at 6:24 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I hate that and Fallout 4 was all about crafting a base and growing melons when I wanted to be sniping at deathclaws.

I recognize that this is about TOW and not FO4, but have you tried SimSettlements on FO4? You can just make settlers do all that shit, at least after the tutorial bits in Sanctuary. Just point at 'em and tell 'em to make their own fuckin' town. You'd want to pair it with a secondary mod that makes more npc's potential leaders.

I haven't touched it in a while but I gather there's raids and counter-raids and so on built into it in the last few months, along with a couple of different questlines.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:45 PM on October 25, 2019


Aw jeez Fizz, this is the first game I've bought on launch day (or close enough) since FO4 - thanks! and thanks to all the comments, too!

Your Childhood Pet Rock - that's some fancy aitch tee em ell ?

posted by porpoise at 6:50 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


(I hate that this game has the same acronym as The Outer Wilds I feel like I’m cheating on my original TOW by playing this)
posted by capnsue at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2019


(I hate that this game has the same acronym as The Outer Wilds I feel like I’m cheating on my original TOW by playing this)

The difference between The Outer Worlds and Outer Wilds.
posted by Fizz at 7:39 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Your Childhood Pet Rock - that's some fancy aitch tee em ell ?

The code is:
<details>
<summary>Put description text here</summary>
Spoiler text you want to hide goes here.
</details>
Hope that helps for people who want to discuss other spoilery stuff in the thread.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:47 PM on October 25, 2019 [18 favorites]


(I hate that this game has the same acronym as The Outer Wilds I feel like I’m cheating on my original TOW by playing this)

The real mystery is how even people who love Outer Wilds as much as you came to think the game's name had a "The" in it. I'm guessing that OW got contaminated by the publicity confusion with TOW.
posted by straight at 9:16 PM on October 25, 2019


a single-player, first-person action-RPG
it’s Fallout in space

😒
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:29 PM on October 25, 2019


So there were a LOT of mediocre reviews of this game too, can we post up a few of those?

Like, I'm not complaining or criticising (this isn't about ethics in games journalism!), just surprised that the reviews picked in the OP or at least the chosen excerpts are all the glowing ones. I've got gamepass and will defintely check it out, but my expectations have been rapidly tempered by some reviews.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:30 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]




The game is definitely CRPG comfort food. I think it's going to be popular precisely because many people see in it a reassurance that there are still games being developed of the kind they loved when growing up.
posted by um at 11:40 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]



Companion spoilers
I love Parvati, but my new best friends are Felix and Nyoka. Nyoka's hunt stories are excellent - she's a bit Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and a bit Iron Bull. And Felix is just... a dope.

Though my heart yearns for a Nyoka romance questline, I also kind of like that the extent of your involvement with your companions' romantic lives is just making :D faces at them as they talk to their crushes. I love being Captain Matchmaker!

posted by storytam at 12:39 AM on October 26, 2019


The Outer Worlds is alright, innit. It’s good fun. Sit back and let the orange and neon wash over you. Boo the cartoonishly evil corporations. Exhale through your nose at their Diet Toothpaste. I bet I’ll play it again, in fact. But you can tell it could have been great, if it had taken a few more risks. Real space cowboys take risks, don’t they? (Rock Paper Shotgun)
posted by straight at 1:14 AM on October 26, 2019


I wish I could play this, but my computer barely makes minimum requirements, and I can in no way afford to drop fifty quid on a game :( Absolutely love Obsidian's rpgs. I couldn't tell you exactly how many playthroughs of New Vegas I have - twenty? Thirty? Ah well, I guess I can come back to this in five or ten years when I can hopefully run it more comfortably, and it won't be so expensive.
posted by Dysk at 2:33 AM on October 26, 2019


Like, I'm not complaining or criticising (this isn't about ethics in games journalism!), just surprised that the reviews picked in the OP or at least the chosen excerpts are all the glowing ones.

