The Outer Worlds - From Obsidian

Just finished the game tonight. Overall I found it aggressively unremarkable and completely frictionless. It’s simultaneously too slick and overly constrained by its budget to be more than a very tight and diminutive version of One Of Those. As I said in an earlier post, none of its anti-corporate message is felt. There’s no genuine disgust for these organisations, and the outcomes that are positioned by the RPG mechanics as optimum always involve compromise. Goes without saying that New Vegas is far superior, and in terms of creating a sense of a place and tone, I think I prefer Fallout 4 to this by a significant degree. Certainly a let down considering the risks Obsidian has been taking with its recent isometric stuff.

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Man, I haven’t touched this game since the first weekend it was out.

I wonder if I’ll ever go back to it.

Beat the game yesterday and have been collecting my thoughts on it. On the whole, I enjoyed bits of it a lot, but it was slightly too flatly paced to stand out. A lot of that has to do with me not liking these first person combat RPG’s that much in the first place, though I should give New Vegas a proper go sometime.

Been thinking a bit of how I relate to the political themes of the quest lines, too. In the end, I think the game is a bit too inconsistent, except in that it cares a lot about people. This is what most large decisions come down to, asking you how sure you are in that your solution will improve life in the sector, and for who. I like that it’s skeptical of overly clean solutions, although it does very little in setting up interesting alternatives beyond this skepticism – by far its largest failing. And as was discussed in the other thread, it’s too interested in “great man” theories (Junlei’s hereditary monarchy on the Groundbreaker, Welles, the 100’000 greatest minds on Hope).

On another note, I enjoyed the SubLight quest line a lot and wish the game had more of those. This was the only one that was separate from the main story factions, which made it more interesting to engage with.

Gita put up an article today defending Vicar Max (some spoilers for Max’ questline) that highlighted something I’m having a little trouble with. I can’t tell what’s supposed to be jokes. Specifically, I have trouble identifying the in-world jokes. Like, I thought Max was supposed to be a self-aware asshole the whole time.

I had a little conversation last night where I tattled on Felix to the mardets in what I thought was an obvious jokey-joke. Of course I’m not going to turn Felix in. Fortunately they didn’t let me go through with it.

I know the Bethesda/Bioware-style of icons indicating the tone of the response are kind of a memeified joke by now, but I would find them pretty useful here.

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On an unrelated note, why are there yaks on my ship?

It’s been a few days since I last played, and now I’m wondering if I made a bad deal somewhere.

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I googled around when that happened to me, and the best answer I could find was that it might be a Firefly reference. Which, having never seen Firefly, went right over my head.

It really freaked me out too, cause it coincided with a bug that made Felix just totally disappear from my ship and party (which I eventually “fixed” by going back an hour or two in saves).

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I had wooly cows just chilling on my ship for a while then they disappeared. I miss them now come to think of it.

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Been trying to force myself to finish this (and I probably should since I’m already on Byzantium and I assume nearing the end) but I think I’m out. Everything just feels so flat to me at this point.

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After a while the charm of the writing started to wear off and all I saw was the skill check numbers. I still like it, but it definitely has a half-life to it.

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