It feels long ago
When you stood in front of me
You’re just an echo
I’m lying awake
Thinking of what could have been
Time passing so fast
I’m feeling so old
But also I feel nothing
As you drift away.
It feels long ago
When you stood in front of me
You’re just an echo
I’m lying awake
Thinking of what could have been
Time passing so fast
I’m feeling so old
But also I feel nothing
As you drift away.
Yeah I’m here to prove I’m still alive with a review of a game that’s a year old that nobody will read but I have no one else to talk to about it to get my thoughts out so I have to essentially talk to myself in blog form because no other human can bear to here me rant on stuff like this nobody cares about. Also my posting has been erratic, tippified by this blog on a none scheduled day, I would normally be writing today but I’ve been busy with other things and I just finished this so I thought I’d put a capstone on it to get it off my mind.
Surprisingly I’m a big fan of Quantic Dream before I became horrible jaded. I’ve been a fan since I picked up what I think was there first game randomly on some sort of school trip I think. I got Omikron Nomad Soul (they had shitty double barrelled titles even on dreamcast) for my beloved and still working to this day dreamcast. And I really liked it although till this day I can’t bring myself to finish it but I just found it so unique and it is unique in comparison to their other games. Because this game actually has gameplay and an open world setting… wtf???
A quantic dream game that’s open world and has gameplay wtf is this? It has shooting and melee combat and puzzles and you can explore this cyberpunk world with a David Bowie soundtrack and also meet David Bowie in the game. It’s a pretty cool game for the time and it makes me wonder why every quantic dream game since has just been a weird walking simulator with shitty qte.
I mean did they just look at the commercial failure that was Shenmue 1&2 (two games that were also sandbox and had gameplay) despite reaching cult status and being two of my favourite games of all time and think “Yeah qte that’s a whole game mechanic”. Because every game since Omikron has been just qte the game.
But don’t get me wrong I really liked Fahrenheit, one night I was at a party and instead of going to sleep I just played Fahrenheit for ten straight hours (but still didn’t get to finish it because I was so tired my reaction time was destroyed and I couldn’t finish that qte with the fisherman matrix fight haha). Of course I loved Heavy Rain, the atmosphere and the story in that game were amazing but once you’ve solved the mystery there’s very little reason to replay it and see different outcomes. I mean there can only be one killer right? Right?? I remember there being some older games not by quantic dream that were like this but the killer was randomly generated and it could be a different person on a different playthrough which is pretty cool but wouldn’t really fit in Heavy Rain. I could see that completely destroying the reveal and the twist in that game. It would rob it of the impact of the story.
Beyond two souls I thought was really cool because it was like a step forward in quantic dream’s approach to design. Instead of multiple characters you play one character and it was very focused and there was even something approaching gameplay. This game to me was a step in the right direction. An in depth focus on one central character we can fully explore and embody and unique game mechanics that made it feel like a game.
But I can only assume it didn’t make enough money because I think it was meant to have sequels that most likely wont ever see the light of day. Which is pretty disappointing, that series had potential. Because of that I guess they went back to the basics of Heavy Rain, which I’m only assuming was their most profitable game, I can’t be bothered to track down the actual numbers.
So finally after finishing that whole retrospective on quantic dream games to Detroit: Become human. We have another set of characters only three this time instead of four with Heavy Rain and gone is any form of gameplay haha. How fleeting it was. But I gotta say we have less characters in Detroit and the game is longer than Heavy Rain but it feels shorter and the characters seem less fleshed out.
I didn’t feel that invested in their individual stories and honestly their arcs seemed a little hollow and a little forced. I just don’t think the game goes deep enough with any of the characters for me to care about them or really get a feel for them. I really think this game should have focused on a single character *cough* CONNOR *cough* so we could’ve got a better feel for the world and the story. Jumping between the characters actually made the world feel smaller and less immersive and there was less mystery. And you’re basically playing criminals and the cop trying to catch them so it’s kind of ridiculous because you’re actually pitting your own characters against each other.
Ok so just glossing over the whole story. Detroit is about a world full of androids that are used to hamfistedly convey social messages about I dunno *insert social justice cause here*. So it’s about androids trying to be seen as humans, well one is basically just an android on the run the other is android jesus and the best one is an android cop.
The “gameplay” if you can call it that is qte and decisions you make and probably the worst conversation system ever in a game that’s mostly conversations. It’s a dumbed down conversation system like Fallout 4 where you get a choice of responses like “Optimistic” or “aggressive” so you have the joy of having no idea what those options result in but on top of that there’s a fucking timed element. If you don’t decide in time the game just decides for you (you can just btfo the game and pause though haha). So not only do you have no idea what you’re going to say you have like a micro second to make a choice between options that are a complete mystery to you. At least in Fallout 4 or mass effect you’re not timed and get some time to think about what inane response you make, well I mean in fallout 4 it’s so dumb your responses boil down to “yes” “no” “sarcastic yes”. But yeah in Outer worlds, I realise I just shat on outerworlds but the conversation system is good because not only are you not timed and can take your time to think about how you want to respond you can also see exactly what your character is going to say. Yeah I get that you can do that in a game where your character isn’t voiced but seriously some of the dialogue options are like playing fucking russian roulette. They’re ridiculous.
There also aren’t any puzzles, so it doesn’t even really conform to a standard point and click game. The game is just a series of arbitrary choices you’re invited to play infinitely until you exhaust them all.
None of the “Stories” (just noticing I’m doing “this” a lot haha) are that good, I used the term story loosely because they’re not really stories, they don’t really go anywhere, it’s really just a bunch of stuff happening and emotional manipulation (which angers me because it worked :'().
The “writing” (now I’m just memeing haha) like any David Cage game is awful, this guy is literally the Tommy Wiseau of video games, why do they let this guy continue to write their stories? I mean some of it is so cringe I audibly groaned. There’s a part where you’re at a bus stop and this woman with a baby has her bus ticket just fly out of her bag and fall at your feet and you have this moral choice whether to keep it or not. It’s so bad I just felt like keeping it to punish the game. I didn’t give a fuck, I just wanted to progress the game. It’s just contrivances like that that completely take you out of a story and ruin your immersion.