I mean, that's on me. Usually I try to grab a variety of reviews. I think in my excitement, I only glossed onto the more positive ones.

The game does play it safe and I guess I'm not upset by it. I was wanting comfort food and that's what I got. And sometimes you want a cheeseburger. It's satisfying and fulfilling, even if it is something you've had many times in the past.
posted by Fizz at 3:50 AM on October 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


I hope I never have to stop telling people I'm Captain Alex Hawthorne of the Unreliable. I'm a few hours in, and I've managed to avoid combat so far. I'm curious to see how long I can keep that up -- when last I searched (a couple hours ago), I couldn't find an answer as to whether or not a pacifist run is possible.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:53 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


I wish I could play this, but my computer barely makes minimum requirements, and I can in no way afford to drop fifty quid on a game :

Try the Xbox Game Pass subscription for $1 for the first month and see if it will run on minimum specs. If it doesn't run well, cancel and no harm.

I did this because I was also unsure if my aging GTX 950 could handle it. It does but I wasn't about to drop $60 on a hunch or a guess.
posted by Fizz at 3:54 AM on October 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Thanks, I'll try that, even if I'm not too hopeful about how well a GT1030 will handle it.
posted by Dysk at 4:22 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Outer Worlds is easy to describe but in no way derivative... it’s Fallout in space.

Hmm...
posted by smithsmith at 4:43 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


> WRPG
> CRPG

I know what "RPG" means, but what are these?
posted by ardgedee at 4:47 AM on October 26, 2019


Western RPG, as opposed to JRPG - Japanese RPG. There was a good degree of parallel development of the RPG genre early in, leading to them being two distinct styles (though you get Japanese made WRPGs and western JRPGs these days). Think Chrono Trigger/Final Fantasy/Pokemon contra Baldur's Gate/Fallout/Elder Scrolls for example.

CRPG can either be console RPG (to contrast with PC RPG - this is similar to the JRPG/WRPG distinction) or computer RPG (to contrast with tabletop or pen and paper RPGs). I think the use in this thread is the latter.
posted by Dysk at 4:54 AM on October 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Pacifist Run?

Is that.. that even possible (I really hope so!) ?
posted by Faintdreams at 5:15 AM on October 26, 2019


Try the Xbox Game Pass subscription for $1 for the first month and see if it will run on minimum specs. If it doesn't run well, cancel and no harm.

And only $5 a month after that for the PC only subscription. That's less than the cost of this game for the whole year. I will do that.
posted by octothorpe at 5:25 AM on October 26, 2019


I started playing last night with the Game Pass $1 deal.

I was telling my friend that it’s like Fallout gameplay with Borderlands game world (Minus the frat boy humor), with Bioshock aesthetics.

I tried to start a melee build but so far, like Skyrim or Fallout 4, it’s just plain easier to go sniper (archer) build.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:01 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


But you can tell it could have been great, if it had taken a few more risks.

But the expectation-setting from Obsidian makes it plain that this was never intended to be a great game, because great games cost a lot more money -- they've been plain and consistent that this is not a big AAA title and lacks lots of things you would expect from a big New Vegas+DLCs open world, such as the open world.

In this context, I find it hard to be annoyed by the sameyness of it, but would be annoyed if the next one is funded to the gills and still feels like a graphical redo of a 2005 game.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:10 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


I almost got this yesterday, but the whole "Evil corporations rule our lives!" shtick just didn't quite feel…escapist enough for me.

Is that an inaccurate impression? Would a person jaded to their core by the last, sayyyy, 30 years actually be able to enjoy this?

