Previews

Exploration, bullets, and cancerous pig snacks — The Outer Worlds E3 preview

Ever since developer Obsidian Entertainment created Fallout: New Vegas, fans have been eager to see them create a new open-world RPG in the same vein, and with The Outer Worlds coming later this year, they won’t have to wait much longer. Clearly drawing inspiration from their work on Bethesda’s beloved franchise, The Outer Worlds takes to the stars, and paints a picture of a dystopian future where even the farthest reaches of space are controlled by the most outrageous, dangerous, and irresponsible corporation imaginable. Vibrantly colorful and chock-filled with over-the-top characters, it’s not a world that begs to be explored and transformed by your hand.

The 30-minute demo focused on a single mission, and all the different ways it can be approached based on the player’s preference and capabilities. On a planet ruled by criminal elements, a powerful crime boss hired us to go after a competing criminal faction. In this case, the guy she was asking us to take out seemed far more unpredictable and dangerous than the lady hiring us, so we chose to side with the devil we know. Of course, during the dialogue, we were given plenty of options to utilize our charm, knowledge about certain relevant topics, and even showcase our character’s low intelligence by choosing the “stupid” dialogue option. Those who have been unhappy with the increasingly simplified dialogue options in recent RPGs have nothing to fear from The Outer Worlds, which often offers more than 4 or 5 unique dialogue options at a time, a couple of which will be customized around your character’s personality and abilities specifically.

Next we got to see how combat works in The Outer Worlds. Your character is suffering from the effects of time dilation, so you can choose to play out the combat as a standard shooter, or activate an ability to slow down time to make the going a bit easier — similar to the role of the V.A.T.S. system in the Fallout series. It also seems that your companions play a pretty consequential role now, activating interesting abilities and fighting aggressively, instead of strafing behind you and pelting enemies with the occasional bullet or two. Of course, if you’d rather not engage in outright combat at all, there’s always the option to utilize stealth, or even talk your way out of most engagements. As with most things we saw in The Outer Worlds, combat (or the lack thereof) is all about how you choose to play the game.

Our target was held up in a factory that uses cancer-ridden pigs to make cyst-based snack foods. Rather than charge through the front gates of our target’s stronghold, our presenter chose to sneak into the facility, which meant bobbing and weaving through a lot of really gross looking swines. In order to remain undetected, we had to make use of our character’s tech-savvy abilities to subvert security systems and give guards and droids the slip. At last we reached our target, but rather than eliminating him with a double-tap to the back of the head, the presenter chose the diplomatic approach, which gave another opportunity to show off the dialogue system. Here we had a couple of choices: We could simply kill the guy, we could try to get him to surrender or otherwise backoff, or we could hear him out and see if he could offer us something more than the person who hired us. In this case, the creepy psycho before us offered a lifetime supply of cancer-based snacks, which, I mean, okay. That’s cool.

Sadly, the presenter teased us by making no choice at all, leaving that up to each of us to decide when the game launches later this year. And I couldn’t be more excited to do just that.

For more news and a review of The Outer Worlds, keep reading Gaming Trend.

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