16th April 2021

Recommended Game – The Outer Worlds

Nobody with an ear to the ground in the video game industry escaped the announcement of The Outer Worlds, from the developers of the original Fallout series and Fallout New Vegas. Nearly everybody cheered the announcement, including myself. The game looked to homage countless classic works of science fiction, and I looked forward to getting the game to show my late father. He passed away unfortunately before I could grab a copy.

outer worlds
This is the mode I prefer. In this article, you’ll find some tips to make your Supernova playthrough as painless as possible.

This is a bit sappy, and I apologize, but while playing through this game I constantly imagined his reactions to the things I saw. Chuckling at the Moon Man mascot and retro-futurist designs, perhaps wincing when a marauder’s legs got blown off. This is very much a game for adults with genuinely mature plot elements and themes, and I approve of it.

outer worlds
Wah Wah Wah, it’s Rizzo’s! You’re going to see a lot of advertisements like this across Halcyon. I actually love the theme songs for the companies, but they rarely play in the game.

The Outer Worlds is first and foremost an adventure. One set in a sci-fi future that works as a dark and hyper capitalist mirror to early 20th century America. This isn’t surprising, considering the creators are those that produced the charming and terrifying world of Fallout.

outer worlds
Yes, it’s yet another failed attempt at a utopia… But this time, you have a chance to bring it back from the brink.

I throw around the term hyper capitalist for good reason. The Outer Worlds takes place in a space colony called Halcyon. Halcyon is made up of several planets, each terraformed to allow human habitation… Mostly terraformed anyway, civilization exists wherever it can in the Halcyon colony. Halcyon is owned and operated by corporations, without oversight or restriction of any sort placed upon them.

outer worlds
I just love the contrast of architectural styles here between the church and the retro-futurist frontier town.

As such, conditions for factory workers are predictably miserable. Medicine is reserved for top performing employees, with sickness blamed on a weak mind causing a weak body. The rule of the companies can best be described as two thirds idiocy and one third despotism… Yet the average worker is fanatically loyal to their oppressor.

outer worlds
Some of the beliefs inherent to OSI.

The practice of scientism, formally known as OSI, is the official faith of the Halcyon colony. OSI stands for “Order of Scientific Inquiry” and functions as something of a pro corporate religious philosophy. OSI describes our place in the universe as predestined and fixed, dissuading unhappy workers against developing ambition for a better life. I’m very interested in OSI, as it seems to consist of some genuine religious philosophy with strong Buddhist and deist influences. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that scientism and OSI predate the Halcyon Colony by a great many years. That said, the existing OSI doctrine that is the official religion of Halcyon functions to keep the populace pacified.

outer worlds
A lot of the time, when I first enter a town, my gun is raised as if to murder everyone. This is sometimes hilarious, as it must look like I’m criminally insane. I still dislike it.

Players are faced with the deficiencies of the Halcyon colony and its systemic failures, tasked with determining how to approach each problem. Is it better to completely destroy and replace a withering essential system, or is it better to attempt repairing and reorganizing it? You’ll approach this problem one step at a time, and your decisions will always have permanent consequences to consider.

In Halcyon, nobody is totally innocent. Except for Parvati.

outer worlds
Melee play styles actually work in this game, I’ve even created a caveman character and have been having a blast with him. In particular, the block skill grants an armor boost when carrying melee weapons… Somehow?


The Outer Worlds is a first-person-shooter role playing game that plays like a cross between Mass Effect and Bethesda’s Fallout games. Players carry up to four equipped weapons at a time (As many as they can carry too, but may only equip four at a time) and travel a solar system unraveling mysteries and getting into trouble. The somewhat difficult “Supernova” difficulty has survival sim elements in the form of biological needs of thirst, hunger, and sleep. It’s also easily my favorite way to play the game.

outer worlds
TTD provides information on targeted entities, friend and foe alike!