Of the games it's compared with, I've only sunk any measurable amount of time into Skyrim.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:23 AM on October 26, 2019


I guess the advantage is you get to play it as you want. You can either be fully devoted to corporatism, you can be out for yourself, you can act to dismantle corporatism.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:36 AM on October 26, 2019


I really like the title music and the animation of a ramshackle spaceship crossing the void. I'm trying not to compare this game with other RPGs. It's solid, and I hope it spawns a sequel or series because I'd hate to think the modern gaming landscape has no room for tightly-focused RPGs that have obviously been built with considerable love and attention to detail. At the same time the game hasn't really sunk any emotional hooks into me the way other RPGs have, and in this regard it's falling a little short of expectations. But I'm not very far into it.
posted by um at 7:09 AM on October 26, 2019


The game definitely has the same sort of very specific darkly humorous tone of Fallout I and II, which is natural considering that Boyarsky was one of the creators of those games (as well as Arcanum, VTM:B and Diablo III). For what it's worth, he apparently considered this game his dream project. I think that's part of why the storytelling and tone have been met with a mixture of positive nostalgia and the corresponding complaints about a dated feel.
posted by selfnoise at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


BTW I can't remember where I read this, but I believe the original intent was to create pathing for a full pacifist run, but they ultimately didn't have time to implement it properly. In any case, I've already seen a lot of "talk your way out of a conflict" moments. Not that I've used them all since there are a fair number of people in this game who really need to be shot.
posted by selfnoise at 8:17 AM on October 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I guess I'll see how far I can get with pacifism, then. Might start a concurrent game, as that'll probably get a bit limiting and I dont want to miss out on too much.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:24 AM on October 26, 2019


So of course the Xbox Live installer wants me to run Windows Update first. Wish me luck on that.
posted by octothorpe at 9:37 AM on October 26, 2019


Very enjoyable game. If you are worried about system requirements, it looks really good with every video setting on low.
posted by BeeDo at 10:09 AM on October 26, 2019


So of course the Xbox Live installer wants me to run Windows Update first. Wish me luck on that.

I'm not sure what major update Windows 10 decided to skip for me, but this step took me well over an hour.

(It just about runs at 1600x900 with everything on low on a GT1030 with a six year old core i5 - nicely if you turn it down a little with resolution scaling)
posted by Dysk at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Dysk, you're probably tired of updates, but also check to see if your graphics card has had any recent updates. That often helps make newer games run smoother on older cards.
posted by Fizz at 11:26 AM on October 26, 2019



More companion spoilers
I was so disappointed when Parvati wasn't interested in me. I wound up playing matchmaker for her because I wanted her to be happy, but I also wanted her to be my adorkable Kaylee-esque space waifu. Life is suffering.

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2019


After starting the process at 12:30, the update and then install finally finished at 3:00.
posted by octothorpe at 12:43 PM on October 26, 2019


Dysk, you're probably tired of updates, but also check to see if your graphics card has had any recent updates.

I grabbed the latest one before I even launched the game :) It didn't even need a reboot!
posted by Dysk at 1:06 PM on October 26, 2019


I already bought a game on the Epic store, Control, and see nothing wrong with a challenger to Steam's monopoly.

Unfortunately I have no spare money for the Outer Worlds right now, but it is at the top of my list for when I get a spare $60.
posted by sotonohito at 3:13 PM on October 26, 2019


Ok but you can play it for a month for $1 through Windows. That’s what I did since I was a bit skeptical of what looked like a Fallout 4 reskin.

I’m enjoying it so far, though. Today I finished the quest line on the starting planet and I’m off to the next stage of my adventure.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:28 PM on October 26, 2019


Once I finally got it installed, I only had an couple of hours to play but I like it so far.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 PM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Just played it for a bit--I don't know 30 minutes or so on PS4--since Epic doesn't support Linux and I don't support Epic. (I would've given it a try with WINE if my options to get my hands on the binary weren't the Microsoft store or the Epic store.)

I enjoyed the first half-hour of this a lot more than the first half-hour of Fallout 4 or Skyrim.

