Friday, August 02, 2019
Don't you sometimes wish you could just get away from it all? I know I do, but escaping to the Halcyon system of The Outer Worlds would just be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Dumped on the planet Monarch for our hands-on preview, whichever way you turn there's a wretched hive of scum and villainy to explore, and on the way there, hostile fauna waiting to tear you limb from limb, or deadly marauders intent on pillaging your still-warm corpse.
Thankfully, you're prepared for whatever The Outer Worlds has to throw at you, be it slavering Raptidons, skittering Mantisaurs, or usually minding their own business Canids. Or indeed, the double-dealing traders, corrupt officials, and other dodgy individuals plying their trade on Monarch, like Catherine Malin, the local inn proprietor in Fallbrook who's also keen on you helping to eliminate a corporate rival named Clive.
There are multiple options and approaches when aiding Catherine in completing her underhand objective, from adopting subterfuge using disguises and a cloned entry key obtained through a dodgy black market vendor, to infiltrating Clive's cystipig processing factory via a sewer outlet pipe. You and your companions can don disguises and slip by unnoticed, or you can charge in, guns blazing and pop a bullet in poor old Clive's dome.
Every action brings with it an immediate consequence, however, so you'll need to decide which side your bread is buttered. Helping out one faction will put another's nose out of joint, so while lending Malin a hand means we're in the SubLight Salvage & Shipping Company's good graces, Clive and his followers aren't too enamoured with us. Well, Clive is actually dead, so he won't have much of a say in what you're getting up to here on out.
Of course, you could have sided with Clive and gone after Catherine and SubLight, and as one side quest for dandy drug-peddler Nelson Mayson demonstrates, everything ties you up in a series of choices. You can intimidate Nelson into giving you a larger cut of his drug operation that exploits small reptilian creatures called Sprats, and upon finding his missing shipment ferried in the bellies of the wee beasties, you can lie about the product's whereabouts and keep it for yourself.
You can expect certain actions like these to potentially come back and bit you in the ass, and it won't matter how much charisma your character has; sometimes there's no talking your way out of a sticky situation. And when it does kick off, you've plenty of weapons in your arsenal, from run-of-the-mill handguns to electric death-spitting plasma launchers, deadly sniper rifles, hulking great heavy machine guns and pointy melee weapons.
TTD (Tactical Time Dilation) enables you to slow time a bit like Fallout's VATS, so you can take aim, while isolating and exploiting enemy weaknesses. Like almost every aspect of your character, TTD can be upgraded, and there's an array of different stats to level up, as you'd expect from any deep RPG worth its salt. You can even form optional Flaws with repeated actions, impacting certain attributes if you choose to accept them in exchange for a skill point.
There's a rich vein of dark humour running through The Outer Worlds too, and these Flaws like acrophobia (a fear of heights) developed due to my falling off ladders a lot, are all part and parcel of that. Factor in a range of dialogue choices and story-impacting decisions, skill trees, combat that works on its own merits without relying on TTD, and Obsidian's latest RPG is not only shaping up to be hugely ambitious, but enormously compelling too.
The Outer Worlds launches for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on 25th October 2019.
Friday, August 02, 2019 @ 01:53 PM
Friday, August 02, 2019 @ 02:01 PM
Saturday, August 03, 2019 @ 04:08 AM
Sunday, August 18, 2019 @ 09:27 AM
Monday, August 19, 2019 @ 03:44 AM