Discussion The Patient Gamer - The Outer Worlds - Not the Best Choice, Spacer's Choice

GodisanAtheist

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Nov 16, 2006
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The Outer Worlds is easy to dislike at first glance. It feels like a game designed by committee for maximum likability, and like all things designed by committee it feels like its a day late and a dollar short. It feels inoffensive, but somehow that makes it even more offensive.

Lets list what The Outer Worlds feels like and cops from:

The graphics and general color scheme of the game give it a sort of No Man's Sky vibe.
The companions and their associated quests feel like they're lifted from your stock Bioware game.
The game's premise and themes feel like they're aping Bioshock hard.
The gameplay is essentially lifted directly from Bethesda's Fallout Games.
Everyone talks like its a long episode of Firefly.

I really wanted to dislike The Outer Worlds. The first 10 hours of gameplay were a snooze fest. I enjoyed playing the game before bed just because it got me kinda drowsy. The story lacked any and all sort of urgency and agency (the inverse is usually a major issue, where some pressing issue is put off for 3 months because you're side questing), and it just sort of felt like I'd seen all of this before.

Then you reach Monarch, and the whole game sort of pulls together a bit. Its still treading familiar territory, but the whole thing feels better assembled, intriguing plot threads start coming together, the world and atmosphere feel a bit more high stakes, there are real faction issues to resolve. From this point on the game felt leaner and higher quality, like the team figured out what they were really going for. From this point forward I actually really enjoyed my time with The Outer Worlds, and the game went into a reasonably strong close.

Its not a difficult game, and definitely suffers from the "pollyanna" design philosophy where in trying to make the game accommodate any odd playstyle means it does not handle any of them particularly well. Being a high speech character often means just skipping gameplay through dialogue, the sneak/stealth/thief mechanics are wildly broken in favor of the player (you can basically steal anything and so long as no one ever sees you there will be 0 consequences... and even if someone sees you you can talk your way out of any consequences), and combat is staggeringly easy to the point where the VATS knock off bullet time system and all the different damage types feel totally irrelevant to winning fights.

The endgame also suffered a bit thanks to me not actually knowing who the hell the "final boss" was. The dialogue indicated that we had some sort of running rivalry or had interacted previously but maybe something failed to trigger in my save or I was just brain farting hard because I was drawing complete blanks while this character was talking to me as if we knew each other.

Its also worth noting that the game is not one huge open world, but really 3-4 reasonably large areas of maybe a couple square miles and a number of "instanced" zones or levels. Obsidian lacks Bethesda's touch for "environmental story telling" and frankly the smaller zones played to Obsidian's favor in giving the player a couple of factions with opposing goals in each zone and letter the player figure out who to play off of who. Outside of that, the levels are fairly dead and really lack that living feeling Bethesda manages to capture in their games.

Obsidian is trying to lay the groundwork for a series and make sure their systems and execution were on point, areas where they typically fall down the hardest were where they actually performed the best this time around. The world they created, while kind of cliche and sleepy at first, certainly fleshed out and felt far more interesting by the end of the game. Oddly enough their story and characters, usually where Oblivion shines, were actually the weakest parts of The Outer Worlds. This feels like a primer game.

The comparisons to Fallout New Vegas certainly didn't do the game any favors.

Anyhow ATPCG, don't believe the hype, one way or another. TOW isn't irredeemable garbage, but it is also far from Obsidian's strongest entry. It starts of incredibly weak, almost like its tempting you to turn it off and walk away, but ends on a much stronger note. The end result is a perfectly serviceable but ultimately average game.

On sale for $10 bucks or less, and you'll have yourself a good time.
 

AdamK47

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Loved the game. Many people misunderstood it. Not getting the silliness or always comparing it to Fallout. Undeserved impediments.
 
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CP5670

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I wanted to trying this out at some point but have too many other games on my list these days.