All the text is so small though! I'm having to sit right in front of my TV which is much too bright. It seems like this was made to be played at a desk.. I don't think my vision is that bad.
posted by yonega at 11:03 PM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Played it until about three in the morning like some idiot teenager, so, uh, it's defintely pretty ok. Somehow I'd only played Fallout 77 in this genre and it's - no surprise - much more fun than that. Desperately putting off making the first Big Moral Choice though as I'm so clearly getting admonished either way.

Yonega, you're not alone!
posted by ominous_paws at 12:55 AM on October 27, 2019


Hopefully they release a patch for the text size. I ended up dragging my PS4 to my desk to play it on my larger desk screen at close range .

Since I'm playing it on console I want to play it on the couch with my feet up, dammit!

Why do I always get caught up in the side quests in games like this? Normally I'm not a completionist at all but I can't resist a side quest. Blooming trees of side quests.
posted by yonega at 5:15 AM on October 27, 2019


Desperately putting off making the first Big Moral Choice though as I'm so clearly getting admonished either way.

There is a way to do the first Big Moral Choice in such a way that works out well and is the “best” choice. Here is an article [spoilers]
posted by Fleebnork at 5:40 AM on October 27, 2019


Desperately putting off making the first Big Moral Choice though as I'm so clearly getting admonished either way.

No spoilers, but If you're referring to the Edgewater Power Regulator decision there is clearly a good guy and a bad guy to choose between. The game barely tries to make this morally grey.
posted by um at 5:42 AM on October 27, 2019


And on reading Fleebnork's article I realize the game fucked me over and I should've picked the other guys. Guess I'm reloading.
posted by um at 5:46 AM on October 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Ok, one of the things that is annoying me on the regular is when you get a new entry in your Codex and you have to go through each section to expand it to figure out where the * is.

I also hate uncleared badges on my phone apps
posted by Fleebnork at 6:31 AM on October 27, 2019 [3 favorites]


Fleebnork: "Desperately putting off making the first Big Moral Choice though as I'm so clearly getting admonished either way.

There is a way to do the first Big Moral Choice in such a way that works out well and is the “best” choice. Here is an article [spoilers]
"

I seem to have chosen poorly. I have a save point before I flipped the switch; I may restore and start over.
posted by octothorpe at 4:12 PM on October 27, 2019


I mean I came very close to absent mindedly flipped the switch at the Power Factory when I went there to get the robot AI before I'd even been to visit the deserters (and got specific text telling me off for it!), so whichever I do pick at least it won't be worse than that.
posted by ominous_paws at 4:19 PM on October 27, 2019


This game is really all about "ok, if you don't invest in social stats you need to make some really hard choices".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:50 PM on October 27, 2019



Minor early Edgewater spoilers
I actually really liked that first choice. When I was first in the big office in Edgewater being introduced to that quest, I turned to my boyfriend at the end of the conversation with Tobson and just said "we are taking HIS fucking power regulator". By the time I'd actually gotten to the point of making the choice, the game had successfully made it much more morally grey and nuanced for me. I actually ended up doing the exact opposite of what my first instinct was, and I think I did the best I could. It was Parvati's impassioned speech that put me over the edge.


I'm fucking loving the writing and story telling in this game. It gives me the same feeling that Fallout 1 (my all time favourite narrative game, and possibly my all time favourite game full stop)does, that nothing else has quite recaptured for me until now. Thanks so much for poking me about the gamepass trial, Fizz!
posted by Dysk at 5:03 AM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


[Minor Groundbreaker spoilers]



I wrapped up the various quests at Groundbreaker (with the exception of buying the Stellar Bay nav key).

I got past McRedd with all dialogue, which felt pretty good. I'm still not sure yet whether I want to try to fight through stuff or talk past it. I don't really play this game for the combat, because the combat system feels so clunky compared to most FPS games I'm used to.

