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The Outer Worlds - Obsidian's first-person sci-fi RPG - now with Murder on Eridanos DLC

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
10,418
Still playing TOW, and I'm puzzling over trying to further pin down what's unsatisfactory about it, despite it being fun in parts. I think it's 2 things:-

1) The "Pavlovian" nature of the design, as I said in my earlier post. It's like it's been designed to push one's buttons, and one feels like a lab rat. Now of course all games have some element of that, but I feel it's all been done in a rather soulless way with this, as a mechanical exercise. One might almost say it's too competent in this regard. Virtually everything that's player-facing in the game is designed to elicit a player reaction. Even the humour is designed in a particular way, for a particular kind of audience (social-status aware SJWs).

This is in contradistinction to a game where there's some intent to design a virtual world that has things just because that's how the world is. The game lacks a sense that these places have a life of their own, they're just so blatantly designed to invite the player to certain thoughts and actions, to present POIs in a logical flow, etc. It also makes exploration oddly unsatisfying, because you don't get the illusion that you're actually discovering something - you're always aware that you've been led by the nose to the discovered thing (e.g. like noticing a path up the side of a hill - you just know there's going to be something there, as opposed to it being a mystery whether there will be something there or not, it might just be a part of the landscape that doesn't reward you for exploration).

It's almost like the devs are deathly afraid to disappoint the player in any way. But the problem is, where there's no risk of disappointment, there's no excitement of discovery.

2) The dialogue. This is tricky because I actually like some of what they've done with the dialogue - there's an attempt in the dialogue to make the player's responses more logical (as in, what someone might be inclined to say in that given situation), as opposed to being options that just move the player along the plot in certain ways. It's almost the opposite problem of 1), where there's a lot of flavour in the dialogue that actually disguises what the optimal choices might be. But the problem here is that the chat is too Fourth Wall-ish, too self-aware, too winking, and not just that, but (again) its sense of humour is that of SJW-infected college graduates, a very narrow band of humour that walks on eggshells and can't really afford any visceral humour (because that relies on truth).

I found the C&C not really mattering at all more of a deathknell. If you're gonna do the C&C thing and make it your selling point and then it actually doesn't matter and just feels hollow... well, why else am I playing your game? There are plenty of better shooters with environments that are more fun to explore and have more stuff to find, better shooting mechanics, etc.

On the one hand I could say it was a huge disappointment in that it was supposed to be Cain & Boyarsky's return to grace... but that would imply I actually thought it was going to be. It was more that I was hoping against hope they would prove themselves, and instead they met my cynical expectations that their best days are behind them and they're just riding out their days until retirement. I guess with all that went down at Blizzard we now know why Boyarsky wanted to "downgrade" to Obsidian.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
42,521
everyone is fuckin offensively ugly, all the jokes overstay their welcome and then are beaten to death especially anything involving terminals, the writers don't know how to write so they substitute personality with gender race and sexuality, nothing matters because it's a "lol so zany" comedy game except it tries to be serious at times but the writers aren't capable of doing it so it's even worse than if it was just a comedy, the stealth is fuckin atrocious and some of the worst I've ever seen, perks or w/e they're called are worthless therefore the phobia system is worthless, nearly all the doors are just painted on and is especially painful in the last area where it's just a bunch of hallways with painted on doors, I remember disliking the companion AI or someshit idk I barely remember the game's RPG mechanics at all so they must have been dogshit in general
on the upside, you can kill nearly anyone and you're going to do it because nearly everyone you encounter is a fuckin ugly retard

nobody would have given two shits about the game if it wasn't released shortly after the Fallout First blunder
the next time you see anything advertising "from the creators of [thing you like] comes [shitty product]", run away. Good products don't need to namedrop.

I liked Vicar Max though.
 

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
10,418
The constant "corporations are bad mmkay" commentary in every single quest, lore tidbit, and piece of dialogue definitely started to wear its welcome out after a while. It's one thing to have some meta commentary in the setting, but I guess dangerhairs couldn't keep it subtle and had to slam you over the head with the crowbar of the theme constantly. Commies gonna commie.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
42,521
The constant "corporations are bad mmkay" commentary in every single quest, lore tidbit, and piece of dialogue definitely started to wear its welcome out after a while. It's one thing to have some meta commentary in the setting, but I guess dangerhairs couldn't keep it subtle and had to slam you over the head with the crowbar of the theme constantly. Commies gonna commie.
Corporations are bad, all they gave us was interstellar travel and colonization of alien planets.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
31,478
The constant "corporations are bad mmkay" commentary in every single quest, lore tidbit, and piece of dialogue definitely started to wear its welcome out after a while. It's one thing to have some meta commentary in the setting, but I guess dangerhairs couldn't keep it subtle and had to slam you over the head with the crowbar of the theme constantly. Commies gonna commie.
Boyarsky is a liberal who cracked down on the commie writers who wanted to write with their commie agenda. They were all mad about it on twitter.
 

