Game Recs

You need to get the most eccentric open-world RPG on PlayStation ASAP

A universe of the weird and wild.

The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment

There are literally dozens of open-world sci-fi games out there, but few manage to be as imaginative and memorable as The Outer Worlds. The team at Obsidian Entertainment are masters of the RPG genre, and that expertise has never shone clearer than with The Outer Worlds, a game that manages to be consistently awe-inspiring and hilarious in equal measure. The Outer Worlds is currently only $20 on the PlayStation Store because of the Days of Play sale, meaning there’s never been a better time to pick it up.

The Outer Worlds take liberal inspiration from Obsidian’s work on Fallout: New Vegas, casting players into a wacky universe dominated by megacorporations and products. Set in 2355, you play as a stranger aboard a ship called the hope, which was dispatched 50 years earlier to colonize the Halcyon system. You’re discovered by the mad scientist Vernon Wells and tasked with reviving the rest of Hope’s colonists and putting things right in the greed-driven Halycon system.

The biggest strength of The Outer Worlds is by far its writing and presentation, which creates a dynamic universe filled with satire and commentary on the nature of capitalism. The worlds you visit are filled with crazy corporate mascots, satirical slogans, and exploited workers. The game uses dark humor to the extreme, and the writing is absolutely top-notch. This also applies to the companies you can recruit, which include a Vicar named Max with a penchant for violence and a cleaning robot that’s been modified into a killing machine.

The Outer Worlds is an odd mix of alien nature and corporate machinery.

Obsidian Entertainment

While The Outer Worlds sports the same formula as something like Fallout or Skyrim, part of what’s most surprising is how compact the experience is. A playthrough isn’t going to take you hundreds of hours, more like 40-50. This results in an experience that feels much more focused and refined, that tells a variety of stories that get straight to the point and don’t drag on. The choice is a huge aspect of the game, and the story can branch off wildly depending on what choices you make. There’s even an ending where your character’s stupidity has them accidentally piloting their ship into the sun.

Seeing the weird sites and people of Halycon is the strongest aspect of The Outer Worlds, but the minute-to-minute gameplay linking all that together brings plenty of entertainment as well. The game’s shooting and combat feel like a slightly more refined version of Fallout: New Vegas, with plenty of absurd weapons. A shrink ray turns enemies into minuscule versions, while the aptly named Euthanasia Kit is a shotgun with ungodly destructive power.

The companions of The Outer Worlds are a wacky bunch, and each one has their own dedicated story arc.

Obsidian Entertainment

There’s a robust perk system, but what’s more interesting is The Outer World’s unique “Faults” system. At certain points, you’ll have the chance to take a permanent weakness or debuff, in order to unlock a powerful perk on your tree. It’s a unique system that provides even more choice for each playthrough.

Past all that there are plenty of other aspects to dig into with the game’s loot and crafting system, on top of dialogue trees that vary depending on your skills. Interestingly, skills that don’t always apply to combat in other games do in The Outer Worlds. For example, a high Persuasion skill can outright make enemies flee combat, meaning you don’t even have to fight.

What’s abundantly clear about The Outer Worlds, is that its developers had a blast making the game. There’s so much care poured into every ounce of the experience, from the humorous dialogue to absurd science weapons. It’s easily one of the most unique RPGs released in recent years, and its world is simply a joy to explore. Two stellar expansions only make things even better. If you happened to miss The Outer Worlds upon its release, don’t let it fall by the wayside again.

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