It almost seems like I'm settling into a Stealth/Dialogue style of play, which is kind of neat.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:52 AM on October 28, 2019


Parvati made me feel so bad that I reverted my save and went the opposite path.
posted by octothorpe at 8:04 AM on October 28, 2019


Am I the only one who just Did The Thing and didn't look back? The people affected by the choice Parvati didn't like have a perfectly good option available to them. All they have to do is notice their chains are broken.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:18 AM on October 28, 2019


I'm not super enamoured with the combat - Parvati's default settings are way too aggressive and she ended up agro-ing mobs and getting me in trouble. Changing her settings to 'Defensive' and 'Medium-near' seems to have done the trick.

Starting to get better about tapping 'q', firing off a few aimed shots, then tapping 'q' again as not to deplete the bullet time meter. Feels more like the Max Payne bullet time than Fallout VATS.

Edgewater vs. Botanical Lab was interesting - of course I was sympathetic to the deserters at first - and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a little bit more nuance than was strictly necesssary.
posted by porpoise at 9:07 AM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


I actually forgot about the Q button because I'm playing on normal difficulty and just mowing people down. Which is fine, I don't need this game to be hard.

This game could use fewer sidequests honestly, I'm getting a little sick of hoovering them up. But I guess I could just not do them.
posted by selfnoise at 10:27 AM on October 28, 2019


I'm playing this on X-box One via GamePass, and it's a testament to Obsidian that I am enjoying it as much as I am despite the terrible feel of looking and shooting using a controller, the eyestrain created by the low-res textures, the garish palette and the tiny font size when playing from the couch.

It looks and feels like an original X-box title, as much KOTOR as Fallout, but I really am enjoying it nonetheless, especially after giving it a few hours.


Companion tactics and early loot spoilers that may trivialize combat

Companions don't seem to have preferred weapon skills and more importantly don't consume or need ammo. So you can give them heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, maybe with damage type mods, and let them absolutely nuke everything.

There are marauders with two sets of "retrofitted power armor" that spawn in some of the abandoned buildings on the first planet — one for each companion. These give a heavy weapon bonus and are good into midgame.

posted by snuffleupagus at 3:15 PM on October 28, 2019


Am I the only one who just Did The Thing and didn't look back?

I initially ignored Parvati because she was basically asking me to side with Caesar's Fucking Legion by saying 'but what about the poor slaaaaves?' Her pitch just sounds nicer because she has that folksy cadence. I reverted to an earlier save because according to the online consensus the designers for some reason routed the so-called 'good' ending via the worse choice. When I read the plaque of the trophy you find in your spaceship I nearly reverted again. What is this enlightened centrism bullshit?
posted by um at 3:17 PM on October 28, 2019


I feel personally attacked
posted by ominous_paws at 3:38 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm getting a bit irritated with Parvati's "Should I ... but what if .... maybe I'm not ... but I should ..." schtick.

Girl, every time you get lovesick - about every 15 minutes apparently - I land on that bloody space station just to find you're constitutionally incapable of resolving things. I have no objection to you setting up shop there, I kind of assumed it was where your arc was going. Please make a bloody decision.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:18 AM on October 29, 2019


I love that arc overall, even if yes, she is clearly not the most socially competent character ever. I guess I can relate on that front :P It is pretty cool to have one of the central characters be a PoC asexual queer woman, though (even if it doesn't use any of those terms explicitly).
posted by Dysk at 5:15 AM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


I just finished it last night.

I loved it. The ending is a little....abrupt, and it has a something the fallout ending sequence where you get to find out how all your companions are doing and how your major decisions affected the outcome for the colony.

While I don't know how feasible a pacifist run is, high dialog skills can get you out of a great many fights.

A high dialog skill can also be really helpful in letting you take the "moral high ground". In both of the major colony conflicts that you can get involved in, it's possible to save both sides. It takes some work, but you can have your cake and eat it to.

