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The Outer Worlds (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 18 - 2020

Taking The Outer Worlds out and about.

 
There was a massive amount of hype surrounding Obsidian’s planet-hopping action RPG The Outer Worlds, and when the game launched in the latter part of 2019, it proved worthy of the hype. The adventure from the developers of the hugely popular Fallout: New Vegas was everything that the players had expected, and more besides, quickly becoming one of the best games of 2019 in many players eyes. With Nintendo’s Switch wanting to keep up with the more powerful gaming platforms, it was only a matter of time before The Outer Worlds would be ported onto the handheld hybrid console. Virtuos Studios, the team behind various other big name ports, have performed their magic and The Outer Worlds can now be enjoyed on the train or in the local park as well as on the big screen at home. However, there are concessions.

 


 
For those who haven’t had the chance to step into the space boots of The Stranger on other platforms, The Outer Worlds starts by offering a fairly robust character creator. Once created, this character is defrosted from their cryosleep to discover that things are not all rosy in the future. As part of a colonisation ship that was simply left to drift in space, the player was woken up by a particularity quirky scientist who wants the players help. It turns out the the mega corporations that are running things in this system are not doing a very good job and the player will have to gather the necessary components needed to wake up the rest of the colonists and hopefully fix the system. Or not, if they choose.

 
Dropping unceremoniously on the first planet, the player will quickly be given their spaceship, worryingly named The Unreliable. This will need to be fixed before the player can start jumping around the stars, and so heading into the local town for supplies, the player will come across some of those problems being caused by the corporations. A solid stream of main missions will see the player explore the area, while also being able to pick up all manner of smaller side quests.

 
Rather than offering some massive open world, The Outer Worlds is divided up into smaller areas that the player can explore, each of which offer something different to look at and some new problem to overcome. Along the way, the player will assemble a crew of companions, two of which can accompany them as they head out to complete missions. These companion characters are very well written and a joy to spend time with, and can be fully developed and equipped with different gear for the massive amount of loot that they will find or be rewarded with, as the player progresses. Alongside being friendly companions, they will also help out in the combat encounters that will regularly crop up.

 


 
The combat itself is really enjoyable. There are a wide selection of both projectile and melee weapons to be equipped, with everything from the usual types of guns to the more experimental weapons, such as a shrink ray, and weapons can be tweaked and upgraded as the player goes along. They degrade over time, so frequent repairs or replacement will be something to think about. To keep things interesting, there is a time slowing mechanic that gives the player some more control and is fun to use, which can also be upgraded through character progression.

 
There is plenty to do in The Outer Worlds, from collecting loot and completing missions, to spending points in skill trees to improve characters. However, one thing that really shines through is the quality of the writing, and that will keep the player moving more than anything else. There is a dark humour to the stories in The Outer Worlds that is really funny, and some stand out conversations that will stay with the player for some time after. Also, the game doesn’t outstay its welcome, coming in at around 20 hours or more depending on the side quests.

 
The previous versions on console and PC had all of this, and the Nintendo Switch version is no different. Where things do differ though is in the visual quality. While the other versions were not cutting edge in the visual department, they had a lot of detail and a nice style. In order to port the game over to a less powerful console though, much of the detail has been lost in order to try and keep the frame rate stable. This means much more blurry textures and plenty of pop in. The worlds don’t feel as alive as they did previously. As a kick in the teeth, when things get busy the game can struggle with the frame rate, causing frustration. It doesn’t spoil the game, but it is noticeable. The problems are less noticeable when played in handheld mode, but when docked the visual downgrade is far more obvious.

 


 
At the end of the day, The Outer Worlds is an outstanding game. Unfortunately, the Switch version is the worst version of the bunch. It is still playable and great fun, but anyone who has the choice should try and play the game on another platform. For those who only play on the Switch, there will be nothing to compare it to. Those gamers will be treated to an excellent game.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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