One unique feature is a bullet time slow motion effect called “Tactical Time Dilation” (TTD). This slow motion aiming system mirrors the “VATS” used in Fallout New Vegas.
Aiming with TTD and enough skill in a stat will allow targeting weak points to trigger certain effects on the enemy. These enable tactical options like crippling them to slow them down or staggering them to momentarily paralyze. Don’t underestimate these, utilizing TTD and weak points lends you a kind of limited but vital control over your enemy’s next moments. The bleed and stagger effects have won the day for me in several intense battles.

outer worlds
Locked containers abound, containing better loot than most. If you’re almost able to pick a lock, chug something caffeinated, 2 Hour Energy for instance! It’s not the best choice, it’s Spacer’s Choice!

There are just three types of ammo to keep track of: light, heavy, and energy. I never once ran out of ammo after the first hour of gameplay. You’re almost guaranteed to find way more ammo than you will need. But if you somehow burn through it all, you can buy ammo almost anywhere. I wish it sold for more, but as it sits ammo sells for less than a single bit (The Halcyon currency) per round. It’s weightless, and so there is no reason to not hoard ammo forever. I wish it had a Weight value at least so players would have to cache extra ammo on their ship.

outer worlds
This poor settler died holding their pet sprat. What killed them? I have no idea. You’ll see a lot of mysteries like this.


Attributes refer to your character’s natural aptitudes. All attributes are measured on a scale from “Below Average” to “Average”, “Good”, ”High”, to “Very High”. Practically speaking it’s a scale of zero to four with each starting off at one,(which is Average). You have six points to distribute between these six stats, and may reduce a stat to zero to assign that point elsewhere, at the cost of a “Below Average” penalty. These are no joke, but depending on your intended build it might be worth it. The worst I think is the “Below Average” penalty for temperament, which prevents your passive health regeneration.

These stat selections are permanent, and while you can reallocate your skill points and perks, you will not be able to do so with your attributes. So choose carefully!

“Strength affects melee weapon damage and the amount you can carry.”
“Dexterity affects melee attack speed and ranged weapon reload speed.”

“Intelligence affects critical hit bonus damage.”
“Perception affects Headshot and weak spot damage bonuses.”

“Charm affects faction reputation and companion ability cooldowns.”
“Temperament improves your natural health regeneration.”

outer worlds
“It belongs in a museum!” They have one in Edgewater funnily enough, makes me wish there was an Extras mode to let players admire the art assets.


Skills are an approximation of your character’s ability in various tasks. These abilities come in a few broad categories.You may raise all skills in a category by selecting that category, up to fifty points. For instance, you would select ranged skills to raise handguns, long guns, and heavy weapons up to the level cap of fifty. Also, every twenty skill points in a skill will grant a perk. For example, one perk for the ranged skills branch allows you to target weak points for varying effects.

outer worlds
This is one of many bits of environmental storytelling. Note the blue outline highlighting interactables, improving visibility.

Depending on how you play, you may be granted a chance to take on a flaw. This is a permanent negative trait that will in exchange give you a free perk point to get a permanent boost. The only other way to gain perk points is to level up twice, which takes quite a while. On supernova difficulty you may have up to five flaws. Like attributes, I don’t know of a way to change flaws. So choose what you take on very carefully. That said, the cheetah perk is probably the best perk to take on first since you’re sure to spend a lot of time running around.

outer worlds
There are some beautiful sights in Halcyon!

Supernova mode will kill your companions permanently, so raising the leadership skill category to at least fifty is nearly essential in my opinion. Inspiration will increase the damage they deal, while determination will increase the amount of damage they can take and improve survivability.


Consumables are important to supernova, since there is a routine need for hydration, food, and sleep. Beyond that, all consumables have a temporary effect on the player such as “+25% Max HP” or “+1 Mind Attributes”. These can help immensely when you need to be somebody a little different from who you normally are. For instance, when walking into gunfire, I’d use an armor salve type consumable to temporarily raise my armor rating. Or if for instance you gotta be a little more persuasive, then you may chug some booze to enhance your personality skills. Consumables in general are great compensators for those areas in which your character is lacking.

