Did you hear about the guy who wanted to become an astronaut? He couldn’t make space on his schedule. Still, plenty of gamers will be making room on their calendars for The Outer Worlds, a game that takes players to space — but not as we know it.
In the dystopian, but hilarious premise of The Outer Worlds, the human race is largely run by corporations, who have colonised other planets.
So your job isn’t to collect microbes or explore barren landscapes for signs of life, but instead gain favour with the corpos and gangs that now inhabit the strange colonies.
Of course, there may not be signs of intelligent life there, either. Which is why you’ll use a variety of skills, from speech-craft to stealth to old fashioned violence, to solve the problems presented to you and investigate the ‘truenature of the corporations’.
While The Outer Worlds presents itself as an alternate future story, in which Roosevelt never became president of America and megacorporations took over, this is really a different kind of alternate future — one in which the Fallout series came back to Obsidian.
Under Bethesda, the Fallout games became mega-hits, one of the most popular role-playing games in the world. Despite that, it was Fallout: New Vegas, which was farmed out to Obsidian in 2010, that became the most beloved of the modern entries.
Now, almost ten years later, Obsidian finally returns to that first-person RPG format, with a game that bears huge similarities to Fallout.
For a start, the humour is sharper than a razorblade’s tuxedo, with an even heavier emphasis on satire and one-liners than Fallout. From what we’ve seen in videos and lengthy gameplay sessions, The Outer Worlds won’t disappoint on the laughs, with extremely well written dialogue.
Even the weapons get in on the act, with one baton distorting enemies in truly comical ways.
The Outer Worlds trailer
The gameplay itself will be instantly recognisable to Fallout fans, too. Mostly based around melee or gunplay combat, players will be able to acquire and level up a host of skills, including the ability to slow down time and target certain body parts (very familiar to V.A.T.S veterans) and sneak around to avoid trouble.
In addition, dialogue skills will also open up many non-violent ways to end missions.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of The Outer World, however, is where it doesn’t adhere to the modern Fallout’s blueprint.
The factions in the game will remember what you do and react accordingly, meaning the decisions you make will have real consequences and change the outcome of the game.
If you decide to destroy a village or settlement on the outskirts of a colony just for fun, the consequences will be put in place.
Above all else, The Outer Worlds looks like the kind of game that will live up to its name. It may not be about real space-faring, but it will certainly be worth exploring.
The Outer Worlds releases on October 25 on consoles and PC.
Meanwhile, we’ll certainly be searching for other worlds if we continue to treat our own planet like a pig on a spit.
At least Sony, Microsoft and others are paying lip service to the sustainability movement, with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) president Jim Ryan taking to the official PlayStation blog to talk about the company’s plans to work with Playing for the Planet, a UN initiative.
“At SIE, we have made substantial commitments and efforts to reduce the power consumption of the PS4 by utilizing efficient technologies such as System-on-a-Chip architecture integrating a high-performance graphics processor, die shrink, power scaling, as well as energy saving modes such as Suspend-to-RAM,” says Ryan.
“I am also very pleased to announce the next generation PlayStation console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4.”
Microsoft, Google and Ubisoft have also joined Playing for the Planet, with each of them committing to initiatives that reduce the carbon footprint of their consoles and game now and into the future.