“Fallout” in Space: “The Outer Worlds” Review

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From the vibrant colors, beautiful foreign landscapes, the great expanse of space viewed from the cockpit of your ship; “The Outer Worlds” is absolutely breathtaking. From the moment the game loaded up on my computer and I saw the now iconic home screen, I was sold on the game. I was sold on the amazing music, the stunning atmosphere, the unbelievable customization and the ability to play the game exactly how I choose to.

To say that this game has taken inspiration from the “Fallout” franchise is definitely an understatement. This game can best be described as “Fallout” in space. It has a very similar art style, a retro-futuristic style, and even similar gameplay quirks. However, it is important to realize that the game is not a direct ripoff; while the game can feel similar at some points, “The Outer Worlds” implemented some key gameplay mechanics to differentiate itself.

One of these mechanics seems simple enough but it drastically changes the way I play the game. That mechanic is the addition of a second boost jump. It is not a dramatic jump, but it encourages players to play the game much more aggressive than a player would play “Fallout”. While you can still effectively play the game passively, it allows a much more varied gameplay experience for gamers. It is truly a remarkable achievement for a game when each different player can play the game with a different style and not be put at a disadvantage.

Another key mechanic that distinguishes “The Outer Worlds” is the time distortion mechanic. While at first, this feature feels extremely similar to “Fallout 4’s” VATS, it is so incredibly different. When I played “Fallout”, I actually found the VATS system completely unbalanced. In “The Outer Worlds”, however, the ability to slow time comes with its fair share of disadvantages. Sure you can have more time to aim, but you also still have to line up your shot, you can't fire near as fast, attacking more than one target is almost an impossibility. It is a great addition that forces gamers to think critically about the best time to use this ability and when not it puts them at a disadvantage.

While this game has added a number of incredible mechanics and beautiful worlds, it is not without its flaws. I will not lie, some dialogue in this game is not the best. There have been multiple times that I have cringed while listening to one of the generic NPCs ramble on about this or that. Generic lines have to be expected in a game of this size, but it does not change the disappointment when you hear one, especially because some characters in the game have pretty decent dialogue variety.

Another annoying feature that I find myself running into all the time is that there is no good way to make money in the game. Scavenging can only get you so far, and besides doing quests I have not found any other way to make money. This game is perfectly set up to have a way to grind money, but I simply have not found a good way to accomplish it. This is not really a huge problem until a quest requires you to buy a navkey in order to reach a new planet and you have no side quests and no way to make money.

Besides a couple of minor inconveniences, the game is incredibly fun. It is exactly what I wanted the “Fallout” series to be and is definitely a game that I will be sinking tons of hours into. It has beautiful graphics, absolutely intoxicating gameplay, a ton of personality and I could not recommend it enough.

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