The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (early 2020)

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Photek » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:57 am

My interest is waning some what, I still enjoy myself but having not played it for a couple of days I was confused what to do next as I was halfway into several quests...

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:58 am

No idea on playtime, is it on the save file? Otherwise I don't think there is a way to check on PS4. It might also be padded by time left on pause while I had the TV on. It's definitely a lot of hours though! I think I got through all of the quests possible in my single playthrough (I ended with 3 "botched" all because of choices made otherwise that invalidated them).

RE: length of game, Monarch is easily the largest area, and not every planet on the system map is visitable. There is still a good amount following Monarch, but that is the peak of the game for me.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Jenuall » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:26 am

The playtime is on the save on PC so there's a reasonable chance the PS4 is the same.

Yeah I assumed that some of the planets were for decoration more than anything, I think there are still a few places I haven't been yet though as I've only vistied Terra-1, Monarch and Groundbreaker at this point.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:22 pm

Thought I'd summarise my thoughts on first finish. Location spoilers, but nothing explicit for the plot:

I really like the game. It delivers with both what I wanted and expected from Obsidian - a player-choice driven RPG with good writing and an interesting world that is shaped through your actions and choices. There are unfortunately few of those big choices, and I still felt somewhat railroaded by the main narrative, but the fundamentals are all there.

The game world is best when you're exploring it's believable backwaters. The corporations are more threatening in their neglect, and from the small and unimportant settlements of the frontier you are left to imagine their system spanning control and unfathomable power. In both the individual downtrodden workers and the still struggling but evidently better off low level bosses you get the best picture of the dystopian future ruled by the board's bottom line and a strict corporate hierarchy - everything distant, impersonal, rigid. Edgewater was a great introduction, even if a little too full on with the corporate mind control which I'm glad was later more nuanced in its expression, and similarly I enjoyed Roseway as the other forgotten corporate backwater. While Monarch and the Groundbreaker are important locations, those too felt disconnected from the central bureaucracy, distant from the real centres of power, which made buying into their narratives easier.

That fell apart a little for me on reaching Byzantium. For the centre of the system, it failed to deliver. As an area it's too small and empty, to the point of feeling unfinished. The time I was most aware of being stuck with the limitations of a videogame was when wondering around Byzantium's lifeless streets and finding near every door barred for entry. While the sprawling city in its backgrounds would have you believe it to be just that, the reality of what you play feels little different from any other forgotten frontier town. While it attempts to build that illusion, immediately making it better executed than the likes of Oblivion's Imperial City, that illusion ultimately fails. That's unfortunate given the early suggestions of what Byzantium could have been when you walk onto the Groundbreaker's promenade and are dazzled by its glowing neon lights. If this is the Groundbreaker, a failing station with limited corporate presence, what will the real capital of Halcyon be like? Not, it turns out, as impressive or overwhelming as I had imagined it. I wanted Byzantium to make me feel small and unwelcome, instead I'm almost instantly brushing shoulders with its upper echelons.

That's perhaps both the success and failing of The Outer Worlds - it's a power fantasy through-and-through. From the quickly trivial combat to the unavoidable saviour status of your main character, it seems you just can't help but make a lasting impression. That's enjoyable, but it also limits the scope of its roleplay and immersion. This isn't an RPG where you can ignore the main questline. It's very much its main questline first and foremost, with sidequests exactly that in relation to the plot. I'll be playing it again, exploring the different choices and allegiances I can make, but I can already see that broadly I'm going to be repeating the same story. That's a little disappointing.

I also see myself repeating more than what I'd like because those big, world-affecting choices are few in number. The faction system too, while a very welcome part of the game, is not as dichotic or complex as that in Fallout New Vegas. I was disappointed by how few secondary factions there were - I was expecting more than the major factions, as their lesser importance would suggest, but instead there are far fewer. Early on I was expecting to travel to half a dozen towns such as Edgewater, each owned by a different coporation, but instead there were only two. Understandably Obdisian were working within their capabilities and budget, but that doesn't make me wish any less for more content than there was. There are fewer factions then, but also less conflict between them, less choice to be made by the player. I ended the game with no faction disliking me, and all but two revering. Siding with one never seems to lock you out of being friends with another. That would have been the braver and more interesting design choice.

Overall a very enjoyable game. It's probably the most polished, and safest, title to come from Obsidian. Unfortunately that also makes it less interesting. It might be a successor to Fallout New Vegas in many respects, but that game still sits top of the pile.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Manwell Pablo » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:42 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:Thought I'd summarise my thoughts on first finish. Location spoilers, but nothing explicit for the plot:

I really like the game. It delivers with both what I wanted and expected from Obsidian - a player-choice driven RPG with good writing and an interesting world that is shaped through your actions and choices. There are unfortunately few of those big choices, and I still felt somewhat railroaded by the main narrative, but the fundamentals are all there.

