The attribute system used for character creation in The Outer Worlds will feel very familiar to Fallout fans, but there’s one attribute you should focus on above all others. The extent to which it’s potentially game-breaking in the early hours of Outer Worlds is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Six core attributes are broken up into three categories, each with two main attributes: Body (Strength, Dexterity), Mind (Intelligence, Perception), and Personality (Charm, Temperament). All six start as Average, and you’re given six points to assign across the attributes to enhance them, achieving a starting rating of Below Average, Average, Good, High, or Very High for each. (Yes, you can subtract from Average to access extra points.) Each attribute also influences a collection of important passive statistics. For instance, Strength determines melee damage output and carrying capacity, Perception increases headshot and critical damage output, etc.
Let’s cut to the chase: Use three of your six points to make your Temperament Very High, and never look back. Throughout the entire game, you’ll be regenerating 7.5 health every — single — second. Nothing else really matters.
This is absolutely ridiculous. In practice, it renders me capable of leaping off second-story balconies or small mountains without concern, because all it takes is a short walk around town to regenerate my health back to the maximum.
By combining this passive ability with a propensity to sneak around sniping people, I’m often in a position where I don’t even have to use any healing items in the middle of battle. Most enemies can’t deal enough damage to outpace my aggressive healing factor, if they even get a chance to hit me. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and it makes me feel like Wolverine in the coolest way possible, taking reckless risks that pay off in exciting ways, rushing into combat and relying on my healing factor.
This wild advantage is bound to change over time in The Outer Worlds as DPS from enemies increases and so does my overall health pool, but that just affords me time to reinforce my sneaking and sniping skills or recruit some hired muscle to tank for me. The Outer Worlds affords players the opportunity to explore all sorts of extreme builds like this that function really well.
“We want to allow players to make whatever character they want,” game director Leonard Boyarsky told Polygon in an interview last week. “It’s the [game master’s] job to make it work.” Boyarsky and fellow game director Tim Cain helped create the Fallout franchise in the mid-‘90s. They spoke about how player freedom was always the intent for Fallout, but The Outer Worlds achieves that dream in a way that far surpasses anything Fallout has ever achieved.
“We’ve always wanted players to be able to play their characters any way they want,” Cain said, “and have the game feel like it’s completely supporting them and not looking down on them or trying to force them into a different path. … We really want the game to feel like it’s reacting to the character you chose to play, and rewarding you for choosing to play that way.”
This health regen hack is one of many extremes players can lean into with The Outer Worlds. I discovered it during the character creation process, as I toyed with the idea of dumping all of my points into Personality-based attributes and skills. With high Charm and Temperament, a character is basically a charismatic nightmare, manipulating everyone around them with deceit and persuasion. In one of my first encounters with a human, I told him I was some kind of cop and bullied him into giving me all his weapons and money.
In most games of this ilk, investing all of your points into a single category like Personality and neglecting the other two can be a risky move, resulting in a grossly imbalanced character with glaring vulnerabilities. But it’s a perfectly viable option in The Outer Worlds, where the six skill types attached to each attribute are not exclusive. This is how the game rewards players who go to the extreme.
Here’s what I mean: Sneak, Medical, and Engineering skills aren’t just influenced by the Dexterity, Intelligence, and Perception attributes, respectively. They’re also influenced by the Temperament attribute. Which is to say that you don’t need high Dexterity to be good at flexing your Engineering skills. Characters with a high Temperament are good at the skills for Two-Handed Melee Weapons, Lie, Sneak, Medical, Engineering, and Determination.
A player who invests exclusively in Personality (Charm and Temperament) for their character won’t be as efficient in a fight as some other builds, but they’ll more than make up for it with their health regen and the buffs they give to their companion, not to mention their ability to Lie, Intimidate, or Persuade their way out of any dicey situation.
As far as character builds go, max Temperament is a solid start for just about any combination.
The Outer Worlds is now available for PS4, Xbox One and PC.