Tag Archives: the outer worlds

The Week In Games: Outta This World

The Outer Worlds comes out this week. For many fans, this is the true follow-up to Fallout New Vegas they’ve been waiting for. But it isn’t the only big and exciting game coming out this week. Get ready folks, it’s a busy week!

I have constantly mixed up The Outer Worlds and Outer Wilds when talking about these games with other writers at Kotaku. It doesn’t help that they are both games set in space and both are part of Xbox Game Pass. One day my brain will get this figured out, but for now, I have to double-check if I’m referencing the right game every time I write about it.

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As mentioned earlier, this is a busy week with games for everyone across all platforms. The Outer Worlds comes out this week, of course, but we also get some other big games. For wrestling fans, WWE 2K20 comes out this week. (Though that game sounds like a mess this year.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes out this week too, with PS4 and Xbox One cross-play available right at launch. Wild! And for fans of remakes of old games, MediEvil comes out this week too for PS4.

And still, other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, October 21

  • Eastshade | PS4, Xbox One
  • Monaco: Complete Edition | Switch
  • The Forgettable Dungeon | PC
  • Mystery At Stonyford Bridge | PC
  • Mahjong Royal Towers | PC
  • ED-IT | PC
  • Return Of The Zombie King | PC
  • Zyxia: Neon Termination | PC

Tuesday, October 22

  • Street Outlaws: The List | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Beholder 2 | PS4
  • Mary Skelter 2 | Switch
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III | PS4
  • WWE 2K20 | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers | PS4, Switch
  • Raging Loop | PS4, Switch
  • Skulllgirls 2nd Encore | Switch
  • Moons Of Madness | PC
  • Spin Rhythm XD | PC, Mac
  • Day And Night | Switch
  • Tangle Tower | Switch
  • The Park | Switch
  • PBA Pro Bowling | Switch
  • Knight Swap | PC, Mac
  • Flatland Vol.1 | PC
  • Outscape | PC

Wednesday, October 23

  • Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient | PC
  • Dredgers | PC
  • Norman’s Night In | PC
  • Dungeon Explorer | PC
  • House Of 1000 Doors: The Palm Of Zoroaster | PC

Thursday, October 24

  • Dark Devotion | PS4, Switch
  • Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Ghost Blade HD | Switch
  • Door Kickers: Action Squad | PS4
  • Lethis – Path Of Progress | Switch
  • Creepy Brawlers | Switch
  • OxLOGIC PUZZLE 1000! | Switch
  • Haunted Halloween 95 | Switch
  • Dark Veer | Switch
  • Anthill | Switch
  • Winter Sports Games | Switch
  • Vortex Attack EX | Switch
  • Rise Of The Slime | PC
  • Potion Paws | PC, Mac
  • Alpha | PC

Friday, October 25

  • Pixel Gladiator | Xbox One, Switch
  • Into The Dead 2 | Switch
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • The Outer Worlds | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • MediEvil | PS4
  • Soul Searching | Switch
  • Pizza Bar Tycoon | Switch
  • Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska | Switch
  • Let’s Sing Country | Switch
  • It Will Find You | PC
  • Space Road | PC
  • Survival Vacancy | PC, Mac
  • Coloring Game: Pixel | PC

Saturday, October 26

  • Daylife In Japan – Pixel Art Jigsaw Puzzle | PC

Sunday, October 27

  • Space Space | PC
  • Il Sole e la Luna 2 | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

The Outer Worlds Is Just As Screwed Up As Real Life

Screenshot: The Outer Worlds (Obsidian)

Before one of the designers of The Outer Worlds talked to me about the game he worked on, he commented on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer patch on the back of my denim vest.

Brian Heins, senior designer at Obsidian Entertainment, liked the patch. We’re both big Buffy fans, it turned out. My mother and I devoured the series in highschool, once staying up all night to finish the fifth season. The patch on my vest features an illustration of the title character and a quote from the fifth season finale: “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

That quote was at the top of my mind as I played The Outer Worlds, which comes out on October 25 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s a role-playing game set in the far future where a capitalist nightmare has overtaken the galaxy. How would I live in this world? What kinds of choices is it forcing me to make? What, if anything, do I believe in?