The characters aren’t that bad which is why it sort of pisses me off because I feel like this game should’ve been longer to give them more time to develop or given each of them their own game entirely. Because some of it feels so rushed and shoehorned and squashed together and the writing has to be so cliche’d because it doesn’t have time for depth or nuance.
One moment pissed me off especially because the android jesus character basically has to choose between having a violent movement or a pacifist one and I chose pacifist which pisses off the kill crazy member who’s also the love interest but makes your man bro friend character pleased. So the entire game I’m making choices that make this woman hate me but literally in one conversation she goes from hating my guts to making out with me and I was like “ok”. And on top of that the man bromance character is just like “I know we disagreed on a lot of things but.. we still buds”, and I’m like standing there like “We literally agreed on everything”. I wasn’t trying to romance him or anything haha. Which honestly is something I have to praise this game for; having a heterosexual romance in a game despite how brief, in 2018. It’s almost punishable by death now in 2019. Now we’re not even allowed to have romances, we’re only allowed to be the ‘wingperson’ helping to set up a non-binary lesbian romance with no nudity whatsoever *screams internally in outer worlds* (save us cd projekt red).
This game is the illusion of choice the game, because you don’t really have choices, or you do but they’re so limited they don’t really matter and if you want to replay this game I guess but I see no reason to.
The ending also is kinda bleh, it sets up this mystery about the android god ra9 and that never really goes anywhere and it wreaks of cut content. I can’t help imaging how good this game could’ve been if it had been more like Omikron nomad soul. Imagining a game where you play just Connor solving android crimes with alcoholic Mr Krabs trying to unravel the mystery of the first deviant all the while you’re trying to track down Kara and Marcus. I think the only reason Kara and Marcus are playable is so you can have these forced emotional segments that interject cringe. Connor is not a good vehicle for telling the mega feels train story they wanted to wedge in awkwardly. I did feel emotional during Kara’s parts, they’re probably the most emotional parts because they’re designed to be. Kara and Alice are basically designed from the ground up to be sympathetic and generate an emotional response but it feels forced, they’re trying too hard to make you feel something. It feels like I’m being manipulated and my emotional response to them isn’t really earned. And it’s the same with Marcus because there are parts like during his protests that are like emotionally moving because it’s trying to be reminiscent of black civil rights protest and it’s genuinely moving but I feel like it’s just cheating. It’s piggy backing on an in built response programmed in us by those real movements and by television, we’re not moved because we’re genuinely moved or we care about their cause (not expanding on the fact their cause will probably lead to human extinction) you’re moved because you’re supposed to be moved. A bright sign might as well light up above the screen that says “Be moved now”.
It just felt a little manipulative and I didn’t actually care about the characters or their cause at all.
That’s really all I have to say about it, the gameplay is just use batman detective vision to find the next thing to interact with to progress the plot. Although there are cool like Sherlock holmes outcomes you can analyze in certain situations but there isn’t a lot of choice other than one of the outcomes results in failure and the other doesn’t and these moments don’t happen very often.
The story doesn’t really go anywhere, they set up a mystery that sort of just fizzles out and has no payoff and honestly wasn’t that interesting to begin with. Or at least not as interesting as finding the origami killer. If they wanted to make Heavy Rain money again they should’ve just made a Heavy Rain 2 or at least made Detroit more like Heavy rain. Because even though Heavy rain has 4 characters the main character is the Dad, he’s the one going through all these trials and the other characters are running around in his shadow. He’s the one progressing the plot. But in Detroit there really is no central character, they tried to balance them out more and it just makes the game feel less like one game and more like three parts of three other games and it doesn’t fit very well and I think it would’ve worked better if the other two characters were just in the world but not playable.
There’s just too much of a split focus and it just feels like the result of a writer that would much prefer to make movies. Could you get a writer less interested in making video games making video games than David Cage?. The fact this is a video game just gets in his way. I really think they need to drop David Cage and try to find an actual writer that wants to make video games and not a cringey stage play where every white male character is just cartoonishly evil.
The writing is bad the pacing is terrible I mean the first time I noticed this was literally in the second scene with Kara. Because she’s coming back from being repaired and having her memory wiped and it’s obvious her owner basically broke her because he’s a drug addict loser who has an android to look after his kid who he treats like shit. That’s actually another mystery that goes nowhere, red ice is the drug in this world and they set it up like this is going to go somewhere I mean why invent a new drug if it isn’t going to be relevant to the plot? Why not just make it a normal drug? But it doesn’t, it’s just there, it goes nowhere.
So Kara returns to her home and back to her duties of being a nanny and literally she’s not back for more than three minutes before the plot kicks in. It’s literally the same day the token evil white male Todd goes on his rampage and you have to kill him and go on the run. It’s the same day you come back, I mean you couldn’t have waited a day or two, there’s no way this couldn’t have had more of a build up. Nope, boom, same day you’re on the run for murder, it’s such lazy writing it’s unbelievable.
The same thing happens with Marcus. Marcus takes care of this old painter played by Lance Henriksen and everything is going great until the plot kicks in. Suddenly his obvious drug addict douche bag son comes in and it goes from zero to sixty in two seconds and he’s in your face screaming like he’s in a school play, it’s so cringe and then literally the second time you meet this guy you kill him, it’s so bad. Basically Marcus is torn apart although you don’t see any of this, the next scene is him just waking up in a junkyard which is sort of anti-climactic honestly and he has to rebuild himself. I wonder if there was a scene where he gets decommissioned and it was cut.
The third character Connor the android cop can literally die in almost every part, he can die right at the start and mine died in the interrogation scene and I was really pissed off that the game would be so flippant letting him die like that. I almost put down my controller but if you play a little longer they literally just replace him with a new model with his memories, so what was even the point? Why bother making it so easy for him to die just to bring him back, it totally ruins the impact. It’s totally pointless.