If you're gun shy and don't really like gunplay, play it on EASY and go get Parvati ASAP. A companion (or two) gunning backup for you makes all the difference. If you beeline the main quest, you'll meet her and get her in your party with minimal combat, and you'll be able to go back to the business of doing sidequests and talking to all the whackadoodles in the world.

On side note: the first world took me about 6 hours or so, doing all the sidequests I found and doing my best to help out the colony. That was my first play through. I tried a "murder everything and everyone" playthrough last night, and it was...less exciting than I'd hoped, but I did finish the main quest on the first colony in 52 minutes. Of course, already knowing where everything is helped alot.

If like the RP in RPG, this game has a whole lot going for it and I can't recommend it highly enough.
posted by jaded at 7:28 AM on October 29, 2019


ounds like the Borderlands Franchise to me. Not that that's a bad thing.
That's kinda funny, since I think of Borderlands (which I've loved) as "Dumb Fallout." It's twitchy and fun and takes place in a very similar kind of world, but it's never been the immersive experience FO is.

The difference is gameplay. BL games are way more shooty/twitchy, and have way less plot.

One thing thing Fallout 3/4 had that BL absolutely doesn't is the "VATS" targetting system, which basically made it possible to play a shooter-spec'd character without having to be super-great at aiming.

Outer Worlds has SEVERELY limited this mechanic vs. F3/F4. Don't go in thinking you'll be able to VATS your way through; you absolutely will be doing a lot more freehand shooting if you go a combat/guns-heavy route through the game.
posted by uberchet at 9:53 AM on October 29, 2019


Am I the only one who just Did The Thing and didn't look back? The people affected by the choice Parvati didn't like have a perfectly good option available to them. All they have to do is notice their chains are broken.

I had to think it over a bit, but finally decided to just do it. I've got one mission: to topple mega-corps, and I'm going to do it.
posted by codacorolla at 7:09 AM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was an abrupt ending. I think that final boss monster took my companions about 10 seconds to mow down. And then the game was over.

I think Obsidian is great at level design, but I wanted the worlds to be 10x larger. With a wider variety of monsters. Heck, those birds only attack you in one spot!

But I've done my playthrough. I know from doing New Vegas a few times that running through it again to see different endings just isn't fun for me.
posted by Catblack at 4:06 PM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]


Outer Worlds has SEVERELY limited this mechanic vs. F3/F4. Don't go in thinking you'll be able to VATS your way through; you absolutely will be doing a lot more freehand shooting if you go a combat/guns-heavy route through the game.
posted by


True in the absolute sense that time doesn’t stop so you still have to aim while things move, but if you build around time dilation and use distance weapons it gets a lot easier once you’ve accumulated some skill points and related perks.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:13 PM on November 1, 2019 [2 favorites]


I finished it. I don't regret the time playing but I wish it had been a better game. It felt like the makers wanted so badly to recapture the New Vegas magic that it never had the chance to develop a magic of its own. I got the game via Gamepass but it's hard to believe the full retail price is AUD$90.

I really liked how the game explored the theme of cannibalism. Not just literal cannibalism (of which there is plenty), but also Parvati and Junlei repeatedly talking about how they would have to break one machine down to keep another working, and also the cannibalism practiced by the Board corporations, which was reminiscent of Kronos devouring his children. And it's a frontier story, so cannibalism fits right in. That whole element was really well done.

I doubt I'll replay it. I'd initially assumed there would be some DLC, but the ending of the game left that in doubt. If there is some DLC I'll probably give it another shot.
posted by um at 4:04 AM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, I've made it out of Emerald Vale without killing anyone or allowing a companion to kill anyone. I did make some robots kill each other, though. And while I tried to be stealthy, there was one quest item that I couldn't get to without running for it and hoping not to be shot too much in the process. I guess I'll see how far I can take this pacifist run.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'd initially assumed there would be some DLC, but the ending of the game left that in doubt.