The visual motif of The Outer Worlds is “Norman Rockwell, nostalgia-style artwork, that idealized view of life, but used as a tool of propaganda,” Heins said. “Everything related to a product is very happy and cheerful. The corporations are trying to make their employees feel better about their lives: ‘Look at all these wonderful things you can buy! Isn’t it great that we give you these things?’”

In The Outer Worlds, you may not be the chosen one, but you do end up navigating a complicated, conflict-filled world, trying to figure out where you fit. It is a world of dueling perspectives, and as the player, you have the power to decide who to empower.

Heins said that although the situation seems pretty grim for some of the characters you meet, things are actually going just fine, as long as you’re the head of a major corporation.

“This is the idealized capitalist utopia because there’s no regulations, no restrictions. What matters to them is maximizing profits,” he said. “It’s a little bit of the 30s to 50s, that whole idea of a corporate town. Everything comes from the company you work for, there’s a company store you buy things from. So all your money goes right back into the company.”

The influence from history is clear in The Outer Words. Each of the corporations has a distinct flavor, promising different benefits to its employees. In Fallbrook, the town I visited during my time playing the game in the Take-Two offices was run by the corporation SubLight. They were rough and tumble, with a bit of a western flair. Unlike other corporations I had seen, they seemed a bit more willing to admit that their gains were ill-gotten. It was as if the mob got incorporated.

“One of my favorite characters is one you haven’t met yet. She’s a representative for The Board. She’s fairly high up in The Board’s organization,” Heins said. “She’s just got a very brutal practicality to her. It comes from a space where the colony must be run efficiently for everyone to succeed and survive. Anything that gets in the way of that efficiency must be eliminated for the sake of the entire colony—which gets very dark, very quickly. But it’s all from the perspective of, ‘yes, I must make these hard decisions so everyone can prosper and succeed.’”

The Outer Worlds is fantastical, but its problems are ones that are familiar to me. Even the corporate phrases are ones I recognize from various meetings I’ve had to sit through.

Heins said that “we’re all a family” is one of his favorite examples of corporate phraseology. “When you have CEOs making hundreds of millions of dollars a year and people making below minimum wage or barely minimum wage to get by, those aren’t the same teams,” he said. “They’re not even the same game.”

Framing these issues in science fiction terms made it feel less like I was being lectured to. That distance creates a space for self-discovery, where you can learn a lot more about what you can believe through the choices you make.

I remember gasping in delight as I wandered into Fallbrook, which is forested by saturated purple and orange trees. The warm, orange glow of the light made the whole town seem comfortable and homey, until I went up to people and started talking to them. It’s easy to get engrossed in The Outer Worlds, as it’s just enough like our own world that we recognize it, but far away enough that it doesn’t feel like a rehash of the day-to-day. Both in the tone of its writing and its atmosphere, the game plays a delicate balancing act between the things that you recognize and the things that you don’t.

This interplay between the fantastical and the ordinary was put there with a purpose. “At a certain point [in development], everything was just alien. It just started being normal, and not interesting and unique,” Heins said. “The fact that you keep going back and forth between the mundane and the extraordinary—the extraordinary retains its feel of being something new and unique.”

The Outer Worlds doesn’t create something new out of whole cloth. It weaves familiar things from history and our current political issues together into something that allows you to understand yourself better. Even Heins said that he felt challenged by some of the points of view of different factions in the game, but the exercise of judging your reaction to differing viewpoints is what helps you form your own.

“There’s a quote I remember—I don’t remember who says it, but it’s like, ‘the unexamined opinion has no value,’” Heins said. (He may have been thinking of Socrates.) “If you’re just saying it because that’s what you’ve been told to say, then you’re a parrot.”

Source: Kotaku.com

The Outer Worlds Is An RPG About Controlling The Narrative

If you fall into the category of people who believe that 2010’s Fallout: New Vegas was the best game in the series, then The Outer Worlds might be for you. Last week at E3, I spoke to the game’s co-director, Leonard Boyarsky, for a bonus episode of Kotaku Splitscreen digging deep into this cyberpunky role-playing game.

