FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

The Outer Worlds review (PC/Xbox One)

By Darren Price
Mon 11 Nov 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The Outer Worlds immerses players into a slightly tongue-in-cheek sci-fi role-playing adventure on the far side of the galaxy. Players take on the role of one of thousands of unfortunate colonists aboard the colony ship, Hope.

During the journey from Earth the ship’s engines malfunction. Instead of arriving on a new world in the Halcyon System, to start afresh ten years later, the ship arrives fifty years late. The ship’s owners, Halcyon Holdings, covers the malfunction up and hides the ship and its occupants, still frozen in cryosleep. Thirty-five years later, the player is revived by a scientist and the adventure begins.

The game starts with a sequence very similar to the Fallout games, the questionable Fallout 76 in particular. And this is hardly surprising. The developer, Obsidian, created Fallout: New Vegas for Bethesda.  

Obsidian was founded by ex-Black Isle Studios employees that works on, of all things, Fallout 2. Add in the fact that The Outer Worlds is directed by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky and the game almost becomes the legitimate follow-up to the Fallout games.

The Outer Worlds plays a lot like the Fallout games, but with a bit of Mass Effect thrown in for good measure. Obsidian obviously made notes when working for BioWare as the developers of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. Aside from some very familiar game mechanics, The Outer Worlds is very much its own man and many ways more focused and enjoyable than Bethesda’s Fallout games.

The Outer Worlds is quest-based with the plot moving forward via a main mission thread whilst giving players a multitude of optional side missions to enjoy, as well. Depending on players choices, there are numerous paths that can be taken, allowing for multiple playthroughs.

The dialogue is amusing, but not as funny as it thinks it is. The game’s major draw for me was the world-building. I love the idea of exploring a colony left to its own devices and it all not quite going to plan. Along the way, player meet a multitude of colourful characters, some friendly, others not. There are plenty of moral choices to be made and the colony politics make for some interesting interactions.

The game is vast- set across a number of planets in the Halcyon System. Players get about on the stolen spaceship, The Unreliable. Along the way, just as with BioWare games, players will pick up additional crew members to help them in the field.

The world is full of loot that can be used to upgrade armour and equipment. Players can craft and modify items to help them on their quest.

The game’s 50s-style aesthetic is similar to the Fallout games, but the colourful, detail-packed worlds more akin to those of No Man’s Sky.  Visually, the game looks OK, if a little dated. Whilst not as potato-y as Fallout 4, it’s not up to scratch compared to a lot of games out there.

On PC, the Unreal Engine creaks a little. Even with a top-of-the-range RTX 2080ti GPU, I couldn’t get it to run smoothly without reducing the frame-rate to 60fps.

The game is an Xbox Game Pass game, meaning that subscribers to Microsoft’s game subscription service get The Outer Worlds for free. Premium PC subscribers also get the game for free on PC. The game is also a Microsoft Anywhere title, which means digital PC or Xbox purchasers get a copy of the game for both platforms. Unfortunately, PC saves do not transfer to Xbox One, unlike proper first party games, like Gears 5 and Forza Horizon 4. Still a fantastic deal for PC and Xbox One owners.

The Outer Worlds is a great role-playing game and one that sci-fi fans will enjoy. The story is great and the gameplay polished. The world-building is accomplished- you really feel that you are part of a vest living, breathing (if dysfunctional) colony.