The game world is best when you're exploring it's believable backwaters. The corporations are more threatening in their neglect, and from the small and unimportant settlements of the frontier you are left to imagine their system spanning control and unfathomable power. In both the individual downtrodden workers and the still struggling but evidently better off low level bosses you get the best picture of the dystopian future ruled by the board's bottom line and a strict corporate hierarchy - everything distant, impersonal, rigid. Edgewater was a great introduction, even if a little too full on with the corporate mind control which I'm glad was later more nuanced in its expression, and similarly I enjoyed Roseway as the other forgotten corporate backwater. While Monarch and the Groundbreaker are important locations, those too felt disconnected from the central bureaucracy, distant from the real centres of power, which made buying into their narratives easier.

That fell apart a little for me on reaching Byzantium. For the centre of the system, it failed to deliver. As an area it's too small and empty, to the point of feeling unfinished. The time I was most aware of being stuck with the limitations of a videogame was when wondering around Byzantium's lifeless streets and finding near every door barred for entry. While the sprawling city in its backgrounds would have you believe it to be just that, the reality of what you play feels little different from any other forgotten frontier town. While it attempts to build that illusion, immediately making it better executed than the likes of Oblivion's Imperial City, that illusion ultimately fails. That's unfortunate given the early suggestions of what Byzantium could have been when you walk onto the Groundbreaker's promenade and are dazzled by its glowing neon lights. If this is the Groundbreaker, a failing station with limited corporate presence, what will the real capital of Halcyon be like? Not, it turns out, as impressive or overwhelming as I had imagined it. I wanted Byzantium to make me feel small and unwelcome, instead I'm almost instantly brushing shoulders with its upper echelons.

That's perhaps both the success and failing of The Outer Worlds - it's a power fantasy through-and-through. From the quickly trivial combat to the unavoidable saviour status of your main character, it seems you just can't help but make a lasting impression. That's enjoyable, but it also limits the scope of its roleplay and immersion. This isn't an RPG where you can ignore the main questline. It's very much its main questline first and foremost, with sidequests exactly that in relation to the plot. I'll be playing it again, exploring the different choices and allegiances I can make, but I can already see that broadly I'm going to be repeating the same story. That's a little disappointing.

I also see myself repeating more than what I'd like because those big, world-affecting choices are few in number. The faction system too, while a very welcome part of the game, is not as dichotic or complex as that in Fallout New Vegas. I was disappointed by how few secondary factions there were - I was expecting more than the major factions, as their lesser importance would suggest, but instead there are far fewer. Early on I was expecting to travel to half a dozen towns such as Edgewater, each owned by a different coporation, but instead there were only two. Understandably Obdisian were working within their capabilities and budget, but that doesn't make me wish any less for more content than there was. There are fewer factions then, but also less conflict between them, less choice to be made by the player. I ended the game with no faction disliking me, and all but two revering. Siding with one never seems to lock you out of being friends with another. That would have been the braver and more interesting design choice.

Overall a very enjoyable game. It's probably the most polished, and safest, title to come from Obsidian. Unfortunately that also makes it less interesting. It might be a successor to Fallout New Vegas in many respects, but that game still sits top of the pile.


I've just finished as well and have to say it pretty hard to disagree with any of that.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Jenuall » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:46 pm

Still on Monarch. There seems to be a hell of a lot to do here! I must have spent a good 15 hours on this one planet now if my calculations are right! :lol:

Up to level 22 now and just added a new perk that gives me extra TTD time when I do critical hits which is coming in very handy. I used to be able to take down a couple of enemies with TTD sniping before real time resumes and I had to get my hands a bit dirtier but now my sniping excursions involve me approaching a group of enemies, activating TTD and sequentially popping each of their heads off, using the TTD boost from each one to sustain my attack! :lol:

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:48 pm

The perks in general are one of the weakest parts of the game for me. They are almost all pretty standard stat boosts, so yeah you can min-max a little to get all powered up but there isn't anything truly /interesting/. Fallout has loads of interesting perks that affect gameplay in unique ways, from adding unique dialogue options to eating corpses and breathing underwater. Every perk in Outer Worlds is just an enhancement of something you can already do. The TTD and health back on kills are probably the two most different in that regard.

