Friday, November 22, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 145 - The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds is just OK. Sorry folks who want to pretend it's a better Fallout than Fallout and that this will finally put Bethesda out of its misery. The Outer Worlds is wildly inconsistent and uneven. When it's good, it's very good, but it only hits those highs sporadically and the rest of the experience is pretty middling. It's a solid 7/10, but this isn't a review. Click to read more and watch gameplay.

There are a lot of very vocal people that freaking hate Bethesda and love Obsidian. I am not one of them. Every Obsidian game I've ever played, including ones I really liked, has been a glitchy clunky mess with OK writing. If Fallout: New Vegas or Knights of the Old Republic 2 are better than their predecessors (they aren't) it has more to do with the fact that they were built upon already solid gameplay / mechanical foundations and not because Obsidian has some sort of secret sauce. Original titles Obsidian has made have always been, let's just say, much less favorably received by most people. Hmm, wonder why.

Even Obsidian's greatest claim to fame - the writing - isn't spectacular. It is definitely better than you'll find in most video games, but that isn't an especially high standard to beat and Obsidian generally still kinda sucks. The Outer Worlds is no different. There is 1 (one) well written character and a decent quest or two, but for the most part it is a pretty disappointing straightforward and shallow and ultimately forgettable story. 

The gameplay is acceptable, but boring. The shooting feels surprisingly good - better than any Fallout, certainly - but the enemy types are boring and repetitive and, frankly, there isn't actually all that much combat. The world itself is mostly boring with nothing interesting to explore. The piles of loot you can pick up is fairly pointless, too, because the game's own upgrade system means you can just pump up the stats on stuff you like and not bother with new stuff. The armor is ugly. Most of the missions are "Go here, talk to someone, return to point A", which is boring. 

One thing I will say is that The Outer Worlds isn't glitchy and clunky. I attribute that more to the fact the worlds you explore are fairly small and compact and simple and it was easier to get good performance and make sure everything worked right. Take that, Bethesda, and your giant ambitious open worlds that are hard to make! 

Anyway, The Outer Worlds is just OK. It starts out amazingly well, but then the further you get into it the more the flaws start to get harder to ignore. Not even "flaws", really, but more just a lack of anything interesting, which is just as bad. It IS a good foundation to build on, though, and whatever Obsidian does next with Microsoft will probably be much better thanks to having a bigger budget and a little guidance to make things more polished and, more importantly, more fun.

By the way, Fallout 3 is the best. Suck it, haters.