Obsidian’s new space-opera RPG The Outer Worlds touches down this Friday, October 25th, and the critics are already singing its praises.
While a few games have reviewed better this year, The Outer Worlds is nevertheless one of the best-reviewed games of 2019 so far, currently rocking an 86/100 on Metacritic on PS4.
That puts it behind some notable titles, such as:
- Divinity: Original Sin II on Switch – 93/100
- Resident Evil 2 on Xbox One – 93/100
- Sekiro Shadows Die Twice on Xbox One – 91/100
- Disco Elysium on PC – 89/100
- Devil May Cry 5 on PC – 89/100
- Link’s Awakening on Switch – 87/100
There are others, but I’m not interested in listing them all. The point is, the best-reviewed games of 2019 have topped off at 93 (a terrific number) and The Outer Worlds isn’t far behind.
Many of the best-reviewed games of the year are remakes of some kind, including the Switch version of Divinity: Original Sin II. A handful are original IPs, like Sekiro and Slay the Spire (89/100).
The Outer Worlds is a brand-new RPG from the makers of Fallout: Las Vegas and Pillars of Eternity. It certainly looks like a Fallout game, and that’s what some reviewers like most about it.
Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica says The Outer Worlds is “the best Fallout-like game in years” writing:
“It’s better at being a Fallout 3 sequel than Fallout 4 was, undoubtedly. But this is still the same gameplay skeleton as Bethesda’s classic, not an utter reworking or a wholly different 3D-RPG perspective a la The Witcher 3.
That’s fine. In fact, that’s more than fine. It’s the best open-world adventure of the year.”
Our own Forbes Games Senior Contributor, Dave Thier, has similar praise, writing:
“So far, this game has its hooks in me. I’ve only explored the colonized backwater, which is most definitely Fallout by way of Firefly, a space western with corrupt corporate chiefs, questionable grifters and a whole lot of people just tryin’ to get by. It’s good stuff, even if nothing earth-shaking so far. Again, with The Outer Worlds, we were promised the kind of RPG we know and love. And that’s exactly what we’re getting, a familiar experience in a new setting.”
Fallout isn’t the only Bethesda game The Outer Worlds is being compared to. Jeff Grubb of GamesBeat writes that the game “is the Skyrim in space I’ve always wanted.”
Grubb actually mentions Fallout plenty in his piece, however, writing:
“But does The Outer Worlds feel significantly different from the Fallout games? Not always. The towns on frontier planets could probably fit right into any of the recent Fallout games. But it starts to feel more like an epic space-exploration adventure when you get on your ship or dock on a space station or an orbiting communications satellite.
“And as I’ve played the game more, even those town and wilderness spaces are starting to remind me more of Firefly than Fallout. And that’s a very good thing.
“I wanted Outer Worlds to make me feel like Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds in the space equivalent of the Wild West. And it definitely achieves that, which is why it is quickly climbing my game-of-the-year list.”
The Outer Worlds fairs worse on PC, unfortunately, with an 82/100 on Metacritic as of this writing.
Most critics on PC give the game a score right around 8/10 (which I consider quite good, though not great). A couple, however, dip below that. For instance, PCGamesN gives the game a 7/10, noting that the game is filled with plenty of “good” content, but only rarely “great” content.
“That leaves you playing hours of ‘good’ just to get to that 30-minute stretch of ‘great.’ That’s not a terrible ratio – especially as my fairly complete playthrough clocked in around 25 hours, not especially long as RPGs go – but it often feels that the game isn’t living up to its full potential.”
All told, The Outer Worlds sounds like a fun, funny and competent space RPG with some rough edges that you should probably expect from an Obsidian game, including bugs and crashes.
At 25 hours (or so) it’s a remarkably short RPG, though given my ever-expanding video game backlog, I’m not troubled by that.
The Outer Worlds launches this Friday, October 25th. I’ll have some thoughts on the game after release.