Its not a difficult game, and definitely suffers from the "pollyanna" design philosophy where in trying to make the game accommodate any odd playstyle means it does not handle any of them particularly well. Being a high speech character often means just skipping gameplay through dialogue, the sneak/stealth/thief mechanics are wildly broken in favor of the player (you can basically steal anything and so long as no one ever sees you there will be 0 consequences... and even if someone sees you you can talk your way out of any consequences), and combat is staggeringly easy to the point where the VATS knock off bullet time system and all the different damage types feel totally irrelevant to winning fights.
Even the Fallouts are like this. You become unstoppable after a while no matter what type of character build you do. You can also steal stuff by ducking under tables and things, as long as nobody is in your direct line of sight they don't notice. :D
 
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GodisanAtheist

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I wanted to trying this out at some point but have too many other games on my list these days.



Even the Fallouts are like this. You become unstoppable after a while no matter what type of character build you do. You can also steal stuff by ducking under tables and things, as long as nobody is in your direct line of sight they don't notice. :D
-True, but Fallout's open world means you definitely stumble into high level zones and get your ass absolutely kicked from time to time, and the joy is being able to come back to those zones later to take some skulls.

Because TOW opens new maps to you based on story progress, you're far more likely to be slightly over leveled by the time you unlock a new area and absurdly over leveled as you're trying to leave. This is especially bad if you're an unrepentant completionist like I am and make sure to clean up every side quest in an area before moving on.

As far as stealing, Bethesda games do have some mechanics built around that, like having to find a fence to sell stolen items to, or having stolen items confiscated if you get jailed, or just flat out having folks get hostile with you for stealing.

The game is worth trying and it's more of a 20 hour time commitment than other open world 50-100 hour commitments so I actually appreciated it's limited scope.
 
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BoomerD

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Feb 26, 2006
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I've looked at it...still on sale (at Steam) for around $20.
Along the same genre, anyone play Horizon Zero Dawn ? Also looks decent, but rarely on sale cheap enough for me to take a chance on it.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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Loved the game. Many people misunderstood it. Not getting the silliness or always comparing it to Fallout. Undeserved impediments.
It is the closest to New Vegas, because it's the same folks, and therefore it is better than the non-New Vegas fallouts of the current era.

I think that's the problem with this game...for such peons.

Anyway: I quite enjoyed this one for a spell last year. Decent enough story that didn't make me feel cheated after what was an otherwise...actually pretty good side quest, character-driven path with not-the-worst action-RPG combat stuff (that is really the main problem with this game, tbh), but otherwise....It is Fallout in Space. That's the point. And it does it well.

It's New Vegas, and not the others. With a weirder color scheme.
 
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zinfamous

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Along the same genre, anyone play Horizon Zero Dawn ? Also looks decent, but rarely on sale cheap enough for me to take a chance on it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one...think I got it for $5-10 on a ~recent steam sale? The PC port isn't too buggy and it looks and feels very chill. Good hunting, actiony, twitch-driven combat that gets comfortable in the end, but not so much that you can be too powerful and never get caught out at some point (like witcher games, or even the bethesda games with their trait systems that make late game so godlike for you, uh or like, the thread title game, etc).

and it's an interesting apocalypse. It's a fun setting. :D

plays like the modern batman games. There's mostly stealth, but also mele or ranged combat. ...mele not really meant for this game. It's dodgy and trappy and slow-time ranged shots and such. Gamepad highly suggested
 
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zinfamous

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-True, but Fallout's open world means you definitely stumble into high level zones and get your ass absolutely kicked from time to time, and the joy is being able to come back to those zones later to take some skulls.

Because TOW opens new maps to you based on story progress, you're far more likely to be slightly over leveled by the time you unlock a new area and absurdly over leveled as you're trying to leave. This is especially bad if you're an unrepentant completionist like I am and make sure to clean up every side quest in an area before moving on.

As far as stealing, Bethesda games do have some mechanics built around that, like having to find a fence to sell stolen items to, or having stolen items confiscated if you get jailed, or just flat out having folks get hostile with you for stealing.