Nobody's mentioned dlc that I'm aware of and, just me personally, I kinda expect that any dlc plans for this game published by Take2 may have been shelved with the purchase by microsoft.

But I wouldn't take the ending as informative about dlcs. The ending for F:NV is structured the same way, telling you what happened over the next several years, but that didn't stop them from releasing four dlcs.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:40 AM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, I've made it out of Emerald Vale without killing anyone
I absolutely did not do this.

However, I missed an early questline for a bit, and then could NOT understand why I was getting my ass handed to me so much by the marauders that are on the left fork out of the Botanical Garden.

Protip: Don't skip things accidentally.

Another tip that I find amazing is that HOLY SHIT the companions in this came KICK ASS. I was impressed enough that the Fallout 4 companions were at least not active impediments, but being able to have a couple extra folks with you who can really take out extra baddies for you is a serious boost.

(And I love the Parvati relationship-counseling quest line, at least so far.)
posted by uberchet at 2:10 PM on November 4, 2019


Anyone else feel like they are spending a lot of time looking at load screens? Not helped by some misleading quest markers. The whole thing is beginning to feel padded with quests that set you running back and too. Disappointing on the whole.
posted by biffa at 4:44 PM on November 16, 2019


I lapsed a little bit, but am just now picking up on it again.

Actually - no, been impressed with the load times.

I'm loving how areas feel connected but sometimes there are natural closeable barriers and I think there's code somewhere to only render the "local environment" when the barriers are closed. I'm rather impressed with the art/ design side of balance between open world and efficiency of rendering (as opposed to purely technical solutions).

But my rig is "decent last+-gen" bought in June (Ryzen 5 2600X, M.2 SSD, 16GB of 2666MHz CL16 DDR4 RAM, and a second hand factory OCed GTX 980).

fwiw, my previous rig was a 1st gen mid-range i7, lower-end SATA3 SSD, RAM with timing that didn't quite work optimally with the particular motherboard, and a second hand GTX 680 - and Fallout 4's load times felt onerous. The GTX 680 as a replacement for something older really helped with framerates, but didn't help load times.

I'm thinking that the M.2 interface for the SSD and sufficient RAM on a good pipeline is pulling a lot of weight. The CPU helps with the physics, so that's mostly affecting framerate.

Hm, might load up FO4 on the current rig just to see what it looks/ feels like.
posted by porpoise at 6:50 PM on November 16, 2019


A thing I've noticed in The Outer Worlds (and other FPS games) is that everyone's clothing/ skinning looks pristine.

In FO4, there are alphas (?) and textures where wear/ damage/ stains/ etc. of clothing is in the art, but it doesn't look "real." Like, it's pristine clothing that just has detailing that makes it look worn - and it's pinging my avant garde wanker triggers; extraordinarily made clothing with details to make it look faux trash. Or designer jeans that are "pre-stressed" but otherwise have the tight edges of lux-expensive designer clothing.

I'm sure it's a graphics engine limitation, but "tattered" or "threadbare" is a major obstacle to tackle the "uncanny valley."
posted by porpoise at 6:55 PM on November 16, 2019


"Cloth physics" is getting more attention in recent titles, as hair has before it, but yes it's graphically and computationally expensive.

I'm pretty sure Outer Worlds is meant to look somewhat plastic to evoke that "classic CRPG" mood. It really does look like spiffed up KOTOR in terms of the composition of the graphics, even if the kitschy style of the environment is very Fallout.

RDR2 does better with this, but not a FPS.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:08 PM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Not many video games have made me cry, but being able to tell an asexual character that we're alike in that regard put this one on the list.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:18 PM on November 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


FYI: The voice actress who played Parvati (Ashly Burch) is up for an award for her work here.

Seems well deserved; I don't play a LOT of games, but I can't remember having a companion or other character seem as human and real as Parvati. I get a huge chunk of that is writing, but if the performance wasn't there it'd fall flat.
posted by uberchet at 7:06 AM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


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