The Outer Worlds: Everything You Need to Know

By Nicole René,
Obsidian's The Outer Worlds made a stunning debut at Microsoft's E3 this year, and just one day out from launch we wanted to let you know everything you need to enjoy this retro-futuristic adventure when it hits Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC.

What is The Outer Worlds?

If you somehow missed it, The Outer Worlds is a single player first-person RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Private Division. It's the same developer behind the original Fallout titles before Bethesda gained the IP, and much of their personality shines through in their work. The title will be releasing on Xbox One this year, however, there will be a few countries that are considered to be excluded markets: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Crimea, and Venezuela. As of now, the age rating of the title is still pending, but judging by the content, it's quite likely to be rated mature.

What is The Outer Worlds' Story About?

After waking from a cryo-frozen nap of 70 years, players will find themselves in the colony of Halcyon and far away from home. What was meant to be a simple transport of human colonists to the new world has been derailed due to your late arrival. And upon waking from your sleep, you'll find yourself already faced with decisions:

Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
Obsidian made an estimate on how long it would take to complete the game, pegging it at about 30-40 hours in total. While this may seem slightly on the shorter side for an RPG, the team argued that a low budget made it difficult to create a sprawling world to last for days. So instead, they focused on creating diverse playthroughs in which the story could be replayed multiple times for additional endings.

The Outer Worlds

What is The Outer Worlds' Setting – And Is It Open World?

As mentioned previously, Halcyon is a colony that's certainly not a natural habitat for human life. At the time of your arrival, it is entirely controlled by corporations, which supervise nearly every aspect of the planet and its inhabitants. However, this isn't the only location you'll be visiting. Part of your adventure is also exploring the settlements around you, from space stations to the wilderness of uncharted worlds. And you'll have both a ship and a crew to do it.

As for whether or not it's open world: yes. And also no. Whilst you're free to explore the colonies or planets before you, there is a set time to visit each location. There will be "cut-off" points in which you cannot return to the places you've seen or the cities you've visited. But you will be able to explore at your own pace, as well as return to your spaceship when needed. In addition to this, Obsidian also teased the idea of adapting locations. Depending on your actions in the game, you might find that the consequences of those decisions have affected the worlds around you as well.

How Much Customization Is Available in The Outer Worlds?

Lots. The most obvious way to customize your game is by creating your own character, in which both the appearance and skills can be altered. But as expected of an RPG, there's also a multitude of ways to solve each quest, from a stealth approach to a simple speech check. Even the dialogue will vary depending on your skills, though the protagonist will not have an actual voice for their words. Every decision you make has an impact on the world, so each playthrough is entirely tailored to your customization choices.

In addition to your typical character traits, The Outer Worlds is also introducing the idea of Flaws. Flaws can be gained from your mistakes; if you get hurt, you can select a flaw to reflect it. And each flaw comes with a perk as an up-side. Of course, there's plenty of other traits to invest in, but you get the idea.

The Outer Worlds

What Can We Expect From The Combat and Gameplay in The Outer Worlds?

Despite having a customized character, the game is entirely in first person. But you'll have a great view of the plethora of weapons in the game, both ranged and melee. Weapons can also be modified and enhancements can be picked up which can alter your skills — like drugs, for example. Enemies will vary from corporate jockeys to wild animals, and each have their own tactics in battle. And, of course, slaying enemies will earn you plenty of loot.

Akin to the Fallout games, there will also be a VATS-like system in The Outer Worlds as well, aptly titled the "tactical time dilation". It will slow time, allowing you to examine your enemies for weaknesses before taking a shot. What's different than Fallout's VATS system is that your shots need to be lined up on your own; it won't automatically aim at whatever body part you're attempting to hit.

Will There Be Companions in The Outer Worlds? What Can They Do?

Absolutely. And they can help out quite a bit. Companions are scattered across the galaxy, each with their own objectives at hand. Furthermore, every character has a unique selection of skills and weapons, and will even intervene during quests. You can take at least two party members at a time.

Luckily, if you're not the type to take on a merry band of misfits, the game will also have perks designed for solo adventures. So feel free to tell your new friends to hit the road. Or, if you're feeling a bit merciless, you can even take them down yourself, as every NPC in The Outer Worlds can be killed.

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Will There Be Romance Options in The Outer Worlds?

No. Why not? The truth is that Obsidian did ponder the idea, but ultimately decided against it as to not "water down" player choices. In an interview with Polygon, Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain, the directors of the project, discussed the repercussions of having romance in RPGs:

Other people have explored the romance angle in different ways. We felt like sometimes it kind of waters down your roleplaying for your character because it turns into this mini game of how do I seduce this companion or that companion. So it was just one of the things we felt wasn’t really what we wanted to focus our time on.
And who could blame them? We've played through enough Bioware games to know that romance can get pretty awkward. But despite not being able to woo your companions on a whim, your decisions will still matter to those around you. Each character has unique motives for their actions, and they won't hesitate to leave if you're fighting for a different cause.

Is The Outer Worlds Xbox One X Enhanced?

The Outer Worlds is Xbox One X Enhanced, so Xbox One X owners can enjoy the Halycon system in even greater detail. It's single player, and will be available in 4K Ultra HD. There is the possibility of Obsidian adding mod support to the game, even for Xbox One. Unfortunately, this is merely an idea for now, and the team has stated that nothing is currently in development for it. They did promise, however, that The Outer Worlds will be a game that modders "won’t have a finish on their own". An obvious jab at Bethesda.

Is The Outer Worlds Available on Game Pass?

Yes, the game is coming to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC, tomorrow on its release day. We've just picked up The Outer Worlds achievement list, which is roughly the same as the trophy list, and will most likely be similar for PC as well.

Should I Play The Outer Worlds?

Finally, if you're still unconvinced after reading all of the above and are asking yourself: "should I play The Outer Worlds?", then check out our review. We gave the game a 4.5/5, citing it as one of Obsidian's strongest RPGs yet with complex, branching dialogue, moral ambiguity, a fantastic story, and Obsidian's stellar humour. You can also have a look at our article on The Outer World's placing on Metacritic, which also gave the game a highly complimentary score, and where it even outranked Fallout New Vegas.

The Outer Worlds releases tomorrow, October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds is a new single-player sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.

Additional source: Polygon

We've got the full list of The Outer Worlds achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.

Check out our Best Xbox One First-Person Shooters Available in 2019 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Nicole René
Written by Nicole René
A small-time achievement hunter and a life-long fan of western RPGs. When not missing tedious achievements or being bad at multiplayer games, Nici spends her time writing walkthroughs and reading news here on TA.