The Outer Worlds, the great return of Obsidian

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references

There has never been a better time to market a RPG narrative with an irreverent, sarcastic and meticulously light-hearted vein. After more than five years in which development houses like Bioware e Bethesda they stumble upon the roots of their own history, Obsidian thanks and goes to cashing out his chips with nonchalance.

Obsidian packs a narrative RPG with a desecrating, sarcastic and meticulously light-hearted vein

The Outer Worlds is exactly what it was thought to be: a close enough spiritual successor to that Fallout New Vegas that many believe, to date, the best three-dimensional Fallout for the arrangement of quests, clashes between factions and freedom of maneuver granted to the player. The latest trumpet blast as Obsidian's independent development house deserves your full attention, especially if you are happy owners of Game Pass since, thanks to the recent acquisition by Microsoft, The Outer Worlds is available from launch.



Captain of the Unreliable

Captain of theUnreliable: this is your role. However, it also works as a perfect summary of the stylistic signature that the game aspires to. You are the owners of one by chance intergalactic bathtub led by an artificial intelligence (as well as the best character in the game for detachment) more sarcastic than the worst of your aunts and inhabited by a small herd of pseudo-human cases that you yourself have proceeded to recruit. We are in the star system of Halcyon, where humanity, forced to contend with the imminent shortage of food, has sent its best minds. After a cryogenic sleep that accidentally lasted seventy years, we are awakened on Hope ship by a mad and wanted scientist, who asks for our help to wake up our traveling companions as well.



The devil is in the details

From this colorful, albeit not very original, incipit the main story of The Outer Worlds unfolds. Following in the footsteps of the glorious Bethesda productions, the main plot is perhaps the weakest link in the narrative chain wisely constructed by Obsidian. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Get into the most hidden corners of the map, read every single piece of paper, open the terminals and scan the emails: only in this way can you benefit from the fantastic writing of the game.

ADA, the AI ​​driving the Unreliable, is the best character in the game.

The latter is in fact the real backbone of the production and the very good is also born from it role-playing component, or the possibility of solving situations in a different way, and with a different outcome, depending on the characteristics of the character. The normal game difficulty level, being slightly lowered, does not encourage you to cunningly seek out convenient solutions. However, it is undeniable that many of the quests are customizable based on the choices, making each game different from the others. There is a notable range of ability to cultivate: some simplify the way ofaction, others that of diplomacy, still others that of stealth. In our case, the captain of the Unreliable was a real hothead: a master of intimidation and a clever liar, with persuasive talk and good hacking and engineering skills. With these assumptions, many headaches were solved without even firing a shot.

Not all circumstances, however, presented better solutions than others: the value of writing, in addition to the ironic verve, is that of putting the player in front of morally dubious choices. As mentioned, it is possible to recruit NPCs on board the Unreliable: each of them corresponds to a series of substantial and interesting missions.



The game demands morally dubious and interesting choices

They don't exist in the world factions good and other bad. There are only small congregations of humans who make fragile pacts in order to survive the oppressive and all-encompassing presence of the corporations, whose Machiavellian being is the prime target of the Obsidian writers. You can't be everyone's friend, and as the game goes on, some places necessarily become hostile. In fact, we can move on to several planets of the Halcyon Galaxy, each with a different atmosphere and style.

Technical sector

The game has "human" dimensions. Scattered in the macro areas (which are of moderate size by today's standards of true open-worlds), there are the hubs in which to develop the different quests. Equipped with a good density of NPCs, these maps stand out on a world that, outside these places of interest, is not particularly full of surprises and unexpected events. It is good to specify that The Outer Worlds is not a mammoth production. The limitations of budget are seen in obviously not avant-garde cosmetics, supported byUnreal Engine, and a general lack of non-essential elements to the game experience engineered by the development team. However, The Outer Worlds he does not waste time fantasizing about what could have become thanks to a larger budget, as he is too focused on enhancing the competence and clarity of ideas with which it was assembled.

The Outer Worlds is not a mammoth production, but it is extremely competent

The look artistic he is positively infected by the inspiration of the developers: a bright color palette animates the world and its strange inhabitants, be they humans or monsters out of size. Open spaces shine more than closed ones: at first glance, the latter are somewhat anonymous; however, Obsidian's wise work of contextualization makes every place enjoyable and surprising, including a corporate mill. One thing that the game cannot remedy is the modest size of the environments separated by loads (quite long by the way): it is a venial sin that we are extremely willing to forgive.



The Gameplay

On the pure gameplay side, the best things are seen, a little surprisingly, in combat: while not having particular first-person shooter ambitions, the variety and feedback of the weapons is better than one could suspect. Thanks to the classic workbenches scattered around the maps, weapons and armor are highly customizable. Cooperation with comrades during fights is resolved in choosing their attitude: passive, aggressive or defensive. The damage that our character can suffer are varied and elemental: electricity, fire, plasma and so on. The artificial intelligence of the enemies is generally lacking: to expect otherwise would have amounted to an excessive claim. Consequently, stealth is barely mentioned and must necessarily be contextualized in the range of options that the player has at his disposal.

USEFUL INFO

I played The Outer Worlds on PS4 Pro, thanks to a code review. I completed the main quest in about fifteen hours, spending at least another ten on secondary activities. Excellent audiovisual rendering. The game is in the original version with well-made Italian subtitles.

Duration
  • The main campaign can be finished after about fifteen hours of gameplay. This estimate does not include substantial secondary assets.
Structure
  • The game is not dubbed in Italian.
  • There is no endgame.
  • There are four difficulty levels available immediately, including the story mode and the "supernova" mode in which the companions can die permanently in combat. Normal mode characterized by a slightly downward difficulty.
Game Card
  • Game Name: The Outer Worlds
  • Release date: October 25, 2019
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Dubbing language: To be confirmed
  • Texts language: Italian

Our judgment

We mention a note of originality in the game: the system of defects. Often it is proposed to the player to accept a vulnerability with respect to a particular element in exchange for an advantage point that can be spent to earn classic perks concerning health, damage done, transportable weight and more.

The Outer Worlds doesn't innovate anything in its genre, but it does everything perfectly well

It is a cunning re-imagination of widely familiar elements: generalizing this concept, one can come to the honest conclusion that The Outer Worlds does not innovate anything about the established first-person RPG formula. By rigorously balancing one's ambitions and possibilities, the game offers asatisfying but not revolutionary experience, subversive while remaining within the confines of well-written and masterfully put into practice rules. Especially now, you could hardly ask for anything better.

Review by gmg215
Graphics

Technical sector not at the forefront, presumably for budget reasons. The overall yield is however pleasant thanks to the valuable artistic work.

75
SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM

Excellent English dubbing and good Italian subtitles. The music is a pleasant background to the adventure of the crew of the Unreliable.

82
GAMEPLAY

Quite varied gameplay, thanks to the possible approaches that can be adopted in each quest. The combat phase, particularly the one from a distance, is of good quality. The variety and customization of weapons is amazing. The weak link is represented by the stealth, very simplistic and barely mentioned, which however does not spoil the gaming experience at all.

85
Total Rating scale
87
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