Pros
– Meaningful character customization systems that don’t pigeon-hole your playstyle
– Abundance of comedic and thematically pleasing dialogue with a vast assortment of characters
– Primary, secondary and companion questlines offer a full range of satisfying roleplay options, and build to meaningful resolutions for every narrative decision
– Thematic consistency across all core narratives and worlds, satisfying traversal and investigation of most levels
– Strong narrative insulation creates an immersive environment parallel to the most esteemed RPGs

Cons
– Loading times aren’t ideal, though this is masked by playful and creative loading screens
– Different forms of play (thief, hacker, barbarian, silver tongue) are equally accessible but their value rises and falls harshly depending on the scenario
– Combat can become stale as weapon and armor diversity is staunchly hierarchical; combat expression and enemy diversity is limited
– Full exploration of the world seems overly dependent on the Hacking skill and scrounging for magpicks

Overview:

The Outer Worlds is a sardonic and goofy Sci-Fi RPG filled with witty banter, gorgeous backdrops, and a meaningful, rewarding narrative. It continues to herald contemporary RPG concepts, focusing on detailed and dynamic dialogue trees which offer vast and fulfilling narrative choices in minor conversations, extended companion quests, and full narrative arcs.

Its talent and skill trees—an RPG staple—offer equally satisfying level of specialty, with the clever addition of granting combat value to traditionally non-combat skills such as Intimidation, Engineering, or Inspiration.

Though varied in style, the flow of combat can become repetitive throughout the game. Companion Abilities and the Tactical Time Dilation—while flashy and dynamic—slowly begin to fade into the churn of the core combat loop. Many quests offer non-combative solutions to compensate for this, but a full combat playthrough (perhaps rightfully so) is much less satisfying than a roleplay-focused one.

Due to the clear delineation of weapon and armor strength throughout the game the crafting systems (scrapping, repairing, and tinkering) can feel a bit bare compared to the wholly immersive story. By utilizing a scaling tier system, The Outer Worlds grants consistent weapon and armor upgrades as you traverse Halcyon, but in doing so blemishes any old equipment that you have upgraded throughout your journey.

The macro level design tends to off-set tightly knit interactive cities or towns with long stretches of relatively bare space. This balance doesn’t create a sense of dissonance, but rather an explorative wanting: a rarely fulfilled desire to discover the unknown in the winding and wonderous outlands of each planet.

From a micro level design perspective, the attention to detail is incredible: each location feels distinctly different thematically, artistically, and spatially. Traversing through the Groundbreaker, Byzantium, and the Unreliable all feels different, with each space creating the perfect balance of familiarity and sci-fi strangeness. No world or location is overly difficult to traverse, but there are some unpolished gems craftily hidden in the cracks and crevasses of Halcyon.

At its core: The Outer Worlds is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s comedic exploration of a capitalist dystopia is charming and critical, though The Outer Worlds never risks taking themselves too seriously. Many of the core systems outside of narrative/roleplay hint at their shallowness over time, but are deftly hidden throughout the wholly immersive world.

It consistently provides you with insight into the world and its quirks through immersive interactions with a variety of characters, locations, and quests. The narrative development of your character and their companions throughout The Outer Worlds is entirely realized, in a way few video games can facilitate.

 

The Media Library is located in Chilton Hall Room 111, and you can experience the adventure of The Outer Worlds yourself in our fully equipped game space! You can check out The Outer Worlds from the Media Library in Chilton Hall Room 111, book time in our gaming space at https://esports.library.unt.edu/ or at the computers in the Media Library, and browse the entirety of our full catalogue of video games and board games at https://discover.library.unt.edu/?f%5Bcollection_facet%5D%5B%5D=Media+Library

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