The game is worth trying and it's more of a 20 hour time commitment than other open world 50-100 hour commitments so I actually appreciated it's limited scope.
Ah! I think that's why you were confused by the end boss and not knowing who they were. 20 hours vs 40 or 80 or whatever.

This is one of those games, like New Vegas or even FO3, that you can end pretty quickly if things just...happen in a certain way. You race to the end, basically, or just find a sequence that you start too early.

(You can still continue all of these games but like so many players, you do just sort of lose interest if you get to the end quicker than before much of the story develops.)
There's several endings and "bosses" for this game, and it really matters which early stories and factions you follow. I think I spent about 40-50 hours in this game, and then realized that it could have ended at 5-10 hours depending on what I chose (that one was obvious and not what you'd normally do, anyway).

You can also "call out" a few people at certain times in this game that catapults you towards a faster ending than other choices would put you. So, I do like that about this game but otherwise I think you are spot on. It does feel like most other games like this so you just feel like you are being driven by the formula, as you have been, for some time.

And the combat, just....at some point why bother?
 

GodisanAtheist

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Not sure how I could have possibly rushed the game's ending.

Definitely encountered a "cock-up cascade" scenario working with that one board member in Byzantium where one situation lead to another and pretty soon I was killing every guard in sight and was 100% hated kill on sight for the board (which made getting that fancy suit kind of wonky, had to go solo, kill the lady's guards, let things cool off for a few days, then get back to the quest giver before the guard respawned).

But the game was essentially clean of side quests by the time I got to the very end and I was solidly level 30 for the last 5 hours of gameplay.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
27,038
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Not sure how I could have possibly rushed the game's ending.

Definitely encountered a "cock-up cascade" scenario working with that one board member in Byzantium where one situation lead to another and pretty soon I was killing every guard in sight and was 100% hated kill on sight for the board (which made getting that fancy suit kind of wonky, had to go solo, kill the lady's guards, let things cool off for a few days, then get back to the quest giver before the guard respawned).

But the game was essentially clean of side quests by the time I got to the very end and I was solidly level 30 for the last 5 hours of gameplay.
Some mainline quests have shortcuts you can take and some have certain consequences that play out differently if you take the shortcut. There are a couple spots where you can fast forward to the bad ending or a joke ending as well.
 

GodisanAtheist

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Some mainline quests have shortcuts you can take and some have certain consequences that play out differently if you take the shortcut. There are a couple spots where you can fast forward to the bad ending or a joke ending as well.
- I'm pretty sure I got a good ending in the 20 hour timeframe (Phineas has gone free, The Stranger runs the colony from the shadows with the chairman as the face of the colony, all companion side quests cleaned up nicely, Sophia Akande is Phineas' mysterious benefactor, everyone is working together to prevent the starvation and collapse of Halcyon) and I'm not sure what else the game had left to show me:

Skipped the Hope to Terra 2, Phineas got captured and taken to Tartarus, Stormed Tartarus and talked down big bad and Phineas went free. Looking through the wiki, I was supposedly supposed to get a counter offer along the way to work for Sophia Akande but I guess I either missed it or the game simply never provided me an option to work for her, so when she was holding Phineas hostage on Tartatus I was like "who is this lady and why is she acting like I've thrown away multiple opportunities to work for her when I've never even heard of her?"

I doubt I've jumped over huge sections of game that would have somehow explained who the hell the main badguy was. Game could have glitched and simply forgotten to give me the option to work with them, or maybe the game needed to be more forward with who the big bad was.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
27,038
344
126
- I'm pretty sure I got a good ending in the 20 hour timeframe (Phineas has gone free, The Stranger runs the colony from the shadows with the chairman as the face of the colony, all companion side quests cleaned up nicely, Sophia Akande is Phineas' mysterious benefactor, everyone is working together to prevent the starvation and collapse of Halcyon) and I'm not sure what else the game had left to show me:

Skipped the Hope to Terra 2, Phineas got captured and taken to Tartarus, Stormed Tartarus and talked down big bad and Phineas went free. Looking through the wiki, I was supposedly supposed to get a counter offer along the way to work for Sophia Akande but I guess I either missed it or the game simply never provided me an option to work for her, so when she was holding Phineas hostage on Tartatus I was like "who is this lady and why is she acting like I've thrown away multiple opportunities to work for her when I've never even heard of her?"