2 Hour Energy is a favorite of mine for when I gotta be smarter for a moment. It also hydrates!

In supernova mode, you may only sleep on the ship, and you can only replenish fullness and hydration by consuming pertinent consumables.

By pressing the circle button, you can use the adreno inhaler. The adreno inhaler is the fastest means of healing available to you, and much like ammo you will find adrenos nearly everywhere. I never used this often enough and it made the game much harder on me. You can also add consumables to your adreno inhaler depending on your medical skill to add their effects to each activation. I particularly recommend consumables that boost your armor rating.

Weapons and Armor

These are essential to survival on supernova, and you should routinely examine both weapons and armor and ask yourself if they are well suited to the task at hand. If they aren’t, you can tinker to improve their stats or modify them with collected mods, or simply repair them with collected weapon and ammo parts to restore them to 100% durability! Tinkering costs money in the form of bits, fewer bits are spent if you have a high science skill. A perk is unlocked at forty skill points that reduces the tinkering cost by 50%!

See the condition percentage on that helmet? That number has to stay high on your equipment, or it’ll become nearly useless. Remember to keep weapon and armor parts for repairs!


Companions are a staple of cinematic FPS RPGs and six are available here in Outer Worlds. They are rather well rounded in personalities and in combat specialties, and each have their own special attack the player may trigger via the D Pad. Supernova difficulty makes companion death permanent, so you should be especially careful with that game mode.
An essential investment to playing with companions on supernova is at least fifty skill points in leadership skills. These include inspiration and determination, which decide how much damage companions deal in combat and how much damage companions can take respectively. companions also offer a skill bonus to the player based on their own stats, for instance bringing Parvati along will give a boost to your engineering stat.

See how Parvati is set to Defensive? I use that setting unless there is no real threat present.

I ended up loving (Platonically, no “Romance” option) everybody… It helps that the two companions you may bring at any one time are bound to talk to each other. These dialogues go a long way towards building each character’s personality and backstory, and of course providing some comic relief.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Performance was rarely an issue on my base model PS4, though there was significant slowdown in a particular town as well as at times on the player’s ship. Thankfully this was never a problem during an action segment or battle.

Most containers you find will contain at least some ammo or bits. Underwhelming loot usually. So don’t wear yourself out backtracking like I did for everything.

Being obsessive occasionally hindered my enjoyment of the game. I would stick around in areas long after completing the objective just to make sure I had everything. And so I was usually a few levels higher than my opponent, which diminished the intended sense of tension somewhat.

Stealing is barely punished in this game. Your companions won’t judge you for it, and it’s often ridiculously easy to get away with. I’m doing a playthrough in which I avoid theft as much as possible, and while it’s in the early stages I can say it makes resources feel a lot tighter. You can also sell whatever you steal without any hindrance, no need for a fence.

NPC’s don’t seem to care about the time and never go to sleep or live out a daily schedule. This was a surprise to me, but it ultimately didn’t hinder my enjoying the game. There is however less of an illusion of life in this game than in say Fallout New Vegas.

I think my dad would have loved the game if he’d have lived to see it. He actually loved the look of Fallout 4, but the bugginess of the game ruined his attempted playthrough very early. “If there are self made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

Parvati and SAM, mechanic and machine, simply adorable.


It’s a shiny new series with an inviting new universe that’s only going to get bigger in time. The Outer Worlds is streamlined, simpler than the competition, and that really works for me. Apart from when I made the game harder on myself than it needed to be, I never felt frustrated or like I was doing busywork. The Outer Worlds’ skill and perk systems grant even the most impractical of characters viability in combat, nearly anybody of any sort can succeed. When I finally completed my playthrough, the ending I experienced felt like my own. Felt like a true culmination of my efforts, good and bad alike. Despite being a dystopia on the verge of collapse, Halcyon is an inviting place welcoming players of all sorts.