In a behind-closed-doors session at a booth belonging to Private Division, the Take Two-owned publishing label behind The Outer Worlds, a few developers from Obsidian Entertainment gathered to show off the game. Playing through a 20-minute demo, they shot and bartered their way through a mission on a failed colony planet called Monarch. It looked great, combining sci-fi gunplay and abilities (plasma rifles! slow time!) with the massive dialogue trees and branching paths that Obsidian fans expect. The demo showed off a variety of different ways to approach each chunk of the mission, and it looked weird, quirky, and fun.

Then I spoke to Boyarsky about developing The Outer Worlds, player choice, gunplay, the scope of the game, and much more. Listen above, or read an excerpt here:

Jason Schreier: Obviously this is a game about player choice, but it’s also a game that explores some very relevant political topics: corporations, dystopia, capitalism. Is there something you’re trying to say with this game? Is there a message you’re trying to send?

Boyarsky: Ironically, when we first started this, it didn’t seem quite as prescient as it does now, cause we started it in April of 2016. It’s become a little bit more pointed than we had hoped… Even more than this being about capitalism or corporations, it’s really about people controlling narrative and stories. And if people control the story you tell yourself, then they kind of control you.

We always love making a game where the player comes from outside, and we’ve done that again here—you’re coming into this world where all these people have been indoctrinated into this way of thinking, and even the people who are rebelling against it have been brought up in that system, so the ways they think about rebelling against the system are also created by the system. So the player comes in and looks around and says, “This is insanity.” That’s really where we were at, and it seems a lot more prescient and pointed than we may have originally wanted it to be. It obviously talks a lot about corporations and how they are, so that’s not an accident, but we’re all about exploring philosophical themes while having a fun, great game experience.

We don’t ever want it to get too heavy. We don’t ever want it to feel like we’re lecturing people or that we are trying to make a very specific point. We tried really hard to make sure that no matter what character it is in the game, they feel like they’re very realistic and they have realistic motivations. When you talk to the people on the board, they have a very realistic, or at least understandable, outlook. You might not agree with it at all, but it makes sense why they think that way.


For much more, listen to the entire episode. As always, you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Google Play to get every episode as it happens. Leave us a review if you like what you hear, and reach us at [email protected] with any and all questions, requests, and suggestions.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Outer Worlds E3 Demo Featured Flexible Combat And Strategic Lying

E3 2019It’s time for the biggest gaming show of the year. We’ve got articles, videos, podcasts and maybe even a GIF or two.  

This week, my colleague Jason Schreier and I had a chance to sit in on a demo for The Outer Worlds, the newest game from Obsidian Entertainment. Outer Worlds is a first-person role-playing game where you find yourself stranded on a distant planet fighting against a giant megacorporation. I get the feeling this might be that role-playing shooter I’ve been craving.

The Outer Worlds demo we saw started in the outpost’s central town, where you can change up your load out, accept missions, and meet new companions. From there, the developer ventured out into the hostile colonized planet and faced both human enemies and monsters. The demo featured a plasma carbine rifle that was effective at range on human enemies but could be charged up for a huge blast for larger monsters like the Mantiqueen: a giant mantis-like alien that the developer avoided, explaining that it could jump into the middle of a fight and give you even more to manage on the fly. They also showed off a glowing samurai sword that could be used for stealth takedowns and melee attacks, though sadly, they just swung it in the air a few times and put it away.

The companions you can choose to venture out with each come with unique combat specializations. Nyoka, the “Big Game Hunter,” has a massive gun that doles out tons of damage for larger foes. Ellie, another companion, is a medic who can help keep the group alive. However, characters also have out-of-combat stats that can help you during certain interactions. Ellie, for example, has a decent amount of points in the “lying” category, which allows her to access dialogue options that would otherwise be unavailable. As a result, choosing companions is flexible and offers a variety of gameplay possibilities.

My favorite part of the demo was in a control room that overlooked the next room they needed to enter. There was a main terminal that could have been used to manipulate the robots and eliminate all of the human enemies inside, making the room trivial. Unfortunately, no team members had enough hacking points to select that option. Instead, there was the intercom—and using Ellie’s ability to lie her ass off, they basically told everybody to leave the room. Which they did. I love that.

The level of depth in the dialogue choices, combat, and even mission structures was fun, and I can’t wait to tease out what else the game has to offer. Jason will have an interview with one of the developers of The Outer Worlds on Splitscreen, so be sure to listen to that, too.

Source: Kotaku.com