Superb Outer Worlds escapes orbit of Fallout
Die-hard Fallout enthusiasts have been looking for their first-person role-playing game (RPG) fix ever since the eye-watering slap in the face that was Fallout 76.
Enter The Outer Worlds.
The game is developed by Obsidian, which made the Fallout series’ beloved New Vegas, and passion for the franchise shines through – despite not being a Fallout game.
All the hallmarks are there, such as stealth, combat with a slow-motion shooting mechanic, a dark sense of humour, moral quandaries, over-the-top (OTT) weapons, factions who become friends and enemies, and evil corporations with ridiculous mascots.
But it forges out its own identity thanks to a new-yet-familiar sci-fi setting.
Your character awakes from cryosleep in humanity’s furthest and most marginal colonies.
A mad scientist tasks you with rescuing the other frozen colonists from your sleeper ship because the evil megacorps who hold the system in an iron fist have deemed it unprofitable.
The universe has Firefly-esque space western influences and some of the missions and maps evoke Deus Ex as you hack into hostile robots and shimmy along crawlspaces.
There are also nods to Mass Effect as you face moral choices throughout your adventure – but the decisions you must make are far more than simple ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
An example of this is an early mission where you can either (MINOR SPOILERS) divert power from a geothermal plant to an evil megacorporation’s factory, or a ragtag community of ex-employees who rebelled against its tyrannical rule.
The heroic and evil paths seem obvious, right? But the waters get muddied when you discover the leader of the rebels has a vengeful, vindictive streak. And your companion points out only the megacorp’s oppressed and innocent staff will suffer if you shut down the factory.
It’s moments like this that take you back to the Fallout games that came before Bethesda not so much shot themselves in the foot as sprayed them with machine gun fire. While simultaneously burning cash and flipping the bird at their most loyal fans.
The Outer Worlds emerged from Fallout but has firmly stepped out of its shadow. Hopefully post-apocalyptic RPG fans and the wider public will follow and spark an equally-adored franchise.