I also think the flaws mechanic would work much better if each flaw offered a unique perk, rather than granting a generic perk point. They could then design more interesting trade-offs, like a weakness to raptidons not just increasing the damage you take from them but also increasing your movement speed so you can run away faster. I never accepted any flaws, but trade-offs like that rather than straight debuffs with a perk point (to spend on uninteresting perks) would have got me involved.

Are you traveling with companions Jen? The problem I found with trying to snipe with companions is that as soon as you're noticed they will run in to combat, rather than staying put and shooting alongisde you, letting the enemy come to you. It was partially solved by using a silencer and being stealthy enough to not get noticed while sniping, but that never lasts forever.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by BID0 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:56 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:The perks in general are one of the weakest parts of the game for me. They are almost all pretty standard stat boosts, so yeah you can min-max a little to get all powered up but there isn't anything truly /interesting/. Fallout has loads of interesting perks that affect gameplay in unique ways, from adding unique dialogue options to eating corpses and breathing underwater. Every perk in Outer Worlds is just an enhancement of something you can already do. The TTD and health back on kills are probably the two most different in that regard.

I also think the flaws mechanic would work much better if each flaw offered a unique perk, rather than granting a generic perk point. They could then design more interesting trade-offs, like a weakness to raptidons not just increasing the damage you take from them but also increasing your movement speed so you can run away faster. I never accepted any flaws, but trade-offs like that rather than straight debuffs with a perk point (to spend on uninteresting perks) would have got me involved.

Are you traveling with companions Jen? The problem I found with trying to snipe with companions is that as soon as you're noticed they will run in to combat, rather than staying put and shooting alongisde you, letting the enemy come to you. It was partially solved by using a silencer and being stealthy enough to not get noticed while sniping, but that never lasts forever.

I've been mostly avoiding combat so haven't experienced it myself, but can't you command a companion to stand in a certain spot with the dpad? I'm sure I saw something about setting a distance per companion as well and how aggressive/defensive they should be.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:07 pm

The distance per companion is (unless I'm misunderstanding) distance to yourself. If it turns out to be distance to enemy then I guess joke's on me as I set it to close :lol:

The aggression settings aren't very nuanced - it's a choice of "attack all enemies once in combat", "attack all enemies once I tell you to", or "only attack enemies I specifically tell you to". My issue is more with the distancing, not the choice of target.

I've not actually played around with the "go here" commands, maybe I would find it useful.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Jenuall » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:21 pm

I would agree that the perks are definitely duller than I was expecting. They're certainly useful but they don't massively play into particular styles or attempts to role play and they also don't really do much to broaden the options the player has.

But I'm still enjoying my TTD bonus death chaining approach at the moment!

I am using companions, I've had people with me ever since it was an option, they come in handy in a firefight and I enjoy their chat as I wander around. I've actually been actively switching up my party at fairly regular intervals just so I can see the different ways in which they interact and the various personality clashes! ... This might be one of the reasons why everything is taking me so bloody long! :slol: I'm actually really interested to go through again with the knowledge of what is coming so that I can tailor who I have with me for certain encounters - there are some conversations that I would have loved to have swapped in some other crew just to see what their reactions were!

It can sometimes be annoying when I'm trying to scope out a pack of enemies and pick them off from a distance only for my crew to run in all guns blazing and blow the whole gambit, but it also does help to mix things up - sitting back and sniping everything would get a bit dull if it was how every encounter went down. I believe that as long as no enemies actually reach a full alert state that your crew will hang back, so with careful planning you can avoid them rushing in too early.

I've stopped using the "go here" command as I think it only works for a limited time/distance and so they tend to still get involved any way. Also, and this is an annoying immersion break, when you advance a quest they will teleport back to you which has screwed me a few times where I have told them to hang back whilst I stealth into a building or whatever, achieve my goal undetected but then the quest advances and they teleport in and blow my cover! :fp:

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Meep » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:28 pm

The perks a little dull compared to some of the wackier stuff that exists in the Fallout universe.

Overall my impression of the game is that it felt more like a Bioware game (in the good way!) than Bethesda game. I quite enjoyed it because what it does right it does really right. Number one has to be the quests and story, which are a great reminder that the RPG craft is alive and well in Obsidian. Plenty options and even hidden ways to resolve quests in creative ways. On the negative side the world did feel a little smaller than I was hoping for. Nothing apart from Monarch managed to come close to the kind of scale you'd expect from something called The Outer Worlds.

Hopefully with their new funding Obsidian can hire a much bigger team and really push things next time as I appreciate the limits they had to work under during the development.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Somebody Else's Problem » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:56 pm

Meep wrote:Hopefully with their new funding Obsidian can hire a much bigger team and really push things next time as I appreciate the limits they had to work under during the development.


