Obsidian Entertainment is an American game development company that already has a valiant cartel in the market. Just think, for example, that studios have already released games like FallOut New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Tyranny, Pillars of Eternity or, more recently, The Outer Worlds to see what experience they lack.
As I mentioned, last year they released The Outer Worlds for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 and now, in 2020 and 8 months on that release, here comes the Nintendo Switch version.
Pplware has already tried it.
The Outer Worlds is a futuristic RPG, taking place in a distant future in which Humanity has already crossed the last frontier: Space.
The player wears the skin of a settler (The Stranger) who follows in great sleep aboard a spaceship (the Hope) for the Colony of Halcyon. At Hope, hundreds of other settlers follow with the same dream of a better life, but, behold, something happens and the ship is left adrift in space.
Apparently, the mega-corporations at the origin of the trip (which also control Halcyon) considered that the initiative was not profitable and, as such, abandoned it.
The game starts when our character is rescued by the crazy Dr. Phineas Wells. Wells intends to rescue the remaining settlers and save the colony from what he calls corporate incompetence that is destroying Halcyon.
Everything in Halcyon is controlled by these mega-corporations and even the people themselves end up being owned by them. It is a game that has a satirical message about large corporations and the dangers for ordinary people of the extreme power of these organizations.
I must confess that as the game progresses, there are times when the main mission moves into the background. This is because Obsidian created a tremendous universe for The Outer Worlds and full of characters to interact with and side missions to solve.
And here, it should be made very clear that the keyword is precisely “adaptation”. I mention this, because the game has some notable differences in relation to the one originally released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. I could not fail to mention this detail, in favor of clarity and because on the other platforms the game is very Good game whereas , for some problems that you will see below, on Switch I will not be able to classify it as such.
And this, because that detail ends up having a great impact on The Outer Worlds. I believe it is easy to understand that in adapting a game of this nature to a console with less processing capacity, some sacrifices have to be made. This is for the sake of a 'greater good'.
In the case of The Outer Worlds this ‘much bigger’ is clearly the fact that Obsidian has managed to merge an extremely interesting, fun and exciting narrative with a tremendous wealth of alien locations and environments populated by some extremely well-packed 'content ’NPCs.
The Outer Worlds is a massive RPG full of distinct locations and extremely interesting characters.
When we start with the game, we have a more or less complex process of creating our character (physical aspect and skills). It is important to mention that in The Outer Worlds there are no classes, so the acquired Experience points are freely distributed in various skills, thus giving the player the possibility of evolving his character according to his way of playing.
And, as a self-respecting role-playing game, the game leads us to investigate these locations spread over some planets that are inhabited by some extremely interesting (and comical) characters. Here lies one of the riches of the game. This is because, most of these secondary characters actually bring something useful and interesting to the game, either in the form of side missions, either in the form of a story or simply in the way you see what has become Halcyon.
The game takes place both in villages and in full open spaces, thus creating a wide variety of scenarios where the player can walk, with numerous details that are worth exploring. And there are really many reasons to explore every corner of the maps. Either by the existence of hidden loots, or by the existence of NPCs with secondary missions …, or just to observe the work that Obsidian did in the creation of these alien worlds.
However, it is also in these details that the adaptation made for the Switch is noticeable. This, therefore, a low quality in the textures of objects, environment and buildings is clearly noted. It's nothing that makes the game unbearable, but it does give the game a bit of graphics on the Playstation 3 level.
But the biggest problem arises with the fluidity breaks (break of fps) that occur when we advance in open terrain (where there are more objects). The game's enormous effort to render all of these objects is notorious, which translates to a fps ratio with abrupt drops. For example, there are frequent moments when we explore an outside area and suddenly the game stops, as if loading something…
Occasionally, the game has long loading times
By itself, it would not be anything serious, were it not for these loss of fluidity to interfere with the fighting, when we face enemies and it is crucial to be able to aim the weapon.
At the level of combat the game is quite good and exciting. At our disposal we have a vast arsenal of weapons (and their upgrades and improvements). Shotguns, snipers, pistols, swords … just choose.
However, one of the most important (and interesting) aspects of combat is Tactical Time Dilation. This option, triggered by the trigger R1, allows a kind of bullet time that gives you a few valuable seconds to assess the enemy. It is quite interesting, as it even allows you to predict what a shot would do if it were fired in a certain area of an enemy.
Tactical Time Dilation, which allows time and enemies to slow down, is a symptom caused by the years of cryo-sleep.
At the level of armament there is yet another class of armament, very interesting: Science Weapons.
But what are Science Weapons? These are ineffective weapons in firepower, but the effects they have are extremely interesting. As the name implies, they are Weapons of Science and, in practice, they are devices that allow to reach enemies with new forms of attacks. For example, Anti-Gravity, which, as the name implies, is an anti-gravity weapon and causes the enemy to lose gravity and be thrown into the air. Shrink-Ray in turn allows you to minimize an enemy.
The real potential of these weapons turns out to be the possibility of seeing their effects that alter the physics of enemies.
As in any self-respecting RPG, The Outer Worlds has a progression system for our character. It is a system of experience points acquired during missions and exploration of different locations and which allows the improvement of the character's skills in different categories and respective subcategories.
The categories for which we will spend points are:
- Proximity Combat
- Ranged Combat
With the subcategories, it turns out to be a very large ‘tree’ that will have a real impact on the game on different occasions. There is no right path, there is only the path that the player decides and as such, the spending of experience points will have to be well spent according to our objectives (if we prefer distance combat, if we prefer a more persuasive dialogue, etc. .).
There are also Perk Points, obtained by raising our character by 2 levels and allowing us to unlock certain Perks (improvements) in our character. These are passive improvements that allow, for example, a longer life bar, a greater capacity to transport items, a faster Tactical Time Dilation recharge …
One last word for the fact that Obsidian thought about Switch players and the possibility of playing Thw Outer Worlds in handheld mode. Given that it is a game that focuses most of the interaction with other characters through text boxes, it could be problematic to use the console in mobile mode. Thus, Obsidian provided a way to manage the font size of the dialogues.
Bearing in mind that The Outer Worlds for Switch is an adaptation of what was done (and very well) for the remaining platforms, we cannot say that it is a bad game.
The main value of the game is untouchable, that is, the narrative, the characters rich in content, the number and diversity of missions, the exploration of alien worlds, the Tactical Time Dilation. This is the added value that The Outer Worlds presents.
However, the technical sacrifices that were made for the port for the Nintendo console, ended up taking much of the shine that it should have.
- Freedom of exploration
- Skills Tree
- Tactical Time Dilation
- Character wealth
- Science Weapons
- Sacrificed graphics
- Loading times
- Fps breaks