“The Outer Worlds:” Out of This World

The world of video games has been lacking in a particular genre that is one of my personal favorites: the true RPG. These are games where your character is exactly the person you want them to be, and the decisions you make have a genuine impact on the world around you. These games have depth in how the world is created and give the player a level of immersion that I personally feel is lacking in other genres.

In what other type of game can you decide that all of the decisions presented in front of you are bogus, so you decide the best course of action is to eliminate everyone in the room until only those you appreciate are left standing?

What other type of game not only allows you to make those decisions, but understands that those decisions are viable and continues the story with your actions in mind?

I cannot think of any other genre that enables this level of player input and it is why games like “The Outer Worlds” continue to be a joy to play.

"Outer Worlds” is set in exactly that: worlds on the outer rim of our galaxy. These planets have been explored and colonized by a series of private corporations which have banded together and labeled “The Board.”

The tone of “Outer Worlds” is one that is heavily critical of what is essentially late-stage capitalism: a situation in which oligopolies have ultimate say in the running on politics and culture.

The game presents this criticism beautifully by separating the people from the organizations they work under. The individuals from the bottom to the top of this megacorporate ladder are human. Their desires are, at the very least, sympathetic.

You may not agree with the views of every character in the game, but you understand why they have those views. There are individuals who don’t feel comfortable leaving their corporate routine. You have others who feel that the entire corporate ladder needs to be sawed apart rung by rung, and the game does not hide their militant intentions.

As I went through the game, I felt the developers, Obsidian, did a fantastic job of creating a world that feels like it could be real. The situations you find yourself in are caricatures of modern problems. There are people unable to afford healthcare, there individuals who aspire to be greater than what society says they can be, there are those content to do the daily tasks given to them and there are those looking for spiritual meaning in a world that mostly throws spirituality out the window for material gain.

Overall, I felt the story to be a bit short, but it was packed with side missions that filled that time and allowed for narrative variety that I quite enjoyed.

The gameplay is beautifully fluid in a world where games such as this one tends to come to market incredibly buggy. Never once did I have an instance where the game felt broken or mismanaged.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have my complaints.

When I play games such as these, I prefer my character to stand alone. I feel the addition of NPC partners cheapens my voice. Unfortunately, partners are practically a necessity for this game because of the massive bonuses that they can give to your stats.

Having the engineer in my party is the difference between me being able to fix an engine or shutdown security systems, and while I love her character development, I shouldn’t need to have another character around to improve. I still love hearing input, but sometimes I want to make a decision without being influenced.

This game is fantastic, and my biggest complaint is that there isn’t more of it to play. For those who miss the days of the classic “Fallout” series, or “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” or Mass Effect, this game is for you 100%.

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