I doubt I've jumped over huge sections of game that would have somehow explained who the hell the main badguy was. Game could have glitched and simply forgotten to give me the option to work with them, or maybe the game needed to be more forward with who the big bad was.
There is a point where she contacts you and tries to sway you. You can tell her to buzz off or accept.
You can also turn Phineas in to one guy on the spaceport. You can also try to jump the ship manually with low skill and end up going right into the local star and burning up. There are also different people you can save on the ship I believe was an option. You can kill the chairman and run things yourself if you choose. A few of those options don't change much on the end. I also heard of a way to go through the game with low intelligence and no speech skills and you can answer certain people in a comical way.
 

Hotrod2go

Senior member
Nov 17, 2021
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I thought this game would have been more fun if the player could have driven the spaceship instead of that annoying talking computer on board...
Bring back players participation 101!
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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I thought this game would have been more fun if the player could have driven the spaceship instead of that annoying talking computer on board...
Bring back players participation 101!
There would be nothing for you to do with the spaceship. It's just a tool to act as a gate between maps, so don't even think of it as a spaceship. It's just a hub-based semi-open world game.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,498
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I love Outer Worlds and its DLC. When the pandemic lockdown hit hard in NYC and I was forced to work from home, this game got me through all the boredom. I really should go and finish the DLC.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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I thought this game would have been more fun if the player could have driven the spaceship instead of that annoying talking computer on board...
Bring back players participation 101!
- Eh, while there is a way that could have been cool (Spaceship is sort of like your open world "horse" that you fly from mission to mission and there are space pirates and Board ships and asteroids and sidequests and abandoned outposts and colonies to stumble onto) it would have in all liklihood just be fluff to pad out the length of the game akin to the godforsaken planet scanning in the Mass Effect series.

It would essentially be asking Obsidian to make both a great RPG and a great space sim at the same time, and I do not think they'd be up to the task.
 

repoman0

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Jun 17, 2010
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I've looked at it...still on sale (at Steam) for around $20.
Along the same genre, anyone play Horizon Zero Dawn ? Also looks decent, but rarely on sale cheap enough for me to take a chance on it.
I only lasted a few hours in TOW before getting bored and quitting, but couldn’t put Horizon Zero Dawn down. Playing forbidden west now finally and enjoying it. The setting and premise of both games is very cool.

Sounds like TOW has a little more to offer if I’d stuck with it. I think a big part of it was the garbage 20-30fps experience on my old PS4. I’m guessing it has a PS5 patch which might improve things.
 

Hotrod2go

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There would be nothing for you to do with the spaceship. It's just a tool to act as a gate between maps, so don't even think of it as a spaceship. It's just a hub-based semi-open world game.
What? my point was to expand the list of activities a player can do, that's all.
 

zinfamous

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What? my point was to expand the list of activities a player can do, that's all.
It's what OP said, exactly what I was thinking (it would end up like Mass Effect planet-scraping--exactly what I was thinking about when I posted that, lol). So, meaningless fluff. not-at-all-content to waste your time.

Things like that, you realize you jut scraped 20 hours of "time" doing absolutely nothing. Nothing whatsoever in this game. The rest of it, being pretty great...but why is this mechanic here that does absolutely nothing for anything in the game? That's what it would have had to have been, because, to OP's 2nd point about that, this isn't that game. Do you want character and story-driven questions, or some mish-mash of flying sim/space combat to not much of and end, thus diminishing the development time for, and core of the game, the parts that you and we all like: the questing.