If you fancy a juicy narrative sci-fi game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, check out The Outer Worlds which is available now on Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Gaming
Sony releases a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers
Sony has unveiled INZONETM, a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers that makes gaming more immersive and offers greater gaming ability.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Retailers must invest in new tech to keep up with online shopping demand
There's a higher demand for more purchasing opportunities at our fingertips, as well as greater expectations when it comes to the online customer experience."
Story image
Sustainability
CarbonCrop launches native regeneration scheme, backed by AI
Granted exclusively for native forest, Native CCUs are the first voluntary carbon credits of their kind available in New Zealand.
Story image
Financial results
Margins & revenues up at New Zealand arm of Acer Computer
We look at the local financial statements of Taiwanese manufacturer Acer Computer Inc.
Story image
Wireless
WolfVision releases new Cynap Pure Mini screen sharing solution
WolfVision has launched the WolfVision Cynap Pure Mini, a new wireless screen sharing solution that looks to enable easier and more effective presentations.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review – CleanMyMac X utility for macOS
We get hands-on with a useful utility that macOS users never thought they needed but probably do.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Phillips Hue starter kit
The set-up was one of the simplest I have ever had to do. It is also where the products shine. I was able to connect the bridge, the three lightbulbs and the strip within 10 min.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
Cloud
Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication
Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.
Story image
Gaming
AMD introduces FSR 2.0 giving gaming GPUs a boost
Not only have AMD proudly announced their new line-up of Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, but the company has also unveiled the first games to support its FSR 2.0 technology.
Story image
Film review
Film review: Jurassic World Dominion
This movie is what happens when you cross a lot of hungry dinos with humanity trying desperately to redeem itself for a mistake, and boy does it try.
Story image
Wireless
ComCom finds NZ broadband compares well with Australia
A new report published by the Commerce Commission has found New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) compares well to Australia's National Broadband Network.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Quarry (PC)
Supermassive Games channel 1980s teen horror movies with their latest suspense-filled cinematic adventure, The Quarry.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Morphée
Life in the twenty-first century has become a 24-hour affair. Morphée promises to help restore some balance to your life.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
Cloud
Sony expands X-Series portable speaker range with three new models
The company says the SRS-XG300, SRS-XE300 and SRS-XE200 all contain high-quality and powerful sound pressure due to X-Balanced Speaker Units.
Story image
Cloud
Apple unveils M2 with 50% more memory bandwidth than M1
Compared to M1, M2 has an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, a 40% faster Neural Engine, and delivers 50% more memory bandwidth and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
Story image
Apple
Apple’s watchOS 9 and its new features, including a medications app
The new watch0S 9 gives users more watch faces, an updated workout and sleep app and a brand new medications app.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 16GB PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz DDR4
PNY sent over its 16GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 module kit for testing. The kit contains two 8GB dual-channel modules with RGB lighting.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Cloud
Apple improves Mac operating system with latest offering
Apple has unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Ventura, providing users with tools for greater productivity.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Adobe launches AI-powered updates to Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe says the updates use Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to simplify complex workflows and streamline cross-device collaboration.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
The new Quantum 610 gaming headset is the latest addition to JBL’s Quantum range and the successor to its popular Quantum 600 model.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Automated Guided Vehicles at seaports to grow 26% by 2027
ABI Research says the global use of Automated Guided Vehicles in seaports will exceed 150,000 deployments by 2027. Port authorities are also looking into 5G private networks.
Story image
Gaming
Intel Arc A380 graphics units launched in China, global release imminent
New Intel Arc A380 graphics units are set to bring next-generation technologies to gamers and content creators in the coming months. 
Story image
Cloud
Google announces new version of Chromecast with remote features
Google has announced its newest version of Chromecast, featuring a variety of new features and a new look.
Story image
Cloud
Adobe Substance 3D updates, looks to the metaverse
A look at all of Adobe's major updates for Substance 3D and how its services are enabling businesses to get metaverse ready.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave drive digital transformation for mental health
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave are joining forces to help support the mental health and wellbeing of young men around the world.
Story image
Christchurch
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Cloud
Apple announces new developer tools and APIs for better app experiences
The new announcement encompasses new tools, technologies and APIs that the company says are designed to help developers create better and more involved experiences for their users.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel
When it comes to horror video games, they usually need to have a good balance between suspense and a little bit of action.
Story image
Skills shortage
Tech salaries increase as skills shortage inflates expectations
More technology professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a once-in-a-career market.
Story image
Broadband
Mercury launches broadband and fibre packages for NZ customers
Mercury has officially launched Mercury Broadband, giving its electricity and gas customers the ability to add fibre to their existing Mercury account.
Story image
Terramaster
TerraMaster launches its T6-423 Professional NAS with TOS 5 OS
Shenzhen-based data storage manufacturer, TerraMaster, has launched the T6-423 6-bay tower NAS.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cloud
Hisense launches in New Zealand with new product range
Consumer electronics and home entertainment brand Hisense has launched in New Zealand, bringing its range of TVs, refrigeration, and laundry products to Kiwi customers.
Story image
Remote Working
Hands-on review: EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power station
We get hands-on with an extremely versatile device that every remote worker or outdoor enthusiast should consider.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft launches the Surface Laptop Go 2 with new features
Microsoft has introduced the new Surface Laptop Go 2, adding to the company’s growing portfolio of Surface Laptop devices.
Story image
Cloud
Apple brings redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro to market
Apple has introduced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip.