There’s no disputing it – The Outer Worlds looks like a Fallout game in all but name. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Obsidian Games is behind it. As the creators of arguably the best Fallout game out there (even with New Vegas’ misgivings) it’s still somewhat surprising how much of that DNA is retained in Outer Worlds. That isn’t to say this looks like a decade old RPG either. Outer Worlds instead looks to build on ideas that haven’t worked out as well in past Obsidian ventures, giving you even more ways to approach its more open-ended quests.
The walkthrough we were treated to offered glimpses of how you might infiltrate restricted areas without firing a bullet. The mission in question tasked the player with hunting down a target for assassination. This target was in a massive abattoir that genetically grows bacon-flavoured cysts (which was mentioned in a very nonchalant manner, disturbingly) on massive space pigs, and your contractor isn’t happy about the monopoly this business is having on the overtly capitalistic planet you’re on.
Being a first-person shooter along with a role-playing game, there’s no question that you could use your assortment of weapons to blast through the guards at the facility and work your way up to your target. But in this demo peace prevailed. Instead of combat, Outer Worlds also lets you use wit to complete objectives. You’ll be able to put points into certain attributes as you level up, which in turn open up specific conversational paths when talking to the guards you need to bypass. You could, for example, choose to lie to them while wearing a disguise, letting you gain access to areas without any threat of other people wondering why you’re there.
The disguise system features a bar that slowly ticks down as you’re hiding in plain sight, with the disguise breaking if it depletes. You also have three notches above the bar that signify how many times you’re able to lie under the same disguise, which should force you to use a combination of disguises and circumvention instead of just relying on your silver tongue to get past every obstacle. It’s a smart-looking system that allowed this playthrough to get by mostly without any combat at all, even when presented with doors that couldn’t be passed by conversation alone.
When reaching the target, choosing restraint was once again rewarded with an interesting spin. Instead of blasting him as soon as we entered the room, the demo instead allowed us to converse with the target and seek out a middle-ground that benefitted anyone. The demo ended before we could be shown the possible consequences of turning on our previous contractor and starting an entire new mission to hunt her down instead, but the implication that every mission has alternative ways to complete it was evident. Choice is at the centre of what you do in Outer Worlds, and it’s not just about the weapons you choose to take into its combat either.
Outer Worlds is out this October, and its launching on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
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Last Updated: June 18, 2019