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Fallout Worlds is one of the best... ahem, sorry, I keep slipping with the name. This week's The Outer Worlds is a brand-new game, set in a brand-new universe, but in nearly every way that counts, it's a Fallout game.
For one, the team at Outer Worlds creators Obsidian Entertainment includes team members from the original Fallout's development. That team later stretched its "3D Fallout" wings in 2010 by making the revered Fallout: New Vegas. So much pedigree, plus a late-2018 trailer that looked Fallout as all get-out, set serious expectations for this week's game launch on Windows 10, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Even if you were to start playing Outer Worlds oblivious to those facts, you wouldn't need long to feel a sense of déjà vu. The Bethesda series' trappings, for one, are all over this offline, single-player Obsidian game. Create a character with a wide range of combat and non-combat ratings—and make tough decisions on which of those abilities to spend the most points on. Then dive into a first-person RPG where the game teases a ridiculous number of options and strategies to proceed.
Want to be a goodie two-shoes? Follow quests' orders and avoid combat. Want to raise hell? Ignore your stated objectives, kill anything that annoys you, and pick up useful weapons, items, and keys that still somehow get you to the end. In either case, expect a ton of characters in a ton of cities to offer a ton of dialogue.
On paper, that above description should've been 2015's Fallout 4. But opinions on that game were divided, and I counted among our staff's most disappointed players. Its plot dragged with boring characters and unclear momentum. Its world looked chunky, repetitive, and ugly—and not in an "it's the apocalypse" way, either. The world was redundant. Its "settlement" system required too much investment with too little payoff. For every blip of surprise, excitement, and power armor, so much of the package otherwise felt flat.
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