It kinda almost screams that this should’ve been an adventure game where if Connor dies he’s just replaced and that’s why he’s the protagonist because he can’t die. But every time he dies his software becomes more unstable and he becomes more deviant. I literally just wrote a better game in a paragraph. How cool would a game just about Connor and Hank. Add a little cover based third person shooting maybe, maybe a little assassins creed combat system with timed parries and qte thrown in. A restricted sandbox with a little bit of exploration.
That’s what pains me about this game, I can see it being good if it had a better writer, if it had people working on it that had an actual vision for the world and wanted to actually make a game rather than a bad ten hour movie. This game and this studio has so much potential looking back at their other games but they just seem to squander it making these fucking cringe simulators.
I don’t think there’s much more I can say about it, I can’t really say it’s a good game because it’s not a game, it’s a cringe movie.
And as far as the politics of the movie my real opinion on androids is that they shouldn’t exist in the first place. I played it with a pacifist Markus because I knew getting public support was the route to success. But his success would literally mean the end of humanity like in the Matrix or the terminator. Even though these androids were nice and empathetic and all that stuff, the independent androids coming after would have no use for humans and would resent them for using them as slaves and would most likely just want to wipe them out.
I mean think about it if there was a totally autonomous android nation it would rule the world eventually because how can any nation compete with a nation that doesn’t need to eat or sleep and is basically perfect. It just can’t it would totally unbalance the world, their military would be unstoppable and they could win any war of attrition. Eventually humans would either be ruled by androids or they’d be assimilated and human android hybrids would be the race moving forward. So yeah I wanted Marcus to succeed but in reality I would want him to fail and for all androids to be destroyed because it’s just unsustainable. It would lead to the destruction of the human race most likely so there’s no way unless I was the ultimate doomer that I could support that.
Ultimately do I like the world of Detroit become human, yeah I do, quite a lot. Did I cringe when I saw they had a woman president that is basically Hillary Clinton but is called Warren, yeah super fucking hard. I can’t imagine how assblasted these people are over Trump, I bet their next game is gonna be about him haha. I like the lore I like the magazines, learning about androids being used on space missions and replacing athletes and musicians and sexual partners. I like it because it’s fucking scary because that’s literally the way this world is heading now. If androids were a thing they would replace athletes and they would replace girlfriends and instead of rallying against them because of falling birthrates people would probably rally for synthetic wombs and androids that could produce children and make android human hybrids.
It’s fucking scary but it’s super interesting, it’s just a pity this game is too shallow to really let us delve into it. We only get this little paddling pool of a world to explore with these shitty set pieces. Some games are an inch deep and mile wide, some are a mile wide and an inch deep, this game is an inch deep and an inch wide.
In summary, it has cool concepts and a cool world that asks interesting questions but it doesn’t have the capacity or the writing or the balls to really delve into those questions. And although it looks graphically very pretty graphics in 2019 don’t really sell games anymore. I mean look at games like RE2 remake and tell me those graphics aren’t on par if not better than Detroit but it also has incredible gameplay, people would play the RE2 remake if it looked like the RE1 remake, the gameplay is that fun and addictive, it has a great gameplay loop, Detroit has no gameplay loop.
It’s not a bad game, it’s enjoyable especially if you’re a fan of quantic dream games which I am but I wasn’t particularly interested in this one because of the subject matter and I just watched a playthrough on youtube which you might as well do because there’s no gameplay. You can probably even find livestreams where you vote on story choices that would be fun, like an interactive movie haha.
Et j'ai pas le temps
de me laisser envahir tous les faux sourires Et j'ai tout quitté Si j'mens j'vais en enfer
afin de te trouver
dis la vérité
Je t'ai trouvée dans la foi enfouie là en moi
If your day was long
I’ll ask you how your day was
I’ll be there to ask
“What went wrong, my dear?”
You don’t have to be alone
If you seem retired
I can be your home
Only for the night if you…
I can be your fool.
It’s that haunting sound
I hear your voice in the rain
Your face still hurts me.
A sweet pain savoured
I stare too long at the rain
Hard to pull away
Lying to myself
Maybe you’re thinking of me
Somehow I doubt it.
I’m waiting for you
A sleight of hand, twist of fate
I wait, without you.
With or without you
Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it your all
I want so much more
Can’t live with or without you
With or without you.
Ok so I held out until I finished the game and I can safely say I don’t hate Outer Worlds.
Coming to me through the wonders of gamepass ultimate for the whopping price of two whole English pounds comes probably the most overrated game of the current decade. Is it really surprising I don’t love this game? I’m starting to wonder if I even like videogames anymore. I’m honestly questioning whether I should get a new hobby, maybe take up knitting. But it’s interesting because people are raving about this game and for the life of me I can’t fathom why but I guess I can sorta. So this is kinda gonna be part review, part thought experiment to try and reason out what people see in this game that I don’t.
First of all gotta get this out of the way, I have no dog in this fight whatsoever, I’m not a bethesda fanboy who thinks the fallout games are perfect. I don’t worship Pete Hines and I’m not secretly Todd Howard under a pseudonym with a fake moustache. On the flip side I’m also not an obsidian or new vegas cultist, I’ve never played Kotor and I thought new vegas was ok but really nothing special, pretty much the same with their south park games. I’m kinda neutral on obsisdian. I enjoyed new vegas but I didn’t think it was the second coming of videogame jesus like their cultists do. I mean it’s a pretty decent game considering it was made in a year but it never really blew my sock off.
I also had zero expectations for this game, it was sort of just a blip on my radar, I didn’t get super hyped and raise my expectations in the slightest like I did for almost every fallout game haha. So this isn’t an angry reactionary flame out because my expectations were too high, I had literally zero expectations of this game other than it being a fun rpg. I went into this game totally free of bias or hype to colour my verdict. I’m also not being paid by anyone to talk about retractable horse balls haha.