Games aren't made in that magic way that satisfies every single tidbit, on that kind of scale. You end up with feature creep and a game that never exists.

Look at Star Citizen. :D (sure, very profitable for the hucksters and those tolerant of "a game" but really-not-at-all-the-game-they-were-promised 12 years ago; but still not a complete, playable game, in any straight capacity. It's an elaborate demo)
 

Hotrod2go

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Nov 17, 2021
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It's what OP said, exactly what I was thinking (it would end up like Mass Effect planet-scraping--exactly what I was thinking about when I posted that, lol). So, meaningless fluff. not-at-all-content to waste your time.

Things like that, you realize you jut scraped 20 hours of "time" doing absolutely nothing. Nothing whatsoever in this game. The rest of it, being pretty great...but why is this mechanic here that does absolutely nothing for anything in the game? That's what it would have had to have been, because, to OP's 2nd point about that, this isn't that game. Do you want character and story-driven questions, or some mish-mash of flying sim/space combat to not much of and end, thus diminishing the development time for, and core of the game, the parts that you and we all like: the questing.

Games aren't made in that magic way that satisfies every single tidbit, on that kind of scale. You end up with feature creep and a game that never exists.

Look at Star Citizen. :D (sure, very profitable for the hucksters and those tolerant of "a game" but really-not-at-all-the-game-they-were-promised 12 years ago; but still not a complete, playable game, in any straight capacity. It's an elaborate demo)
Yeah, I get what your saying but I've never played Mass Effect so know nothing of it - & that's because it's a 3rd person perspective game. That view is something I HATE in any PC game. May as well watch a movie while controlling the main character like a God...
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
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Yeah, I get what your saying but I've never played Mass Effect so know nothing of it - & that's because it's a 3rd person perspective game. That view is something I HATE in any PC game. May as well watch a movie while controlling the main character like a God...
:D

I'm quite the opposite. I loathe First Person and if I had a time machine, I would be far less interested in murdering Hitler, say, than the jerkfaces that brought us First Person in video games.

:D

You know, I don't recall if The Outer Worlds had 3rd Person? I know pretty much all Bethesda games do: modern Fallout (and Obsidian's own New Vegas), Elder Scrolls, etc, which is how those games should be played.
 

GodisanAtheist

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TOW will do the spinning 3rd person camera if you're idle for a while (only time outside of inventory you ever actually see your customized character), but no the game cannot be played from a 3rd person perspective.
 
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Hotrod2go

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:D

I'm quite the opposite. I loathe First Person and if I had a time machine, I would be far less interested in murdering Hitler, say, than the jerkfaces that brought us First Person in video games.

:D

You know, I don't recall if The Outer Worlds had 3rd Person? I know pretty much all Bethesda games do: modern Fallout (and Obsidian's own New Vegas), Elder Scrolls, etc, which is how those games should be played.
Cool... you do you & I'll do me. :)
 

DAPUNISHER

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It is the closest to New Vegas, because it's the same folks, and therefore it is better than the non-New Vegas fallouts of the current era.

I think that's the problem with this game...for such peons.

Anyway: I quite enjoyed this one for a spell last year. Decent enough story that didn't make me feel cheated after what was an otherwise...actually pretty good side quest, character-driven path with not-the-worst action-RPG combat stuff (that is really the main problem with this game, tbh), but otherwise....It is Fallout in Space. That's the point. And it does it well.

It's New Vegas, and not the others. With a weirder color scheme.
That's exactly what I thought during my first session. A couple of sessions in, I decided it was Fallout meets Borderlands. I haven't finished it yet. I have a half dozen games or more all incomplete. My ADHD has been getting worse and worse. Staying focused on a game like this is difficult. It feels TOO familiar, almost like I played it already. Yet I will play old games I have played through many times, like they are comfort food or something. o_O

I will try to give it another go, and see if the bug bites me.
 
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