Open World Lite

This article is a ‘reflection’ and containers spoilers. Read at your own risk.

The Outer Worlds, relatively speaking, is not a particularly large game. The median completionist time put it at 35 hours. When I say relative I am of course comparing it to the games it most resembles, mainly Bethesda titles from the Elder Scrolls and Fallout. In fact, we can do a direct comparison with another game by Obsidian Entertainment, Fallout: New Vegas, which has a median completionist time of 123 hours. This is on par with the time I spent on Skyrim, and to me, an accurate representation of the length of games of this genre.

That being said, if you have a massive backlog like I do it’s easy to be grateful for titles that take less time to finish. I originally bought The Outer Worlds on my PS4 at a time where I did not have access to a gaming computer. It was mostly to scratch an itch; I wanted to play something with an extensive story. Unfortunately, the drive disappeared and I only half-finished the game until I decided to take another stab at the game when I bought into Microsoft’s game pass for only $1. Mostly I just wanted to see how the game looked on my gaming rig.

The game is unafraid to let you become hopelessly overpowered…


The Outer Worlds is the closest thing you’ll get to Firefly the game, in my opinion. It has that frontier vibe, emulating the aesthetics you’d expect to see from early Americana. From start to finish, the game thoroughly pokes fun at corporatism and is never short on humor. The world visual style is definitely alien, with heavy saturation; I don’t know of any other game of this genre that is this colorful. The game is unafraid to let you become hopelessly overpowered, which I enjoyed because by the time I got to the end game I didn’t mind that I could wipe a room full of enemies with a few, well-placed headshots done in bullet-time.

I love this neon mess

That being said, there were a couple of frustrations. I will be the first to admit that many Bioware / Bethesda romance options are awkward at best, but not having any options and then ending up playing matchmaker (not once but twice) felt moderately soul-sucking. Not that I felt particularly compelled to romance any of the companions. I mean, look at the roster:

  • Ellie is basically a sociopath
  • Felix is the approval-seeking younger brother type
  • Nyoka is a raging alcoholic
  • Pavarti is awkward to the point that she skirts of the line of being obnoxious and not endearing
  • Max (my favorite companion) is a duality of violence and deep thought
  • SAM is…well SAM

I don’t know. ADA actually seems like a good choice…but she’s a machine. So an absolutely interesting cast of personalities but nobody I’d consider taking home to the family. I think I wouldn’t have minded but the matchmaking of Pavarti left a bit of sour taste in my mouth. This is probably on account of me being an unwitting and perpetually single curmudgeon.

You’re not wrong.

My other irritation was being granted kill-on-sight whilst exploring Byzantium, which was later remedied. But I did spend a fair amount of time trying not to massacre named NPCs.

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