Just beat it, some real mixed thoughts (spoilers probably)

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Sahalarious

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Just saw credits roll and man i tried my best to love this game, but ultimately i just kinda liked it for a bit in the middle there. I think the Fallout/Elder Scrolls formula just starts to fall apart when the world is compartmentalized like this, the biggest open world bits felt like a No Man's Sky launch day planet, with some seriously repetitive encounters.

I played on hard, and after a few hours it was clear that 90 percent of all loot was throwaway and just unimportant overall, most encounters were over before i could fire a second shot thanks to the companions, but without them the bland world would have been too much to bear. The main quest bits are all pretty darn short, and require tons of load screens just to report back to characters that send you back where you came from again, and the side quests really began to feel samey, I, like Jeff, found myself doing everything until i was mainlining the rest of the story.

I think the alien variety was lacking, and the 'mega" enemies peppered around felt like an afterthought. Settlements all felt so similar, as did all the space stations/ships, with tremendous amounts of silent, statue-like NPC's with nothing to say. I dont know what happened, but the game just kinda felt washed out, I booted Fallout 4 up after this and it looks considerably better somehow? I will say I had no glitches worth reporting, but I've never been too bothered by any of the FO/ES glitches, maybe through sheer luck?

I'm not just trying to shit on this game, it has some fun skill checks that let me avoid combat often, and there were more settlements to discover in the open world bits than I expected at first, I just wish they felt more consequential. I dont think I bought anything from anyone the entire game. This is really just therapy, as I've put thousands of hours into New Vegas, FO 3 and 4, and Elder Scrolls, not wanting to touch this again just hurts my good good gaming soul. Also, I murdered Phineas and obliterated all the passengers on the Hope, and the writing and confrontations around those decisions were barely there. Oh well.

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ThePanzini

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#2  Edited By ThePanzini

I also found TOW underwhelming but I don't think its structure or scale was the issue.

KOTOR had a similar setup but each sandbox/world told its own story which contributed to a much bigger narrative which you as a player could shape.

TOW doesn't really do this, Monarch is the only location in the TOW that feels complete probably due to budget. I simply don't believe Byzantium single room load screens or Scylla two POI was intentional.

Better than Fallout 4/Skyrim comments are just laughable, TOW needed more elaberate quests and denser locations but its not trying to create the same experience.

FO4/Skyrim sold $40m+ copies and have 20k concurrent players on steam 4 years after release, they're not going away anytime soon.

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Sahalarious

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@thepanzini: Kotor is one of my all time faves, but is a way more focused crpg. This gameplay style, imo, needs a bigger open world, better loot, and a reason to care about money and leveling

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player242

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The Outer Worlds has been my most enjoyable week of gaming this year, and is the clear Game of the Year for me. I didn't realize how much I craved an experience like it for so long.

And it didn't start out looking that way. I was in a way glad that the footage I saw of the game months before release didn't grab me. Thing is, I love my achievements. They add a joy to my gaming I don't much care to analyze why; I only know I value them dearly. Combine that with my belief that the game would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store, which still won't allow them, and I was relieved I had very little excitement.

Then the release week came, along with that EX video with the developers, then Brad's quick look shortly after, and I'll be damned if it didn't intrigue me. I wanted to be the one controlling that game, being in that world. It even looked respectable graphically for the first time, might I say, even impressive in parts. All that earlier pre-release footage, which now I know were limited to Monarch, looked downright ugly to me. What I was seeing now, however, somehow felt like a completely different game all of a sudden. Plus, to my great relief, even if not Steam, it was part of Xbox Game Pass for PC alongside the dreaded EGS. I could have it for essentially completely free, and with my beloved achievements, to boot? Why, thank you!

In short, the game didn't take too long to grab me, and give me that joyful week where I couldn't wait to jump back to Halcyon. The combat difficulty topic is a little strange to me. “It was too easy!” ”It was hard!” “It was hard but then it became easy!“ I mean, what level was your character at, and what level were the enemies? All throughout the game, that seemed to be the one determining factor in how hard or super easy a fight would be. As you would expect in an RPG, and has always been the case.

I travelled to and completely finished Monarch, for example, before ever setting foot on the Groundbreaker. I couldn't do much else but run for my life, but ran I did, got my fragile ass all the way to Stellar Bay without too much issue. Then as I went about completing the quests, I got powerful enough to more and more comfortably clear out all parts of Monarch.

The part I could most appreciate, I guess, is that almost always the game allowed me to put in the little extra effort to give me the outcome I envisioned in my head. Edgewater thriving, yet Adelaide also pleased? You can have it. Peace on Monarch? You got it. Plus, all throughout, there was nothing at all in The Outer Worlds to actively annoy, to take me out of the game.

You mentioned Fallout 4, a game I enjoyed rather more than GB staff, and has put hundreds of hours into, and still came away mixed. Because of all those rotten infinite random quests. Because all the base building, despite a certain addictiveness to it, couldn't stop reminding me how everything is fake and flimsy, when I would inevitably end up with broken, physics-defying floating monstrosities. But the real downer was the ending. When every faction had the one solution: go blow up, murder, exterminate some others. Go kill the same people that have welcomed you in peace, talked to, done quests for. That's not some beautiful narrative purity forcing you to live with the hard choices in my book. That's forcing you be a fucking psychopath.

The Outer Worlds had none of the nasty stuff, and has always respected my time and my wishes. Took me on a joyous adventure from beginning to end. Couldn't recommend it more. Quick aside, I also didn't have the load time issue. I could barely even read the loading screen hints, and I don't have a beast of a PC. Was it perfect? Of course not. Was it an exhaustively gigantic game many hundreds of people worked on? Nope. I kept wishing for more of this, and that, more worlds, more story, more with the companions… All that, however, only suggests to me how much I have enjoyed it, and how excited I'll be for future DLC or a sequel.

It's not a landmark game by any stretch, a title I would without much hesitation bestow on Obsidian's earlier Matthew Rorie's Alpha Protocol, but not everything needs to be. More of your favorite food with none of the bad is still a pleasure. Especially for free. Thanks, Game Pass.

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