There are thousands of video games out there, but what’s worth playing? Today let’s talk about: The Outer Worlds.
If you’re looking for a Fallout sort of game that feels like the classics with the bleak tone and the silly jokes about how terrible the future is, then this game is your cup of tea. It plays a lot like Fallout 4 (first person with melee and gun options as well a “time slowdown” mechanic and inventory stuff with dialogue trees and fast travel), and it’s intentional. It’s Fallout by people that lost the license when Fallout New Vegas only got an 84% on Metacritic (that’s a whole backstory), so it’s made with craft, care, and flair.
The Outer Worlds should be mandatory for anyone who wants to study economics with an emphasis on capitalism.
The plot is that corporations have made space travel viable, but that corporate greed has ironed the humanity out of everything. You play as a space colonist woken up by a somewhat Rich Sanchez sort of scientist and are charged with saving the colonists, the colonies in general, or just … saving yourself. It’s an open world (well, worlds) sort of adventure full of quippy dialogue, fun quests, gorgeous music, all tied together in a way that only Obsidian Entertainment can.
What I love about The Outer Worlds is that it is about economics. Nobody really matters in this dystopian nightmare. For example: You have a ship, it can play music, but it will only play you a vending machine jingle. ONE Vending machine jingle, it IS your favorite song, it's Spacers Choice.
People are arrested for being poor. One mission involves you paying for someone to get out of jail because the price of their organs isn't high enough at the current market rate to execute them and harvest said organs, but we'll check next quarter to see if market prices are up.
There is a robot running a BBQ stand. There is a dead body in the back in the food prep area as a worker went in there where he wasn't supposed to go, and the robot thought he was food (all organic material in the back of the BBQ stand is “meat”) and killed him. Nobody will clean it up because it's too expensive and that's not the robots’ job and "dead body contaminants" isn't really their problem either; that's a different business who will charge you when you get sick, so it is a smart business move for everybody to leave the dead body there. Corporate synergy and all that.
There is a toothpaste made of giant monster acid spit. But the diet version would be better as then people couldn't get caloric sustenance from toothpaste and would thus have to buy more food. I mean, people are so poor they are eating toothpaste to not starve to death, and you should charge them as much as you can all the time is the lesson here.
I guess, um, try and stop all of that. Oh, and an entire colony ship of people are counting on you as well as everyone else caught in this coffee grinder of corporate misery. Help?
1: It’s usually better to be good at ONE sort of skill as there aren’t quite enough skill points to be able to be great at everything. Good, your companions are mostly helpful and can help cover those gaps, so feel free to let them get specific and good at certain skills like lockpicking or hacking. DO get at least one of those two skills early as it will make a big difference in what you can do and how you can solve puzzles.
2: Some weapons do elemental damage, like the Borderlands games, and these can be HUGE in terms of the level of damage you can deal. I’m a big fan of acid. In the long run guns tend to be a bit more effective as weapons so I would probably say they’re a bit better, but it’s not a huge difference combat wise. Don’t be afraid to use your ammo, it’s laying around everywhere.
3: Your companions often cause unique dialogue to happen, and not all of it is for the best. They will usually warn you if they’re wanted in a certain town, but if you just ignore them, it can cause big trouble that might be a bit out of your weight class in terms of combat.
4: Much like in Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, armor plays a huge role in your skills, so you should keep a “lockpicking” outfit with you and a combat one, as well as maybe a fancy suit for a party. Thankfully the game is great about saving outfit choices, so you don’t need to re-equip everything every time.
5: Once you have looted and killed everything in an area, feel free to never return. Most of this game is not a retread of you going back to the same areas; generally when you are done in an area, that’s it.