The Outer Worlds - Early Impressions

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by AgentBJ09, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    Just noticed something. Ellie, the 'you do you' it me, or is she wearing something inspired by Fox from StarFox?

  2. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    My wife being most of those would probably have a different view than you seem to think. But yes, the Outer Worlds brothel was cut because they didn't have time to add it in.

    They also removed:

    * Companion Romances
    * A plot about spying on the corporations for the others ala the Reno families.
    * A daytime/nighttime cycle
    * A musical selection

    Mind you, Obsidian was on the verge of bankruptcy when Microsoft bought them halfway through development.

    Mind you, New Vegas had plenty of sexual content even if it was PG-13.

    I hope that with its so-far ecstatic response that they allow them to do a bunch of Expansions ala New Vegas.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  3. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Resident Schizo Poster

    Jun 15, 2015
    This is starting to sound a lot like the problems that Obsidian faced with Neverwinter Nights 2 where a lot of the content in that game was cut and it affected the quality of that game with many people feeling mixed towards Neverwinter Nights 2. Granted, Obsidian did redeem themselves with Mask of the Betrayer. This seems to be a staple of Obsidian games. Release a game where the main story and world has a ton of cut content that it negatively affects the quality of the story and the game world but release DLC that either makes up for cutting content or blows people away with its quality.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I am honestly curious to see how Obsidian will fair under Microsoft versus Bioware under EA. Chris Avellone said that Obsidian had all of the problems of other "bad" game developers because they were constantly running out of money mid project and treading water. While it rarely happens under corporate life, it's possible for Microsoft to give them the resources to actually do what they need.

    It helps that they're using Outer Worlds as their "buy our game pass to rent this game for $1" so clearly they do believe in it.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  5. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    Doesn't Microsoft also have a history of buying game devs and then running them into the ground? Like, Rare, Bungie, that kind of stuff?
    I mean, Obsidian is certainly more than capable enough of ruining themselves, as they've shown over and over again, but being attached to Microsoft isn't necessarily all that great.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  6. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    They bought Caligari corporation —seemingly to compete with Google Earth—, they added a 'Virtual Earth' file format export option to Caligari's TrueSpace modeler, then they put the full package up for free download. I had bought Truespace for several hundred dollars a few months before this. I had also bought a TrueSpace specific V-Ray renderer. This ONLY works with Truespace, and they removed support for V-Ray in that last version.

    Caligari's staff scattered, and the company withered away within months.

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yep. It could either turn out well (unlikely) or bad.
  8. Paladin Hank

    Paladin Hank Still Mildly Glowing

    May 6, 2018
    At least there aren't children in the game. That's a definite plus in my book.
  9. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    My Review of The Outer Worlds

    Country roads, take me home, to a place--oh wait, wrong game. Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand. Ah, yes, that's much better. Outer Worlds is one of the three games I've been looking forward to with the others being Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. Basically, the video game industry has all but killed my love of gaming with some recent disasters that seem utterly determined to remove anything resembling storytelling and nuance from the genre. I don't know what happened that caused so many developers to come down so hard on games as artistry but they've done an amazing job of squeezing it out from the medium.

    I liked his original Doc Brown look even more.

    If you'll forgive a short rant: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Fallout 76, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and the increasingly theme park Assassins Creed games just left me feeling cold. Those are also games that I bothered to play. Ghost Recon Wildlands may have been a generic game but it at least had a plot that involved politics of some kind unlike Breakpoint. I didn't go in expecting the Outer Worlds to be the redemption of video games as a medium but that's what I got.

    The premise of the game is you are one of a generation ship's colonists, similar to Mass Effect: Andromeda, that have been frozen for decades. Awakened by an eccentric scientist, Phineas Wells, you are asked to help him free the other colonists that need a special collection of chemicals to waken them all up safely. I can't help but wonder if the premise is a bit of a jab at Fallout 4 but virtually the entire game feels like an extended "this is how you should have done it" to Bethesda. Frankly, while, I defended Fallout 4, this is well-deserved.

    It's difficult to describe what the plot is after this because you have an incredible amount of freedom post-awakening. You can turn in the scientist who freed you by the second hub and immediately go to work for the evil megacorporations that you've seen can't run a salted tuna factory without killing people. You can kill all of the NPCs, utterly derail the plot, and betray every faction you've aligned with multiple times until everyone hates you.

    Its a beautiful system.

    The game world is a beautifully rendered, vaguely comedic retro-future that resembles a 1930s-esque vision of the future with corporate rulership mixed with Flash Gordon aesthetics. If I had to give an explanation of what it looks like, imagine Bioshock: Infinite's Columbia with none of the racism and all of the corruption but set it in space instead of the atmosphere. Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky didn't adopt a retro-future feel for the original Fallout games (that's more a Fallout 3 thing) but they take that here and run with it. It's like Firefly's Western feel updated by about thirty years.

