Obsidian Leisure is a studio greatest recognized for constructing on the work of others. Its hottest video games so far have been titles like Knights of the Outdated Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Dungeon Siege III, to call a number of. And even the studio’s higher recognized authentic work, the Pillars of Eternity sequence and religious spinoff Tyranny, are modeled on old style RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale sequence, and Planescape: Torment.
So it’s not solely shocking that regardless of being a totally new franchise, The Outer Worlds (to not be confused with the wonderful and extraordinarily equally named space-exploration sport Outer Wilds, which got here out earlier this 12 months) attracts on Obsidian’s personal previous RPG and motion experiences to create one thing that’s without delay each new and acquainted to anybody who’s performed these previous video games.
As Brian Heins, a senior designer at Obsidian, informed The Verge in an interview, The Outer Worlds isn’t meant to observe up any particular previous sport. “It’s extra like that is our subsequent Obsidian RPG,” he explains. “As a result of between like, KOTOR, New Vegas, Stick of Fact, all of them have form of the identical DNA working by them, which is Obsidian’s fashion of RPG.”
That stated, after getting an opportunity to play a number of hours of The Outer Worlds, there are clearly some large influences right here from Fallout: New Vegas (and by extension, Fallout 3), if solely due to style. The Outer Worlds is a first-person sci-fi motion RPG with an enormous emphasis on conversational methods and gunplay, and that was at all times sure to attract comparisons to Fallout, particularly when the developer is already recognized for engaged on a Fallout sport earlier than.
In that vein, The Outer Worlds does really feel quite a bit like that now comparatively unusual form of single-player, stat-focused RPG. Your character has a full checklist of stats that you could give attention to. Your weapons have stats. Your armor has stats. Your skills have stats. Your companions have stats. Stats galore, with loads of potential paths for a way you play.
Participant selection can also be an enormous a part of the sport. Whereas there’s, ostensibly, a most important storyline — one which sees gamers awaken many years sooner or later on a misplaced colony ship and thrown right into a conspiracy within the far-out Halcyon photo voltaic system — The Outer Worlds didn’t appear significantly invested in the truth that I pursue it. I used to be dropped right into a demo expertise a number of hours into the sport, and simply began wandering round a planet and instantly began speaking / negotiating / capturing my means out and in of conditions.
Virtually each dialog is full of dialogue decisions. Did I wish to be well mannered to the gang chief who’s asking you to trace down his lacking medication? Be flippant? Use my character’s intimidation abilities to demand an additional lower? Or my charisma to lie about what I recovered, retaining half for myself? That’s only one dialog from one comparatively minor sidequest. The dialogue (a minimum of for non-playable characters) is absolutely voice acted, too, though my character was audibly silent, regardless that I may select precisely what I used to be saying.
Throughout my time, I performed issues comparatively easy — charging into an enemy facility, gunning down robots and safety guards alike with the assistance of my companions. However there appeared to be loads of different choices, like sneaking within the again, disguising myself as a guard, or mucking about with the equipment powering the manufacturing facility. The sport additionally adapts as you play. I died quite a bit in my demo to a specific kind of large alien monster, and was granted a “flaw” that altered my stats towards these creatures sooner or later, for instance.
In one other instance, participant decisions can deeply change how the plot performs out. “You may kill each NPC within the sport and you may nonetheless full the sport by doing so,” Heins says. “It adjustments the sport dramatically, there’s sure quests that will or might not be obtainable based mostly on who you killed or once you kill them. Usually for quests, if there’s anyone who’s a plot-critical NPC, for those who kill them, we attempt to have a way so that you can acquire no matter info or merchandise they’re supposed to offer you … We attempt to not fail quests based mostly on gamers doing the issues we enable them to do.”
Conversely, gamers will be capable to play nearly all the sport as pacifists — Heins says that you could “usually get by with out killing any people,” though there are some creature encounters the place gamers will nonetheless must resort to fight (though they will theoretically farm that out to their companion characters).
However for all of the emphasis on selection, the Fallout influences are additionally nonetheless fairly heavy. There’s a time-slowdown mechanic that permits gamers to particularly goal areas on enemies, which is mainly Fallout’s VATS system. There’s quite a lot of factions — companies, in The Outer World’s future — which are at odds with one another that gamers may also help out or antagonize. There are companions that you could recruit who’ll be part of you in your journey, and remark alongside the way in which. Whereas the art-deco stylings assist set The Outer Worlds aside, it may well solely achieve this a lot to distinguish the gameplay.
That’s not essentially a foul factor, although. After a number of hours of The Outer Worlds, it seems like a sport from a barely totally different period. It performs like a tightly targeted singe-player journey with no game-as-a-service funds, in-app purchases, or tacked-on multiplayer. Even Bethesda has began to maneuver away from that, with the nonetheless considerably controversial on-line sport Fallout 76.
And in a world the place video games attempt to suck gamers into an countless loop to squeeze each final greenback and minute of consideration out of them, that form of focus — even when it’s not probably the most authentic of conceits — feels prefer it may be sufficient.
The Outer Worlds will probably be launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 25th, 2019. A Nintendo Swap model can also be within the works.