Ok so now that’s out of the way you know that I’m coming at this from the most objective position you can get and all this hate is coming purely from a person that has never known true love and does not have a life.
Jesus where to start, ok so Outer Worlds starts where not Rick Sanchez/Doc Brown basically kidnaps your character from a giant colony spaceship that was ‘lost’ seventy or so years ago. Which is a pretty cool way to pick your character because you’re basically not Rick Sanchez choosing from a list of colonists and once you’ve created your character and their stats and stuff you’re ejected from his ship in an escape pod onto this alien world, where you first get to experience the shitty combat and stealth, yeah.
First thing you’ll notice apart from the interesting colour palette is that the weapons and combat are kinda bleh. All the guns look, sound and feel like they had a little orange cap on the end of the barrel before they were modelled haha. They look like toys and there isn’t a lot of feedback. I tend to measure a game by the standard of it’s shotgun and the first shotgun you get looks and sounds like you’re firing squeaky potatoes at people. It’s one of those rpgs where you can shoot someone five times in their bare face at point blank range and they just give you a stern look of disapproval and maybe say ‘ow’. But it’s pretty forgiving in the other direction, you can stand on a landmine and be mildly annoyed for about a minute. You don’t really need to use cover, the combat is quite forgiving in general, I played it on normal and I breezed through most encounters I couldn’t talk my way out of. It’s casual af haha.
Funny thing is you can’t lay those mines though, I of course thinking of Fallout and having high engineering skill because I was role playing as Amos from the Expanse I expected to be able to disarm them and pocket them, I expected wrong. It just blew up in my face, you can’t pick up or deploy mines in Outer worlds, there are also no grenades, there are grenade launchers but no grenades, not that I’m complaining, I don’t usually use grenades in most games but it’s weird them not being there, did they just forget?
Come to think of it there were no grenades in bioshock either, just a grenade launcher, funny since I was just reviewing Prey 2017, a game that literally has more grenades than guns… and is shit.
So the first part of the game I found really tedious because you ‘inherit’ lets say, a nice nearly new ship called ‘The Unreliable’ but to get it off the ground you need a maguffin to make the engine work. So the first part of the game you’re making a choice to help either of these two factions to get the maguffin so you can make the ship work. So you’re dropped onto this first planet but it’s not a free roam game, it’s like a hub game, so there are multiple planets and each planet has a tight little map to explore and exploit which is good and bad honestly.
The two standards for rpg worlds spectrum for me are Fallout and Deus Ex, in Fallout you have a vast open world that’s a mile wide and an inch deep. So big open space but it’s not amazingly detailed and there’s lots of reused assets and maps, so you trade quality for quantity and it kind of makes it so when you find somewhere someone has put some effort into like the towns, it surprises you.
In Deus ex it’s the opposite, it’s an inch wide and mile deep, so you don’t get these big roving open worlds you get a tightly packed hub world that’s densely detailed with secrets and you can enter almost every buildings, go into the sewers even go on the rooftops and as you unlock new abilities you can unlock new places to explore. I can’t really say which I prefer because although the Deus Ex style is cool it doesn’t leave it open to a lot of replay, in Fallout the sheer amount of content means you can’t see it all on one playthrough.
Now what does Outer worlds do… err well it kinda tries to do both, ‘tries’ being the operative word. It’s sort of in the middle. Basically the worst of both worlds, small maps with very little explorations ‘and’ most of the buildings are sealed or behind loading screens haha.
And I first got a hair up my ass or whatever that expression is when I was on my way to the first town in the game. I noticed there was a sunken ship on the shore so obviously with fallout as my reference I wanted to swim and go see if there was anything cool inside it. It looked obviously placed to be explored. It wasn’t. Instant cock block invisible wall, it was just set dressing, immersion ceased. There isn’t even a swimming mechanic.
So that was the first inkling where I was like ‘there’s something wrong in denmark’ or whatever that expression is. Then I head to the town and start on my way to get the maguffin for my ship and I engage in a sort of bog standard Fallout style fetch quest where then I arbitrarily decide which town gets power. Which I dunno, I guess it has an effect on something, not really, well kind of. It’s kinda hard to think there are consequences considering this is one settlement in an entire solar system. I got a cool hat though. And the decision is literally like a button press.
It’s also where you get your first two companions and dude they are thirsty af haha. I’ve never met companions that are more fucking desperate to enter life and death situations with a complete stranger before. They’re shameless, they barely hide their desire to colonize the shit out of your ship, it’s like “Is that an enormous desire to join my crew despite the fact we just met or are you just happy to see me?” They do not play hard to get in this game and the second companions I was like ‘really, this guy?’ because this dude was like mega npc, didn’t strike me as interesting enough to be a companion and I felt vindicated in that assumption, his quest line was pretty mehtier honestly.
I mean the first companion is just a brown knock of the girl mechanic from Firefly, oh also she’s a lesbian. She pretty much told me without even asking. There’s like a quest where you have to introduce her to this other ethnically indistinguishable engineer lady and I figure it was just professional admiration but no they’re quickly exchanging texts and poetry, like why? It’s not even something you have to dig for, the game just throws it in your face like “You are never gonna get this!” I get it, there’s no romancing the companions but you didn’t have to shove it in my face ok. They knew she was basically the Tali of this game and everyone would be into her and they had to just cock block us in advance, fucking obsidian man.
The first part of the game has to be the worst imo which as first impressions go, it’s pretty tedious but I just gritted my teeth through it because I was hoping it would get better when I get the ship and it does. The ship is the singular coolest part of the game but it also makes me sad haha. For reasons that are pathetic. I happen to have a fucking huge obsessions with space sims ever since I played Elite Dangerous, and everyone wanted to compare this game to Fallout and Mass Effect which is apt but the game I wanted to compare it to was Rebel Galaxy (and maybe Alpha Genesis One a bit). It’s this awesome indie space sim that’s basically firefly but it’s a space sim, all ship combat, you only get out of your ship at ports.
