Review: The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

You’ve tried the best, now try the rest…

Game: The Outer Worlds
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

It’s fairly obvious from the beginning that The Outer Worlds was envisioned as a “spiritual successor” to Fallout: New Vegas that Obsidian Entertainment developed for Bethesda in 2010.

Unfortunately, while still a solid, fun title, it never really lives up to it’s lofty goals.

The Outer Worlds Intro Screen
The Outer Worlds Intro Screen

The Outer Worlds was a game that had my interest from the moment it was announced. Bizarre facial animations be damned, I was excited to get my hands on a Fallout-style adventure from the team that brought us Fallout: New Vegas.

What could go wrong I thought?

As it turns out, while Obsidian delivered a solid title, it isn’t exactly what I hoped it would be.

It’s hard to put into words exactly what my issues with the game are, most of what I do not like about the game is just because it feels off somehow. Every aspect of the game aside from writing just doesn’t fully click with me the same way that Bethesda’s previous titles in this genre have and especially not the way that Obsidian’s own New Vegas did.

If you have ever played a game in the modern era of Fallout, you will know pretty much what to expect when playing The Outer Worlds as gameplay, leveling up, perks, and companions all work very similarly to those games.

One thing that may catch you off guard however, is the length of the game. I completed the game’s main quest line as well as several hours worth of side-quests in just under 13 hours.

This may seem like a negative aspect of the game and in a way, I see it this way as well. However, it can also be looked at as an asset of the game in several ways. As a busy gamer with a full schedule, one that now consists of completing and writing two reviews a week, I appreciate the brevity of the game as it does not feel like a complete time sink as more and more games do these days.

One benefit of the shorter story and quests is also the ability to replay the game and make different choices. While this has been an option in many games of this genre, I almost never do this as it just feels too daunting to take it all on again only to see how the various scenarios can play out. With The Outer Worlds, I appreciate how the shorter campaign will allow me to do this without feeling overwhelmed with having to replay large chunks of gameplay in between new choices.

Gallery


While The Outer Worlds can be fun in a lot of ways, overall the quality of the title feels just okay. Whether it is from the somewhat floaty gunplay, to the at times lackluster visuals, one thing The Outer Worlds does not feel like is a game released in 2019, a shame to be sure.

I haven’t much talked about the visuals until now, but they seem to be all over the spectrum in quality. Some of the vistas you encounter are quite lovely, however there are many instances where the game looked downright ugly to me. The planet Monarch being a particularly atrocious example in my eyes.

Another thing I encountered while playing this game on Xbox One was a ton of dropped frames. It happened consistently throughout the entire game and while I eventually adjusted to it, it was unfortunate that a base Xbox One struggled to run what is a fairly dated looking game. I will be very curious to see how it runs on the Switch version due out next year.

One final negative that I came across while playing for this review was a game breaking glitch in which one of the final encounters of the game would freeze every time I walked through the doorway. It happened half a dozen times before I had to research online to see how people got around this. Fortunately someone discovered a trick to overcome this glitch as I was afraid I was not going to be able to finish the game before posting this review.

While I may have come across as fairly negative in this review, it is only because I wanted to love this title far more than I actually did. The Outer Worlds is a great first outing for this new IP from Obsidian Entertainment and I hope that it flourishes under their new parent company Microsoft.

If Obsidian can build on the foundation that they have created here, the sky is the limit. With all the troubles that Bethesda has been through lately, and with increasing amount of years between mainline titles in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, if they play their cards right, Obsidian could steal the crown right from under Bethesda’s nose.

That being said, The Outer Worlds is not the game at the top of the heap. In my eyes it isn’t even the best game in this genre from Obsidian, but a solid start to a new IP. I will be very interested in where they take this universe in The Outer Worlds 2. I played the Xbox One version for this review, but the game is also available on Playstation 4 and PC (through Epic Games store) with Nintendo Switch and Steam versions coming in 2020.

Graphics:
Fun retro-futuristic art style, but dated looking visuals
15 out of 20

Sound:
Sound in the game is good, the one thing that feels lacking to me is in the music department. Not the score, but rather I wish there was in-universe radio stations like in the Fallout series
14 out of 20

Gameplay:
Gameplay will be familiar to modern-era Fallout fans, though it does leave something to be desired.
15 out of 20

Replayability:
I must say The Outer Worlds feels as though it was designed to be replayed multiple ways, I myself will give it at least one more playthough as a totally different character build.
17 out of 20

Value:
This is a tricky one, while The Outer Worlds is a decent game I would recommend trying this one out on Xbox Game Pass before you decide to add it to your collection. At $60 this game seems a bit pricey for the amount of content here, I would say it probably should have launched at about $40
13 out of 20

Overall Score:
74 out of 100

The links for the store pages for The Outer Worlds are below if you are interested in checking it out:

Xbox One

PlayStation 4

Epic Games Store

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