Bullet Time, Puppy Phobia & More At The Outer Worlds PAX East 2019 Gameplay Showcase

Open world RPGs are nothing new these days, least of all the first-person shooter types. We’ve been there, done that with the likes of Fallout, Borderlands, and even the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.

Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is another such entry in the genre, and from what we gleaned at the gameplay walkthrough at last week’s PAX East, we are certainly in for something fresh. So far, we’ve learnt about how fluid and flexible The Outer Worldsstory options, reactive and emotive NPCs, and so on.

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But those were mere glimpses. The 20-odd-minute walkthrough at PAX East gave us a little more insight as to what we might expect from Obsidian’s new dieselpunk RPG shooter. From the looks of it, we’re quite impressed.

One of the striking features of The Outer Worlds as seen in the demo so far is the sheer amount of dialogue options presented to you. Depending on the stats you have, previous locations you’ve visited, or even the items you own, you’re able to make different choices based around those parametres.

With a high enough Persuasion stat, you could bluff your way into a maximum-security facility without so much as to shake a couple of hands and bat your eyes a few times, or you can simply bribe them with a branded weapon (yes, in-game product placement is real!) to get your way. Coupled with Obsidian’s intelligent, yet snappy and punchy writing (they freaking did Fallout: New Vegas, after all), and you have yourself a really funny sequence of lines that don’t feel dumb at all. Also, you always have options with which to be just a full-on murderhobo. No, seriously, you can kill literally anyone in this game. Just do it in moderation, especially if you still want to buy stuff from merchants.

Secondly, you’ll find that you’ll be entering into real-time dilation a lot when in combat. In this brief span of time, you’ll get to move while everything is slowed down considerably, allowing you time to line up a good shot at specific body parts of your foes, dealing different types of damage.

This is akin to the V.A.T.S system in the Fallout games. How different they are exactly wasn’t fully explored, except that the devs explained that this feature was developed especially for those not very proficient with FPS titles, allowing them to focus more on the story at hand. Of course, you could always control your companions to do the killing for you.

We also got to see unique weapons called science weapons.These are presumably rarer variations of the standard weapon types present in The Outer Worlds. What makes them interesting is their inherent abilities, unique to each weapon. Such as the Mandibular Rearranger as seen in the video, which literally rearranges the facial features of the one who was struck by it.

This idea, the devs explained, was actually birthed from a bug that they encountered in a much earlier build of the game. They fell in love with what it did to the facial assets of their humanoid models that they decided to make it a feature in this science weapon. That, of course is just one of the presumably numerous weird and wacky science weapons out there in The Outer Worlds.

Finally, we got to see the interesting Flaw mechanic. These Flaws are acquired when certain parametres are met, such as being attacked by Canids (the in-game hounds) and whatnot. When these kick in, you’ll receive a debuff, hindering your combat prowess (and presumably your social skills to, if that’s possible).

On the plus side, though, you do receive a permanent Perk point to upgrade your skills with, so it’s not all that bad. You’ll be able to acquire more Flaws at higher difficulty settings, potentially ending up with a very flawed yet mechanically superior character in the process.

With all these features still seeing refinement in the leadup to its potential release this year, The Outer Worlds certainly looks like a promising new take on the tried-and-tested RPG shooter genre. It’s a sad thing for gamers that it’ll only be made exclusive on the Epic Games Store at launch, though.

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