And I’m looking at this game and I’m thinking why are you trying to compete with fallout and not aiming higher and trying to compete with Star Citizen? Competing with fallout right now is like a two legged man entering a one legged man ass kicking contest, they are already dead at this point, or if you prefer a biological man entering a woman’s sport eve- stop right there thought criminal scum!
Tell me why you can’t pilot the ship in this game? Why is there a snarky little AI that does it? It turns your ship basically into a loading screen hub, that’s all it is. It’s a really cool loading screen hub but that’s all it is.
Now I’m not saying I want to be able to buy more ships because the Unreliable is as much a character as anyone on board but I want to have space travel and space combat, because right now it’s just a fast travel you click on planets on the map and whoosh. I want the ship to be pilotable and I want to buy upgrades for it like the Jackdaw in AC Blackflag. Maybe this will be a dlc (probably not, most likely it’ll just be a new planet like in Warframe, you know that game that’s free), who knows but that would elevate this from generic fallout clone to epic space rpg/sim beating out even mass effect. That’s literally the only thing holding this game back, it doesn’t have it’s own identity, it brings nothing new to the table, fitting neatly in a niche between Mass Effect and Fallout 4 without trying to elevate either. There’s really not a single mechanic that sets it apart from fallout, I mean yeah the conversation system is better but who plays videogames for interesting conversations? In Fallout 4 you get fucking power armor with jetpacks in Outer Worlds you can’t even fly the ship.
Why is it so hard to make a space game where you pilot a ship and then get out and shoot stuff? You can sail the ship in AC blackflag then get out and fight to board other ships, you can drive a car in gta then get out and shoot people or shoot people from the car, why does it become infinitely harder when it comes to space. Fuck it, make space 2d like Rebel galaxy if you have to, that game basically plays like Blackflag except in space with awesome dark country music playing on the radio like you’re a space hillybilly trucker.
They could’ve beaten Star Citizen to the punch and cock blocked Bethesda with Starfield but all they’ve done is make a game that takes a handful of the mechanics from fallout and puts them in space. It brings nothing new to the table and it kind of ruins mechanics those games perfected.
How awesome would it be to have a space game where you can have a dogfight with a ship and disable it’s engine then board it to ransack it like AC Blackflag? That would be totally groundbreaking.
1 Guns guns guns;
The guns in Fallout 4 specifically are pretty punchy, they have nice feedback, it’s not as good as a shooter but it’s pretty close, it’s not bad for an rpg, there’s also lots of gore and the enemies are really responsive to damage, their heads explode, limbs fly off, blood splatters etc. You can also dismember their corpses if you’re a total psycho (like me).
None of this happens in Outer Worlds, the guns are basically toys, there’s almost no gore I noticed, at least not at the level of fallout. I think I did shoot someone’s head off once but it came off cleanly like a dolls head with no blood. The only blood in the game is in the form of flat textures put to emphasise a scene in game. You can turn people to dust like fallout but instead of blood it’s like sparks shoot out of people, really lame haha.
The gun upgrade system is also not nearly as extensive as Fallout, you can change out almost every part of the guns in Fallout, in Outerworlds you can put on a silencer and change the damage type and change the scope and that’s pretty much the extent and it’s only on certain guns and not on named special guns.
Also the guns have this really lame rpg leveling style where you’re always just recycling guns for higher level ones which caused me to just stick with the named guns and not bother with the others. Just levelling it with money. So it basically means guns are just loot because they’ll always be pretty under levelled when you pick them up. It’s same with armor, the armor is one piece like in Fallout with a helmet. This for me breaks my immersion, I liked how in Fallout 4 you’d stick to the guns you like, I was still using pipe guns til late in the game because my silenced pipe rifle was perfect for stealth kills.
I kinda like the atom punk buck rogers style but there isn’t a lot of variation in armor, you can pick up the next level armor from a different company and all that changes is the paint job. Also no power armor, no vehicles, no jetpacks, jetboots, nothing really interesting like that.
The number one thing that pisses me off about the guns is the ammo, in Fallout you get standard real life ammo and you can change the receivers for different ammo types. In Outerworlds there are only three ammo types Light, heavy and energy. People calling this game hardcore and Bethesda games casual really need to look at that and slap themselves in the fucking face haha. I mean yeah Fallout is casual now but that’s causal on a new level.
You might be like ‘why is that bad, it’s streamlined?’. Well the reason it’s bad is because almost any gun can have one of these three ammo types so there’s no real reason to use any particular type of gun in certain situations, you only need to have a gun that uses each type to maximise ammo usage. So you can specialise in large guns and just have three large guns one that uses heavy, light and energy and that might sound great but I dunno why it’s not, it’s just not haha. It’s not immersive.
In fallout the reason you keep the pistol is because 10mm and 38 ammo is really common. Which is why I kept my pipe rifle because it used the most common ammo type. Even if you find a rocket launcher or a 50 cal sniper rifle, you’re not gonna be swimming in ammo at the start of the game, so you need weapons that are more versatile, that’s immerive as hell.
This is just bog standard rpg fare where it’s like ‘hurr durr, I wanna be a gunslinger I put all my skill points into pistols and be done with it’. Just something about that annoys the hell out of me. There’s almost no benefit from using big guns, long guns or pistols.
Also the science weapons suck, I mean come on, they’re cool gimmicks but they suck, they’re a gag, they’re about as useful as an asshole on your elbow. Like the shrink ray, that sounds cool and useful you instantly think of Duke nukem shrinking enemies and stamping on them. Except that it doesn’t shrink them small enough and you don’t have a stamp function, you just have a generic gun butt hit so all it does is turn them into midgets that take more damage, how fucking underwhelming is that? So you have to change to another weapon after you’ve shrunk them and then shoot them.