    Each of the locations are well-done with lots of quirky townsfolk, fun little missions, and humor. There's a bit of a Borderlands 2 feel to the place with everyone some manner of idiot or insane but that makes sense since that was strongly influenced by Fallout. The maps are a bit cramped with none of the other games wandering and everything over the next hill but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Your character can also be a complete jackass with some incredibly witty dialogue from the protagonist. The fact they're a silent protagonist does little to take away from amusing they are.

    The secret ingredient of saltuna is...people! No, not really.

    The Companions are quite well done with most of them resembling off-brand versions of the Serenity crew mixed-and-matched. You travel with a Vicar, a mechanic, a space pirate, and a couple of other fun characters that certainly liven up the game. There's no romance option in the game and I feel that's a shame. My favorite character is easily Parvati, the sweet as pie mechanic who is socially awkward to the point of being unable to even speak in the presence of her crush.

    What surprises me is that the game is as relentlessly political as it is. The corporations running the Halcyon system are horrifically bad at it. They cut corners on basic survival matters, deny scientiffic facts, and attempt to misuse the local religions to keep the masses quiet. They're also incompetant at running things so that the entirety of the colony project is on the verge of mass starvation. Not because they're being evil. No, it's worse than that. The fundamental problem is the skills of making money are different from caring for people. Charismatic slogans and victim blaming do not solve the problem. If anyone has read any of my books, no points for guessing what I think of these views.

    I love The Unreliable.

    Gameplay-wise, this is basically Fallout: New Vegas with shooting and looting as well as skills plus perks. Given that Bethesda did away with all the RPG elements of their RPG shooter series, it's kind of ironic that this is basically an idealized version of the RPG-shooter that many fans initially complained about with Fallout 3. Given Fallout: New Vegas was awesome, though, I have no complaints. I also appreciate they've just completely done away with hacking and lockpicking minigames. If you have a high-enough skill for it, you can do it. If not, then you have to find another way around it.

    In conclusion, The Outer Worlds is an incredibly fun game and extremely good. I'm not going to give it a 10 out of 10, though, because it feels pretty small for an interstellar game. The tight budget constraints and development time meant this is a AA game rather than a AAA game. That's not a bad thing and I got more than my money's worth. I just hope they do a bunch of lengthy DLC expansions and have a bigger sequel. This is a great single-player experience and its relatively modest size means I wouldn't mind buying a lot more in its style.

  10. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    So I bit the bullet and bought it. Played up to Groundbreaker and did a lot of the Rosenmary quests.
    So far I am digging it. I played for like 4 hours straight without stopping. My character is focused on Melee and Dialog, altho I have thrown in some points into Tech skills.
    I already have Vicar Max, Parvati, Jessie, Felix and SAM recruited.

    I don't know why people are comparing it to Borderlands when the writing isn't even a tenth as obnoxious. I dug the reactivity of NPCs, like how the mayor of Edgewater commented on the fact that I was wearing Marauder armor aw being in poor taste. Quests have been good so far, I do wonder how much Combat I am able to bypass normally, as I am seeing paths to bypass it but only after I already bashed every enemy's brains in, but I have avoided any instance of having to fight a non hostile so far. Dialogue is mostly good, I like Parvati and the Vicar's questlines so far, a lot, I have yet to do any of the other companions' quests. That the twist of finding the mysterious book isn't that is in some ancient script of code but rather that is in french and the Vicar getting really pissed about not speaking it got a chuckle out of me.

    One thing I don't like is the lockpick system, on one hand is good that there are no dumb minigames, on the other some locks require way too much resource gathering to pick and I am not sure how the Lockpick skill helps me but that amount of resource gathering doesn't seem worth it for what I usually find in locked containers.

    So far so good.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  11. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    @CT Phipps, @Walpknut

    I've watched some gameplay videos from the first planet and read around Codex and there's something that I'm really sceptic about- skill system and perks/ flaws.

    Making every point worth 3 until you reach 50 in them looks like it'll quickly turn you into jack-of-all-trades that can lockpick, hack everything or intimidate/lie/persuade everyone. Do checks scale in the way that rewards specializing into certain skill or you're great at everything.

    Perks also seem rather boring, with some small damage increase or health bonus. Do they get better (I've only looked around Tier I)?
    Connected to it are Flaws. If perks are worthless, then why bother? Are they plain perk points for debuff or do they add something more (like Concussion giving you low Int dialogue and Robophobia giving extra dialogue lines with robots)?
  12. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    So far Perks do seem kinda weak, but I have only unlocked the Tier 1 ones.

    The Skills thing is actually kinda nice, you increase 3 skills at once until one of them is 50 by investing in a type of skill, but you don't usually have more than one of those close to 50 right away. Right now the only ones I have in the 50-60 range are One Handed Melee and Persuasion, all my other skills are 40 to as low as 12.

    I haven't taken any flaw yet because I don't think any of the Tier 1 perks are worth getting such a detrimental debuff, the only ones I have gotten offered are Permanent Concussion (From stepping on mines too much) and Acrophobia, (because I keep jumping down and hurting myself) both affect my tech and dialog skills so they aren't worth it for extra carrying capacity or movement speed, maybe if I was a less diplomacy oriented characters they would be good.

