Potentially Closer to the Mark
Obsidian Entertainment originally released The Outer Worlds back in 2019 with relatively good reception as one of the better action RPG in recent years – since then a slew of expansions have released to enrich the overall experience. Now with the new generation of gamers, Obsidian decided that it was time to remaster their beloved project for new gamers – and even with the promise of save files transferring to the next-gen version, the overall technical makeup has been falling flat throughout my playthrough. But that doesn’t mean that the game is bad, it just needs further polishing.
Back to Halcyon
The Outer Worlds starts the player waking from a years-long cryosleep by Dr. Phineas Wells, a wanted and unhinged doctor – which the game does well by explaining a lot through its expositions. You’re quickly thrown to the middle of several colonial conflict that needs resolving. Through your quest in finding answers, you will be tasked to help outpost by resolving problems – all unique to their demographic, all with good and bad traits that leaves it up to the player to decide which path they would take. In great Fallout and Elder Scrolls fashion, you will be met with consequences based on your actions and it would ripple throughout your journey. The game does a fine job fleshing out each character you meet, with their own interest and motives – which is obviously the most endearing aspect of this RPG. It works rather well and for the most part everything from your stats to dialogue choices matters.
Your character comes as your usual blank-slate which can be altered based on your preference; stat distribution can be allocated to accommodate theft, hacking, dialogue and more, which would adjust your stance in being a morally corrupted or good person. There’s also the ability to utilize opportunistic moments that can allow you to give up everything and everyone if you so desire. I really appreciate that some dialogue options locked behind stats isn’t always the best option, which forces you to read through your choice before making one. The options are pseudo-endless which truly heightens the games overall quality.
Spacer’s Choice Edition comes with all the expansions from the previous versions which works out for me since I was busy playing other games upon their original release – this is great for returning players with old save files as you would continue from where you left off with relative ease. Much of the games overall upgrades is thoroughly good, and you will see a bit of improvement if you’re coming from previous-gen hardware, but much of the game looks relatively the same. Though, it is nice to come back after a long break.
The developers did an excellent job in variety with its vast locations; it’s not a seamless open world game, but there’s enough planets and environmental variety that allows for the player to tackle the game at their own pace while looking gorgeous to boot. Thanks to the snappy M.2 drives, loading screens aren’t as present as previous gen hardware, and each location look wildly different ranging from industrial sci-fi cities like planet Monarch, or the fauna induced Terra 2 – and these two planets feel different to Silo, which features a moon-like environment. But that’s as far as it goes unfortunately, as exploring these locations doesn’t amount to more than just resource gathering, even if there’s an abundance of sidequest to do. It’s not as dynamic as I would like, and certainly nothing in comparison to Red Dead Redemption 2’s level of immersion.
The Outer Worlds plays like a standard FPS shooter with a slow-down mechanic to tighten up your shots for critical hits during intense moments. All of which can be enhanced through stats as well as weapons and gear. You will be able to enhance your weapons through crafting modifications which can alter how it shoots with elementals. Additionally, you can have companions accompany you through your journey, which can also be fitted with gear based on how you want them to play – they’re also coupled by companion quest to further build relationship with them. You can use their abilities like a Drop Kick or a Hammer Smash, which would give a quick animation sequence, to further deal damage to your enemies. You can further enhance your tactical approach by altering their behavior as you see fit which is a nice layer to the baseline gameplay loop. It’s a straightforward system that doesn’t really do much to push it forward.
Ultimately, The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Editions does very little to entice returning players as there’s no new content outside of the expansions and does minimal quality-of-life improvements to really warrant a purchase. Sure, load times are much faster, and it performs a bit better and even the environments got a bit of model improvements with lighting and shadows, but for the most part, draw distance issues and inconsistent character models are still present, with frequent crashes. This is coupled with blurry textures and texture load times. For those wanting to jump in for the first time, there’s a lot to love – but returning players should probably pass on this.
REVIEW SCORE: 7.5/10
Obsidian Entertainment has an excellent franchise to build from, and we all know they’re working on the sequel – with this edition, new players with next-gen hardware will find a great experience, but little is done to improve the overall package for returning players.
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