Although Obsidian Entertainment is not the originator of the Fallout formula as we know it today; the studio's experience with Fallout: New Vegas showed an aptitude for hitting all of the appropriate notes with minimal hiccups. Since then, however, Obsidian has leaned more towards the CRPG with games like Tyranny and Pillars of Eternity. For its latest game, The Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment is going back to that first person sci-fi formula and based on what we saw at E3 2019, it seems like the developer is going to have no troubles finding fans of its game.
Without ever mentioning the Fallout franchise, almost everything about what Obsidian had a very Fallout feel to it, but Obsidian’s version of Fallout. Right out of the gate, the demo visits a fully voiced quest giver and four different dialogue options pop up. Some of these options require specific stats like Charm and Intimidate, and will usually influence the mission that unfolds. Coming off of Fallout 76’s hollow, NPC-less quest system – FO76 is adding NPCs in a future update – it’s comforting to see that classic zoom in on a character’s face and a big box of text options pop up.
Player stats influence a number of other options within quests as well, like how long it takes to pick a lock or whether the player can interact with various items. At the end of The Outer Worlds’ E3 2019 demo, there were a few ways the player could resolve the mission, but some of those options were impacted by stats.
Stats imply different builds, and it sounds as though The Outer Worlds will support a variety of play styles like the low intelligence, dumb build. For this demo, the player character was a Leader, meaning that they rely more heavily on their two companion characters to boost their stats and for combat.
While Outer Worlds is an RPG from a variety of angles, the combat still has a familiar FPS lineage. The character is equipped with an arsenal of ranged weapons and some melee weapons should they so choose. The highlight is a beam weapon that can fire charges like an automatic rifle or charge up for big damage, but more traditional options like an assault rifle or pistol are available.
We’ve seen from the E3 2019 trailer that there are skills that slow down time and allow for quick dodges, but for this demo we only saw a riff on the time-slowing ability where the player could use it to line up a shot or survey an enemy encampment. This pre-planning before combat does offer some fun twists on FPS encounters, though, like being able to cripple an enemy with a leg shot or blind them with a headshot.
Obsidian spent much of the demo highlighting the fact that its game is a true RPG in the spirit of its other games, and more importantly that few developers are willing to make anymore. So for fans looking to scratch that familiar itch, it appears The Outer Worlds is not going to disappoint.
The Outer Worlds releases October 25, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One