The Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment's first entry in what seems to be their space science fiction Fallout-inspired role-playing game has taken the gaming world by storm. Fans who have been clamoring for the next mainline Fallout game had been yearning for this type of experience for a while and it was only multiplied after the unfortunate release of Fallout 76.
The Outer Worlds managed to do a lot right by the Bethesda mega-franchise. Let's look at 5 ways The Outer Worlds evolved the Fallout formula and 5 ways it didn't.
10 Doesn't: It Feels Like Fallout
When developers and creators have such a familiarity with a single franchise, it's hard for them to pull away from that. Though The Outer Worlds is unique in a lot of various ways, at its core it plays like a Fallout game.
The way the game feels and how you uncover new and meaningful information feels like you're riding an old familiar bike. The game doesn't do anything drastic to push the winning formula forward, and considering new mainline Fallout games are far and few between that's not necessarily a bad thing.
9 Evolves: Sci-Fi Over Post-Apocalypse
This isn't really an evolution, but more of a lateral step when it comes to Obsidian trading in an experience set in a post-apocalypse wasteland in favor of a science fiction outer space adventure. Changing the setting for an experience that's bound to feel so familiar helps it stand apart and gives players something that refreshes the formula.
It may not feel like a large departure from the experiences Fallout has provided as a franchise, but a few hours in will have you realizing how different that setting change can make things.
8 Doesn't: Play How You Want
Players don't often talk about how a lack of innovation between titles can be a good thing. In the Fallout series, players were given the tools and weapons and it was up to them to find which ones worked best with their playstyle and brought them the most joy.
In The Outer Worlds, players will have access to tons of guns and melee weapons. It's up to them to find out if they want to use weird guns, classic archetypes, or maybe go strictly with melee weapons like electric rods and bats.
7 Evolves: More Weird Weapons
If you managed to catch a glimpse at any of the marketing for this game either near its announcement or closer to its launch, then you'd remember a shrink ray-type gun being featured. The Outer Worlds is home to plenty of weird and unique weapons that are a blast to use during combat scenarios.
The goofy guns have a tendency to grow old really quick as the joke becomes stale and the effect of it wears off, but with so many options to choose from you never feel like you're stuck in a corner.
6 Doesn't: Shooting Is Passable
Fallout as a franchise is known for having vast open landscapes that players can traverse as they build relationships with strangers and tackle challenges however they'd like. The shooting in the games has always felt like a secondary focus and was often saved by the V.A.T.S. tool that froze enemies in place and allowed players to mark specific areas to be shot.
The Outer Worlds has a similar mechanic that slows downtime, and though the shooting is improved from previous Fallout titles, it still isn't the main attraction.
5 Evolves: Writing Is Better
When you're a creator and you're tasked with working in a preexisting world with a set of rules you didn't create it can be hard to come up with brilliant storytelling beats. The writing, in general, is an uphill battle as writers try and balance what the owners of the IP demand while still trying to make it feel unique.
With The Outer Worlds, writers were playing in a new world, their world. This allowed them to spread their wings and the writing in the game is phenomenal because of it.
4 Doesn't: Dialogue Is Everything
When players fall in love with Fallout they'll often mention the engaging conversations and relationships they built through the dialogue systems in the game.
Letting players navigate and customize how they communicate with the world around them crafts an original and personal narrative that players keep coming back for. The Outer Worlds is no different as the best parts of exploring this sci-fi world happens through conversations with random people on various planets.
3 Evolves: Less Bugs & Glitches
In comparison to the massive releases that are new games in the Fallout franchise, The Outer Worlds did a great job of shipping with fewer bugs and glitches than what is expected from a typical Fallout release.
Often times that's the largest argument leveraged at Bethesda Game Studios despite them releasing games with a tremendous scope few other studios shoot for or even attempt. The scope and size of The Outer Worlds likely played a part in helping the developers reign in the bugs and glitches.
2 Doesn't: Still Has Bugs & Glitches
Despite having fewer bugs and glitches than the franchise The Outer Worlds is largely inspired by and following suite with, it still has a good number of them. Funny enough these lend credibility to Obsidian delivering their own unique Fallout-inspired experience as it falls in line with what fans expect.
In a weird way, it seems like these weird bugs and glitches make it feel more like home for role-playing game fans who simply want to be able to play more Fallout games.
1 Evolves: Focused
The smaller scope Obsidian had with The Outer Worlds allowed them to be more focused on what they were doing. It may be a shorter game with a smaller scope than a traditional Fallout game, but when compared to many other single-player experiences Obsidian is delivering a game with the most quality bang for your buck.
With it being a smaller project it also gives Obsidian the ability to release a sequel in a shorter time-frame, something Fallout fans deal with considering it's often 5-7 years between mainline releases.