The Outer Worlds is a new game with a very familiar feel. It was created largely by the same minds behind the original Fallout and Fallout New Vegas teams and it shows. While it undeniably feels like “Fallout in space” there is a lot more going for The Outer Worlds than that.
You start the game off a crisp space popsicle, defrosted and dropped onto a strange planet. Your ship and the rest of the popsicles are long forgotten and humanity has swiftly moved on without you. This provides a nice canvas for character creation and allows you to build a bit of your background based on some initial conversation decisions.
You can expect all the normal elements of character creation including some of my favourites such as the ability to increase charisma and the ability to lie successfully. This all layers up to provide a vast amount of ways to play the game, allowing for different decision trees and multiple outcomes to every engagement.
The game itself has a very pleasing art style with a slightly retro space feel. I couldn’t help but get a feeling of Bioshock but in space – which is a compliment in my eyes. The feel of the gameplay and combat mechanics feel a little rough compared to other first-person games but it’s not the core focus of The Outer Worlds and does enough to get by. The introduction of a Fallout staple – slowed time – in the guise of your TTD Tactical Time Dilation, helps liven up combat situations dramatically.
The story is beautifully written with loads of strange and witty humour. Overall it feels like a grand space adventure with a wide range of playstyles. Quite early on you can make some key decisions as to which side of the galactic empire “The Board” you fall, which dictates the type of missions and story you follow.
The sheer amount of conversation options and branches really impressed me and I often wound up saying stupid things just to see what the outcome would be. It is unfortunate that for the most part a large amount of the quests still feel very fetch-quest-like, which removes the charm of the NPC interactions as you help them solve fairly mundane problems.
Overall The Outer Worlds is a true tribute to the original Fallout games, set in a beautiful space adventure. It doesn’t add a huge amount to the platform it’s based on, but it executes the concept perfectly and provides a glimmer of excitement for what I felt was just an old fashioned damn good game.