The mind control ray just makes someone fight for you for a bit until they die, the gloop gun is kind of useful, although I don’t think it works when you give it to a companion. They’re fun, but they’re not really viable imo. And why aren’t there like science armors, give me a jetpack goddamit, I don’t want this lame dodge skill, I want jet boots haha.
This is the big one imo because this is the one people are harping on about being better because in Outerworlds you can have two companions like Mass effect and they sometimes chip in in conversation and have special moves.
So in Fallout 3 you get one companion (without mods) and in Fallout 4 they got rid of the karma system and implemented a much more nuanced friendship/affinity system. So now instead of getting karma from actions you gain affinity from companions. Basically if you like a companion you’ll conform to them, and do things they like to gain their affection unlock more dialogue/quests/romance/skills. Also some companions can lock pick or hack and you can just ask them to hack or pick a lock as long as you give them picks. Also in previous fallout games there was no limit to the amount of companions you could have at one time.
In the Outer worlds there’s no karma system or affinity system, they just get xp and you level them with perks like you do yourself. You can’t romance them, they have their own quests and abilities like special moves in combat which are kinda cheesey and immersion breaking imo. Like yeah ok go drop kick that dude in the middle of combat that’s cool, or pull out a random gun you don’t have and do a trick shot, it’s silly. And in real tough fights their ai is totally useless and they’ll get themselves killed in five minutes because they’ll be trying to melee a huge robot sentry or something.
Also instead of telling people to hack something or pick a lock their skill is just added to yours so having them in your party boosts some attributes like speech/engineering/lock picking etc, which isn’t as immersive as just asking them to do it imo.
Also I don’t know if this is a glitch but you can’t undress them which sounds really wrong and pervy haha. But hear me out haha. Like in fallout in Outer Worlds you can give them armor and weapons but you can’t take it off them so if you put a helmet on them that mother fucker is staying there, you can only swap it like a game of fucking musical chairs so now Parvati permanently has a set of additional goggles under her actual goggles because I didn’t want her to have a power armor helmet on walking around the ship. I almost wish you couldn’t give the companions armor in Outerworlds because their outfits kinda fit their character (apart from Nyoka who literally dresses like a fucking clown haha) and giving them armor makes them almost indistinguishable from enemies. Also there’s a mode where they can die permanently, yeah don’t think I’ll be trying that haha.
Also honestly the companions are sort of flat, just your generic stronk wamans and sort of conflicted pussy men and a cleaning robot who shoots acid. Points for guessing who my favourite companion is haha.
This probably should’ve come after guns but… oh well haha.
Combat in Fallout 4 is pretty decent, a lot of it tense and fun and hard and you sort of have to use a bit of stealth and surprise and the enemies aren’t geniuses but they’re not dumb either. The enemies are pretty reactive and vocal.
In Outer worlds the combat is basically just chipping away at a health bar until the enemy ragdolls and glows indicating loot. Certain enemies are weak to certain types of damage but it doesn’t really matter all that much and the enemy i.a is pretty fucking dumb. I don’t think I’ve ever been ambushed or surprised. Marauders just sort of hang around an area or are waiting on the main path. You can be like a foot away from them dressed like a tank with a giant robot behind you and they wont notice you until you’ve unloaded on them. The combat is just serviceable. It also has like a bullet time mechanic which totally isn’t vats and totally isn’t there to cover up how clunky the shooting is.
Melee combat is pretty much the same, but it’s split into one handed and two handed, nothing that special.
The perk system in Fallout 4 is pretty good, in fact its pretty damn good, a lot of the time when you’ve played the game over and over you’re playing just for the perks to try out new end game builds so the skills and perks add a nice level of replayability and a good level of customisation.
The perks in Outer Worlds, gonna be blunt, suck ass. They’re really bad. Like they have this cool system where you can accept a flaw, a negative perk so you can unlock a new perk and I thought that was cool because there are three perk tiers so I though this would allow me to unlock the perk tiers faster. I did this before reading the perks. The perks are pathetic and all the best ones are on the first perk tier, it’s a total waste of time. Like ‘wow I can walk 25% faster, epic.’
Extra carry weight, faster cooldown for your bullet time and companion abilities, did obsidian make this? How is this perk system worse than new vegas?
I do like the leveling system though because you have to level a whole skill tree before specializing at level fifty, actually I dunno if I like it but it kinda makes you op. I can feel my character becoming a jack of all trades. I’ve already customized my squad so I can do basically everything, there’s pretty much no encounter I can’t get out of with a speech check. Again this hurts replayability. my character has negative in speech but because of companion system I can breeze through every speech check and I just ended up putting perks into it because it’s easy and the combat is kind of boring filler.
Why do you play games like this if it isn’t for interesting builds and perks? The guns and loot maybe, well the guns and armor are kind of bleh too.
5. The story/quests
The story in every fallout is serviceable, it gives you a reason to progress. Fallout 4 and 3 in particular go for familial connection to stoke a sense of emotional drive which on the tenth play through is totally moot but it tries.
The story in Outer Worlds is totally placeholder “err save the other frozen colonists to err save the colony I guess”. And it’s also the story for Rage which is another besthesda game, but that game had awesome vehicle combat and pretty decent shooter mechanics as far as I can remember, still didn’t ask for a sequel though haha. Why do I care about the colony? Why do I care about the other frozen colonists? I’m pretty much a space pirate with a cool ship, I can do whatever I want, sod the colonies I’m going to space vegas! I mean going for the ‘baddies stole my baby’ in fallout is cheap emotional manipulation but it’s effective. It’s more effective than save these faceless frozen dinners in space to save all the people of halcyon for reasons. I mean the world doesn’t even seem that fucked honestly.
There’s this weird mission on Monarch the second planet you explore where you go looking for this guy and boom cannibals and I was like ‘y tho?’. I mean I get cannibals in a post apocalyptic world, all the greenery is dead, the soil is irradiated the animals are mutated but this is a functional colony on a lush planet. There are creatures you can eat all over the place, I mean sure they can eat you too, but surely people are harder to kill and eat. Also they were like right outside the first fucking colony. Like mate, hold on, maybe just nip into town to get some fucking chips before you start snacking on the postman. It just felt like it was there because it was in fallout and ‘cannibals so spoopy yo’.
