I beat Outer Worlds this weekend, finishing the main quest. I specifically state the main quest because I skipped all side quests from about the halfway point in the game. My character was level 24 at the end; the level cap is 30.
Overall Outer Worlds is a good to great RPG, though not without its flaws, and it says a lot about the game that I effectively rushed through the back end of it.
One observation I have is that Worlds might suffer a bit from The Witcher 3s “Red Baron” syndrome; in that the first area is really well done, but content after that is not nearly as entertaining. In Worlds, the first area, Emerald Vale, is incredibly tight in terms of theme and pacing. The big story points FEEL big, the side quests are mostly entertaining, and there are plenty of side secrets and areas that feel rewarding to discover. The enter area is also very well themed; everyone has an opinion on corporate ownership and control, and the whole setting of the game becomes clear.
After Emerald Vale, the tight corporate control theme is less obvious and exaggerated, which on Vale was a strength. It’s still there, and the main quest is (mostly) about that theme, but a lot of the side quests don’t factor into this theme at all, and the way some NPCs act you’d think the overbearing all-controlling corporations aren’t even a factor for them.
Difficulty was a problem almost the entire way through; the game on normal is just too easy, which makes caring about gear hard after about the mid-way point. I used the same assault rifle with the same mods for the last 50% of the game, and even when I did switch armor I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. That’s bad in a game so loaded with random loot, that has so many side quests and areas focused around gearing up. Another reason for my push to finish the game is I want to play it again on a higher difficulty, which hopefully fixes the issue of gear not being a focus. We will see.
Without spoiling the content of the main story, I will say I enjoyed it, and am very interested to see how it plays out if you pick ‘the other side’. There are some nice twists towards the end, and I’m sure I missed a lot of details by rushing to the finish.
Right now the high point of the game for me is the companion system. Not only did I enjoy all of the companions, but having two follow you around at all times results in a lot of fun interactions between them, and gives you two points of view at major moments.
Ultimately if you enjoy games like Fallout, Outer Worlds is worth your time.
If you do choose to replay it, I can only imagine that the “Survival Mode” offers the experience you’re looking for. I played it through on Hard (actually finishing all of the side quests, b/c even the less good stuff was still methadone-good) and to be honest, I mostly felt like I didn’t need to care about gear. I actually didn’t even engage with the mod system until about 75-80% of the way through the game, and I almost never bothered changing gear for companions (l think I only swapped their guns out twice, when something dropped that was obviously twice the DPS of their current weapon). I also basically never used consumables, aside from the main “Heal” item, despite having Medicine to 100 by the end of the game. I think I just threw some random heal items in the other slots, just because why not?
I would say that Hard felt “Hard” (as in, I had to think tactically about what I was doing) for the first 30 minutes. On the far side of the clearing where you found the Unreliable, there are a few primals that took a few attempts to kill. Literally everything after that was easy, and I only died 2-3 times when I was just feeling cocky on Monarch.
That’s not good news about Hard. Funny enough that fight behind the Unreliable was also the only difficult fight I had on Normal, and I think that’s because you should only take that fight once you have done more of that area, not right at the start of the game.
My issue with Survival is it changes a lot of the rules, like companions dying. That sounds like zero fun, since every death just means reloading. Maybe a future patch to the game ‘fixes’ the difficulty issue.
Ha, too funny about the primals behind the Unreliable – I think you’re exactly right about not being “supposed” to taking that fight right away.
Yeah, I had the same issues with Survival, which is why I didn’t opt for that mode. Would have been nice for some sort of gradient or slider, or tickboxes where I could say “Yes to hard enemies” and “No to companions dying and having to regularly go back to my ship to sleep.”