I can't wait to see what they can come up with under Microsoft!

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:23 am

I completed a second playthrough last night. It was quick... because I just murdered everyone 8)

Was interesting seeing how the main quests all continue despite killing the people involved in progressing them. I also saw a little bit of the board-aligned side to the game - if you turn in Phineas you get to Byzantium straight after the Groundbreaker!

Funnily enough, killing everyone actually locks you in to the good ending :lol:

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Tafdolphin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:30 am

I don't know but I think I might be done with this?

I loved the opening and the Groundbreaker but found Monarch to be dull as dishwater. Every quest seemed to have an arbitrary portion of 'travel to this town to continue the adventure!' and I got sick of hoofing it all over the shop (or resented the game making me fast travel all the time). But I got through it. Some of the quests were good, some were real bad, but I wanted to get to Byzantium.

Then I got to Byzantium. And I'm a bit bored.

Nothing about the structure of the game is grabbing me. I love the writing, generally, but feel I'm being made to do an awful lot of busy work to get to it. The combat is bad, the worlds, although pretty, are very samey once you've seen them and the structure is last, last generation. The levelling system is also really boring, with the vast majority of perks being combat focused stat increases.

I really wanted to dig this more than I do, but I'm just...yeah. Bored.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Jenuall » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:36 am

I finally got off Monarch last night after finishing everything that I could do there! :toot:

Then I went to Groundbreaker and someone sent me back to Monarch. :lol: I was suspicious that there was more to do as there was at least one location that seemed important but which had gone unused.

Have people been using fast travel in this? I've been avoiding it as I prefer the feeling of staying in the world. This is probably another reason I'm taking so long with the game!

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Tafdolphin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:36 am

See?

I mean, there's a bit in Ellie's companion quest that's "go to this bank in Byzantium" and when you get there it's an interactive postbox that opens a text box that says "go back to Monarch".

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by fry87 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:39 am

Reached Byzantium. Have to admit I'm beginning to lose interest a bit in the game. As others have mentioned, there are often lots of different missions going on at the same time so it's hard to keep track of what's going on in each. I'm finding it very dialogue heavy and a lot of the dialogue just isn't that interesting, same with many of the characters. I'll carry on though as there's still a lot to admire about the game and I'd like to see it through to conclusion. Definitely potential for a sequel to improve quite a lot though if Obsidian return to The Outer Worlds. Right now I'd probably score it 7/10, which is down from my initial impressions.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Cheeky Devlin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:53 am

Yeah I'm the same.

Reached Monarch and I just feel like I'm simply working out the most efficient way to visit waypoints now.

I did a load of stuff in the town you land in there (Stellar Bay I think) and I can barely remember any of it.

It's a shame as I was really enjoying it to a point, but it just feels like a chore to go back to now.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by Tafdolphin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:22 am

OrangeRKN wrote:It's probably the most polished, and safest, title to come from Obsidian. Unfortunately that also makes it less interesting. It might be a successor to Fallout New Vegas in many respects, but that game still sits top of the pile.


From what I've seen, I agree with this. It's incredibly safe coming from Obsidian, especially when compared not to New Vegas but to games like Tyranny and Tides of Numanera, the latter from related developer inXile. Those games had something to say, and that something was etched into every creative decision from gameplay to dialogue. Here it just feels like a lot of the moment to moment stuff is busywork and the actual meat of the matter is both watered down and incredibly sparse.

I'll be interested in what they work on next, but I hope it's something with more teeth.

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PostRe: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian) - PS4, X1, PC, Game Pass (out now!), Switch (later)
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:36 am

Tafdolphin wrote:I mean, there's a bit in Ellie's companion quest that's "go to this bank in Byzantium" and when you get there it's an interactive postbox that opens a text box that says "go back to Monarch".


I wasn't a big fan of Ellie's quest - she has very little character development through it (she goes from "I don't need anyone" to "okay maybe just sometimes I need people but I won't admit it") and as the last companion quest to unlock for me it was the most "revisit that place you found but couldn't do anything with at the time" (the ministry of exploration quest also from Byzantium is the worst in the game for this). Unfortunate because Ellie and Vicar ended up as my two main companions for the endgame.

On the busywork of the Byzantium quests though, the one that takes you through the post office flips that around - it's deliberately frustrating in sending you back-and-forth and I found it genuinely amusing.

As you've made it to Byzantium, I'd say you may as well push on through to the endgame to get the resolutions of your previous choices. The bulk of the game is now probably behind you.

On Monarch, I really liked the faction relationships. It's the game at its most nuanced, and Zora is probably my favourite character in the game for similar reasons.

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