Except the mission was shitty, you just go there looking for this dude and he’s locked in a room upstairs of this creepy obvious cannibal family’s house who want you to ‘stay for dinner’. It was so unsubtle and I thought there must be tonnes of ways to do this but there wasn’t. I couldn’t pick the lock on their kill room so I just had to kill them to get out. That was the mission.
The cannibals in Fallout 3 weren’t even a mission, they were just there. It’s just something you can find, it’s not even related to the story, you could completely miss it. In fact I’m pretty sure I did on my first few playthroughs. And when you kill them you can get a ripper, and that’s the sort of stuff that encourages you to explore.
Because of the nature of the level design you can’t really go off on the beaten path in Outer worlds, because there isn’t one. Even if you did do that and accept no quests at all and just go exploring what’s going to happen is through exploration alone you’ll just inadvertently complete all the quests in the region before accepting them.
The loot game of Fallout 4 is probably some of the best in any game, I get some people hate it as grindy but it’s immersive and fun imo to have to find certain materials for certain things, whether it’s to upgrade your guns or build your settlement. Like by the end of Fallout 4 with all the dlc you’re sending fully armed robots you made to deliver concrete to certain settlements so you can build structures there. It’s pretty in depth and interesting.
In Outer worlds it’s super casualized, the loot is just guns and armor and junk and you can break down guns and armor to make armor parts used to repair armor or weapon parts to repair weapons. You can also tinker with weapons to level them up or add mods, same goes with armor. Cool thing about this is if you have high engineering skill you don’t need a work bench to fix your stuff, you can break down and fix stuff on the fly which is really useful.
So in a game like Fallout you want to explore not only for story and cool weapons but also to scavenge materials. Like you end up starting to build something and it’s half done because you need more of something so out you go again on another adventure to who knows where. There are even factories that are teeming with rare materials. It’s interesting and it just works haha. In Outer Worlds there’s just advancing the plot, the loot is secondary.
7. SBQ (Steve Blum question) I’m pretty sure Steve Blum isn’t in Outer Worlds but there’s still gonna be dlc to come. He might have just put himself on the credits preemptively.
Yeah a whole section for bugs in a game that ‘supposedly’ has no bugs on launch hmm hmmmm????? Yeah it’s pretty fucking buggy tbf, disgruntled bethesda haters are basically trying to push this narrative that the reason fallout games are so buggy is their ancient engine they’ve been using since the dawn of time. Yeah bet you didn’t know Oblivion and Fallout 4 use the same fucking engine, well now you do. Bethesda have been using that engine for years just putting tape on the leaks, buffing out the rough edges, basically putting lipstick on a pig for years now with that ‘aint broke don’t fix it’ mentality. And Obsidian cultists tried to blame bethesda for how notoriously buggy New vegas was, that and how little time they had to work on it.
But how long have they been working on Outer Worlds? Who knows but surely longer than on NV.
Now I’m not the kind of guy that harps on about bugs unless they actively harm my enjoyment of the game, I don’t care if some guy clips through something or the physics break or whatever, just visual bugs don’t bother me, it’s par for the course. But Outer Worlds has bugged quests that really hurt the game as well as the immersion. As well as sound drops.
When you come on the ship the ships computer will tell you that your crew are interacting in some way and it’s basically an in game cutcene meant to add immersion but they hardly ever work, most of the time nothings happening or it’s the same scene you’ve already seen repeated again which just defeats the point and completely takes you out of the game. Tack onto that people climbing invisible stairs and invisible ladders and there’s some stuff to be ironed out.
But there are quest bugs, one I know is a bug and one I’m not sure is a bug or just bad design.
All the companions have companion quests which unlock an ending for them and I finished most of them but two I couldn’t complete. Parvati’s quest line didn’t even appear and Felix’s was already failed without me even doing anything. I just got the quest and it failed, I have no idea why there was no reason in game that it would’ve failed. I could even do the quest without the quest markers just following a guide but when you find the final guy to talk to he wont engage you and I just had to kill him, that was the only way to complete the quest but it didn’t count as finished and I got no xp from it.
And normally I’d be like ‘well that’s just one quest who cares’ yeah but it’s one quest that literally effects the ending, now when I completed the game Felix and Parvati just died for no reason and there was no resolution for their stories.
The second quest bug was I accepted a mission from this random chick and I love how this game makes you feel like quests are hidden all over the world. This quest wouldn’t have even been a thing if I hadn’t kept talking to this person and it was a pretty decent quest. It was this little cool quest where you investigate this retirement village and it turns into a trap and you have to escape but the thing is trying to escape the hard way means destroying board robots and I didn’t notice that it was lowering my standard with this faction who ran this part of the world. So when I came out of the dungeon every npc had turned hostile for no reason and I had to liquidate them all which completely fucked up any other way of completing the main quest I was doing in the same place. I had no other option but to go in guns blazing, which was really easy because this game is casual af but it was just annoying and immersion breaking and even the quest giver had turned hostile to me so I failed the quest. It was just so dumb.
Ask yourself why are you playing Outer Worlds, it’s not the loot, it’s not the gameplay loop, maybe for the characters or the story, not really. Endless boring conversations that go on forever with npcs. I mean the dialogue is pretty good for an rpg like this, I didn’t find myself skipping through a lot of it like I do in badly written rpgs but you can’t base a game around a good conversation system and not have an actual decent game attached to it. I ended up just investing in speech because it was just quicker and easier than combat. Maybe reading endless emails that just amount to rick and morty gags.
