Outer Worlds Is Too Short: How to Fix That
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is too short. Don’t get us wrong — it’s a great game with a spectacular team behind it. It’s like if Mass Effect (no, not you Andromeda) and Fallout had a child. And that’s no surprise, as many of the folks behind the earlier (and, in the opinion of many, better) Fallout games worked on The Outer Worlds. This is evident in gameplay, which features a V.A.T.S.-style combat system and at many times feels like a Fallout game. The Outer Worlds is exactly what you hoped Fallout 4 would be. However, it faces one significant problem: there’s simply not enough content in the game.
From the very beginning, you’re presented with likable characters, beautiful environments that would be very much at home in a Mass Effect game, and something that was entirely missing from the most recent Fallout offering for more than a year of its existence — choice and consequences. In many ways, it’s more „Fallout“ than Fallout 76.
Character creation in The Outer Worlds allows for a lot of customization. It contains the first big decision to make, and you could spend a lot of time agonizing over it. While you can reroll your stats and perks at any time, you’re forced to choose among various attributes that increase your skills and give you massive bonuses or penalties depending on how they are allocated. You can even go super-stupid to enable some at times hilarious „dumb“ speech options. But once you’re dumb, you stay dumb (and do less crit damage). You must also choose an „aptitude“ which provides small but permanent bonuses to your character.
Once you’re out in the spectacularly-designed world, you’ll see your decisions save or destroy lives. And as you play, you will be confronted with the option to accept „flaws“ like a fear of robots or heights that decrease your stats in those situations in favor of an extra perk. Perks provide bonuses that allow you to do things like carry more items or travel while encumbered. You can also increase the bonuses provided by your Tactical Time Dilation (think VATS) and amp up the power of the powerful Prismaric Hammer and other crazy Science Weapons.
The game provides you with a crew of likable companions, even if they do get annoying at times (looking at you, Felix). You can even invest your skill points to boost your friends‘ power to some pretty impressive levels and give yourself major skill bonuses.
The majority of the quests are enjoyable, even if they are a bit fetch-heavy. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them. You can expect the game to take under 30 hours to beat if you take the time to do at least most of the side quests. In short, you run out of things to do pretty quickly.
The one major area in which The Outer Worlds flounders is that it is too short. It’s very replayable to a point and you won’t regret a minute of your time playing it, but you will wish there were more minutes. This isn’t surprising; Obsidian is a AA company without the sort of budget that allows them to produce a larger game. In fact, any issues the game might have can be ascribed to budgetary constraints, and the only way to fix that is by throwing money at the issue.
Fortunately, this seems to be what may happen for the sequel. Xbox Studios head Matt Booty told Game Informer that he believes The Outer Worlds to be an „enduring franchise.“ Since Microsoft owns Obsidian, this seems to mean a larger budget is likely. Booty says he hopes „it really starts to grow and we can help expand that.”
In the short term, The Outer Worlds has upcoming DLC content that will expand the story a bit and give you more to do. So, if you loved the game so far, you can look forward to those worlds getting a little bit bigger.
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