    The only things that have killed me so far were stupidly stepping on mines and trying to fight a Primal horde on Edgewater.
  13. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    Yep, they do. That said, Obsidian lost a lot of good staff during the New Vegas related layoffs and the people they replaced them with are not as talented.
  14. Chud

    Chud Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 8, 2015
    You can become a "Jack of all trades," but that'll lead to "A master of none." I'm around level 9 (Level cap is 30), and gain 10 skill points per level. Already I'm close to maxing two major skill groups at 50, but then that'll mean I'll have 200 skill points left to play with. If I want to reach 100 in Persuasion, Long Guns, lock picking, and Tech, that means quite a few skill groups are going to flat-out rot. My blocking and dodging are terrible, as are my melee skills and companion skills.

    This system makes sense due to the game being relatively short. You can have enough leveled skills to make it to the end, but not enough to master everything. I started off wanting a silver-tongued sniper who's got some mechanic skills, and that's pretty much what I'll have in the end.

    The perks are bland. They lack flavor, and I really wish they geared them more towards NV with ones like Shotgun Surgeon or Mad Bomber. Even the flavor text perks would've been neat. Maybe in the DLC/future games they'll remedy this.

    So far I'm hooked despite some minor flaws in the game. Choices feel scummy in that morally grey kind of way. In Edgewater neither major faction leader comes out smelling like roses, and I'm not sure there's a good or better choice. You struggle to decide which is best for all involved and live with the consequences. It's stressful and messy, which I love. The leader of the deserters, even though I agreed with some of her points was downright manipulative and mean, whereas the boss of Edgewater seems remorseful but he's also a fool.

    The game is harshly critical of hyper capitalism and cynical corporations who place profit over people, and the satire is black. I mean, pitch black. So far there's more satire than parody. The game's heart and soul is clearly the product of the people who created Fallout. The aesthetic feels like a darker Futurama with Buck Rodgers and a bunch of other science fiction influences. The world might look colorful but the situation is dire. An interesting balance to say the least.

    Combat's a bit stiff, though fun. Getting pummeled to death by a space gorilla gave me a chuckle, as did my "Oh shit!" moment when I killed a marauder that led to kicking a hornets nest full of them.

    Already I'm planning out in my head other playthroughs: Capitalist Pig, Marxist Joe, Space Pirate, and more.

    The game isn't perfect, but compared to what we have for ARPGs, it's a breath of fresh air.

    Edit: Fixed a typo.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5
  15. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I think this is the reverse, it isn't Obsidian being coy with the timing but rather Bethesda being incredibly stupid with theirs as the release date of The Outer Worlds was known for a while.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  16. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Resident Schizo Poster

    Jun 15, 2015
    From what I hear, only 20% of the original New Vegas staff is with Obsidian now. Which is a shame. From what I gathered, the game went through extensive rewrites near the end of development and it shows. I get the feeling that the game was going to be more politically charged before Microsoft came and bought them. I know a lot of people go "Microsoft is a SJW company now!" . As someone who lives in the birthplace of Microsoft I can tell that isn't really the case. Social Justice politics are starting to become very unpopular in my state. Many of the employees of these companies have begun to complain about them, it creates massive headaches with a large amount of people going on forums and review sites bitching about it and leaving negative reviews and, most importantly, its not making them money. I think Microsoft decided to go the CDPR route in the "Well lets just please everyone! Less controversy and more money! Everyone wins!". Problem is, as many writers in the past have stated, you can't. In my humble opinion, if your game is going to be politically charged, don't censor yourself. Left or Right. If your making art you shouldn't let other people or groups dictate to you on what your artistic vision should be.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  17. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Is The Outer Worlds censored?
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  18. RangerBoo

    RangerBoo Resident Schizo Poster

    Jun 15, 2015
    It feels like they cut quite a bit of things. I remember around a month before release that Obsidian was saying that The Outer Worlds wouldn't shove politics down gamers throats. I can tell that it was going to be more politically charged but they must of rewrote quite a bit before release. Am interested on what the script was originally going to be.
  19. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Every game with lower budgets tend to cut things. Also this game is very political so that was probably just a canned PR statement. The first settlement alone is heavy on themes about worker rights, healthcare and such. Even the "ideal" solution still sneaks bleakness in there.
    Diverting the power from the Botanical Gardens but then talking the mayor into stepping down and letting the leader of the Deserters take over involves you disclosing that the reason they are able to grow food is because they are raiding the graveyard and using the corpses for fertilizer. At first you think the mayor is gonna react with horror but he reacts with awe "AH! Genius, such magnificent use of company property", because workers are company property, even their corpses are. The guy also agrees to step down and gleefully walks into commiting suicide by exhiling himself in the wilderness.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  20. joevonzombie

    joevonzombie Buried alive in Golgotha

    Sep 28, 2015
    Perks are definitely lame as fuck. I actually like that the game is short because unfortunately, being one of them "adults" gets in the way of my hobbies more often than not. It took me literally a fucking year to get through the base game of Witcher 3 playing it two hours a day. Then they released Blood and Wine... But I digress.