The Outer Worlds, the next game from the developers at Obsidian, might be the game I’m most excited for in 2019. Helmed by the original creators of Fallout, it appears poised to be the New Vegas successor that everyone has wanted for years. Just don’t expect it to be quite as vast.
The Outer Worlds, which was announced last week at The Game Awards, is a sci-fi role-playing game set in a universe where corporations have taken over everything. Obsidian communications director Mikey Dowling showed me footage of the game in Los Angeles last week, and it looks excellent, primed to be a charming, funny game full of dialogue choices and interesting decisions. With Fallout 4 disappointing some fans and Fallout 76 launching in rough shape, The Outer Worlds could be just the RPG people have been craving.
Just calibrate your expectations properly. The Outer Worlds, which has been in development since late 2016, is published by Private Division, a label of Take-Two Interactive (parent company of 2K and Rockstar) designed to make “AA” games. They’re not indie, but they’re not big-budget “AAA” RPGs like The Witcher 3 or Fallout New Vegas, either. So don’t expect The Outer Worlds to be quite as vast, with a massive open world in which you can get lost for hundreds of hours. This will be a very different experience.
There are two planets in the game, Obsidian says, although they’re not open worlds—they’re compartmentalized. Each of them contains several areas to explore, and Obsidian says there will be plenty to do, but the scale will be very different than New Vegas. “While we aren’t discussing the exact amount of areas, a good bit of context for the approach is to think of what we did in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, with potentially more ground to cover and explore in each area,” Dowling said in an e-mail.
Not that this is a bad thing. To those of us who don’t have tons of free time and love the idea of an RPG that can be finished without sacrificing an entire month to the scheduling gods, The Outer Worlds seems just perfect. But with all the Fallout New Vegas comparisons floating around, it’s important for people to know exactly what we’re getting.