The Outer Worlds E3 Demo Featured Flexible Combat And Strategic Lying

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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.

Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.



Really nice impressions Paul. The game does look really dope and I’m really looking forward to seeing this play out. Obsidian games tend to be buggy and rough around the edges due to shortened development cycles, but their writing and game systems are always on point.

Did the gameplay demo they showed off look pretty polished for a game that doesn’t come out for another 4 months?