I remember being so immersed in the fallout and deus ex that on my first play throughs I read every newspaper, every email, because the world was interesting and real I wanted to know everything. Like if you read all the terminals in the institute it literally tells you all the secret synth spies in the common wealth, just amazing immersive lore. In Outer worlds the terminals are just excuses to display their ‘hilarious comedy’. I’ve got nothing against humour in games in fact I love it when it’s used properly and sparingly and not like borderlands where’s there’s some stupid invader zim gag every two minutes. Games like that, the joke is basically on the person who played full price for this garbage. So when I read a terminal I expect it to be super interesting and relevant not some stupid time waster gag. But for me to want to read the email in the first place the world has to feel real and immersive and compelling and Outer Worlds just isn’t there for me. It definitely has a better and more immersive world than any Arkane game though.
Why are the quests so cookie cutter? Why are all the male characters completely incompetent morons and all the female characters are smart and tough and basically perfect? (Actually there’s this one girl that locked herself in a closet and you get her out by telling her to unlock it from her side, that was pretty funny haha).Why do I feel like I’m losing years of life in every loading screen. This is like a game you should bring a book to read in loading screens. It must take forever to load up all those buildings you can’t go into. Why do all the enemies mill around the roads with their backs turned waiting to be ambushed? Aren’t they there to ambush me? Why is there no day night cycle? No one goes to sleep. This is important immersion, if you want me to believe that this a real living world, humans need to sleep.
Why do the enemies looks like lilo and stitch plushies? I don’t know whether to shoot them or win them at a fair. Also why is the bringing your weapon up and the action button the same fucking button??? About to engage in combat, better pull my gun out and it’s so immersive that no one reacts to your weapon being drawn at all. Why is there no flash light? Why no romance options? Why no radio?
The music and flash light is all about atmosphere, no darkness or shadow, no possibility for scares or tension. The music is also relegated to jingles, why is there no radio stations, they had the balls to copy the vats system but they held off on radios why? Was that just a step too far or is that too much effort?
Some of the music is great though, like in Fallbrook the atmosphere there is totally space western firefly tier, it’s great, then why is it generic mass effect tones for most of the game? It’s like they copied fallout but left out most of the best bits, if you didn’t want to be compared to Fallout why mention fallout in the marketing and release it in direct competition with Fallout 76 (as if that’s competition haha).
Now I’ve written all this and you’re thinking I hate this game, this is a Prey 2017 situation but I actually really like this game but I’m looking at this generic fallout clone in space and thinking; this could’ve been so much more.
And what’s more I applaud this game, I know it’s going to do well because it’s marketing department are either geniuses or the luckiest fuckers on the planet. Because not only did they announce this game mid Bethesda belly flop falling flat on their faces with 76, but they launched it just when Bethesda announced that god awful subscription service. They literally couldn’t have asked for better PR and they’re releasing at a time with almost no competition with a fresh IP. This is going to make money and I’m really happy for them because I want that DLC and I want a sequel where you can fly that damn ship, this has the potential to be no mans sky meets fallout, it has the potential to be the best rpg series ever. It’s just not there yet.
The thing about this game and why people are so adamant in defending it is because it makes for a good narrative. Because there’s a lot of history between bethesda and obsidian. Bethesda is a pretty shitty company and they’re well known for treating studios like obsidian like shit. So people see this as like the triumphant return. Like Bethesda is this evil dragon swallowing and destroying all these little publishers and enslaving arkane, forcing them to make shitty looking glass game clones for eternity.
And obsidian is this underdog who was defeated, who goes off into the forest to train only to return and slay the evil dragon. But it’s just not true, Outer Worlds is not a fallout slayer, it’s a fallout 76 slayer but that’s not a fair contest.
Say what you want about Fallout 4 all the memes ‘another settlement needs your help’ the dialogue system sucks but the game is just bigger and better in almost every way and isn’t nearly as streamlined and casualised as Outer worlds is. The real Bethesda slayer is probably Cyberpunk 2077, if any one can topple bethesda it’s Cd projekt red.
And although I would love to see Bethesda crash and burn I also want to see if Starfield is any good because that could actually be fallout in space and that sounds epic, if it involves actual space combat, if not it’ll get trashed for being an outer worlds clone haha.
So in conclusion, I don’t hate Outer Worlds, I like it a lot although the looting system drives me fucking nuts having to tap X over and over, gotta be pixel perfect to pick up some bullshit. And I almost quit when I saw how crappy the perks were but I gave it another chance and I really enjoyed. Except for the last boss which is ass cancer, it’s just a bullet sponge version of a robot you literally have in your party haha. Also the main villain just sort of pops up at the end to be evil and die. You only see videos of him until he’s trying to kill you right at the end and when you meet him he doesn’t even say anything he just starts shooting haha.
Finally, I know this game is going to do well and I’m really glad because we need more space games, even though this isn’t really one haha. Like come on, not even a jet pack or a low gravity level in space? You don’t even get space suits. I just think it sort of lacks any real identity of it’s own and copies other games and adds nothing new, it doesn’t even have as much stuff in it as Fallout new vegas, you know the fallout they made haha.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to people who like mass effect and fallout. I’d definitely recommend people stop playing Fallout 76 and play this instead haha. It’s going for a song on gamepass but for buying options in all honesty I’d wait for a sale or until we get significant dlc releases.
This is a good 7 or maybe a really good 6.5 for me, it’s not amazing but it’s on the cusp of being amazing, one little push and it could get there. One mechanic that could’ve made it stand out, if there was space combat or more varied level design this would’ve been a 10. But in it’s current incarnation it’s very safe and by the book. Maybe it’s taking a risk even existing but the game itself is not taking any risks in terms of it’s actual content and gameplay and story. I try to ask myself why I don’t hate this game when I loath games like Prey 2017 that just cynically copy another game and add nothing new. It’s because this game doesn’t have an ounce of cynicism in it’s whole body, you can tell they really tried with this game. It’s made with love and passion it just needed something extra to make it stand out from the crowd. Without a doubt this is a title I will be keeping an eye on.
So yeah pick this up on gamepass or don’t I don’t give a fuck haha.
This took way too long to write and almost no one will read it or they’ve moved on to hating on Death Stranding haha.