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
10,418
The constant "corporations are bad mmkay" commentary in every single quest, lore tidbit, and piece of dialogue definitely started to wear its welcome out after a while. It's one thing to have some meta commentary in the setting, but I guess dangerhairs couldn't keep it subtle and had to slam you over the head with the crowbar of the theme constantly. Commies gonna commie.
Boyarsky is a liberal who cracked down on the commie writers who wanted to write with their commie agenda. They were all mad about it on twitter.

That's unsurprising. But there's only so much you can do when 90% of the staff are that way. It still comes out.
 

Major_Blackhart

Codexia Lord Sodom
Patron
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
17,957
Location
Jersey for now
The constant "corporations are bad mmkay" commentary in every single quest, lore tidbit, and piece of dialogue definitely started to wear its welcome out after a while. It's one thing to have some meta commentary in the setting, but I guess dangerhairs couldn't keep it subtle and had to slam you over the head with the crowbar of the theme constantly. Commies gonna commie.
Boyarsky is a liberal who cracked down on the commie writers who wanted to write with their commie agenda. They were all mad about it on twitter.

Oh god yes, Leon made them cry their eyes out? Please post details.
 

Nano

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
4,013
Boyarsky is a liberal who cracked down on the commie writers who wanted to write with their commie agenda. They were all mad about it on twitter.
He cracked down on the communism but apparently didn't care about his gameworld being entirely populated by asexuals and dykes. Cuck.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
31,478
Boyarsky is a liberal who cracked down on the commie writers who wanted to write with their commie agenda. They were all mad about it on twitter.

Oh god yes, Leon made them cry their eyes out? Please post details.
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads...me-other-obsidian-developers-disagree.128539/

He cracked down on the communism but apparently didn't care about his gameworld being entirely populated by asexuals and dykes. Cuck.

There's one person like that and that's totally in line with current liberal orthodoxy. :lol: The Boyarsky agenda in practice:
This strange ambivalence, the desire to paint those who oppose the game’s cartoonishly evil corporations as somehow suspect, shows up all over the place in The Outer Worlds. For instance, your most reasonable companions tend to be the most protective of the status quo, while the most radical is also kind of a starry-eyed airhead. One of the most telling details for me is the simple fact that corporate NPCs get names like “guard” and “worker,” while members of the anti-corporate Iconoclasts are called things like “rioter,” even if they’re doing nothing more than standing around a bar or doing clerical work.
 

Nano

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
4,013
Cross those women all have terrible haircuts but I do not believe they are all explicitly asexuals and/or lesbians.
The dykeism can be inferred from the way they look. The asexuality is inferred from how the setting is completely sexless.
 

Monolith

Prophet
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
1,276
Location
München
I never tried it - thanks to you guys. It does read like a mightily shitty game in here.
 

Delterius

Arcane
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,321
Location
Entre a serra e o mar.
i think it's worse than shitty. it's really... median. it's the pilot of something worth talking about.
What are the worst flaws (not flaws in the game)? Writing, story, characters, gameplay?
The Outer Worlds is just a side project and it shows. It is almost like a proof of concept for Microsoft or something. So right out of the gate you're not looking at 'Obsidian's Fallout 3', like New Vegas was, you're looking at 'Obsidian's Demo for a Fallout 3 in the Future'. That in itself was disappointing.

Speaking about my experience in particular. Well, I didn't go into this thing expecting to fall in love with the gameplay. I never do with shooters. But the place where I grew frustrated was with the world's character. The Outer Worlds has something I like to call the Silly / Quirky Effect. It happens when you go for a comedic setting but your comedy is super uneven. Quirky is when one of your main characters is a scientist that sounds like a Rick and Morty character. Silly is when your setting is slightly manic on the background. I don't mind the former, but I really like the latter.

Throught the game I slowly came to understand that Halcyon is a centuries old human settlement whose culture has been so warped by corporate ethics that people even express love and appreciation in a corporatized way. There's a convo in the first area that goes more or less like this:

'PC: I hear Steve killed himself.

Foreman: Yeah, he did. Bad timing. He was a great employee.

PC: what the fuck? is that what you call your friend who just killed himself? Employee?

Foreman, emotionally: 'Well, fuck you! I'll have you know Steve was an ASSET!'

The employee logs in Edgewater also point to this background mania. You can sort of re-structure the history of the settlement and see how and why it couldn't recover. Edgewater was built as a manufacturing town. It was only supposed to process goods from another planet. The proverbial 'grown in argentina, packaged in thailand, shipped to the US' type of deal. Once that monopoly was lost at the source Edgewater started collapsing. Some of the particulars are amusing:

  • First the settlement tried to become self sufficient. It failed due to the conditions of the soil and the sea.
  • At one point they started using frankenmeat instead of tuna from planet Monarch.
  • Locally sourced Frankenmeat is rather poor in nutrients. It can barely keep you going.
  • Realizing this the head of marketing wanted to create new unique versions of canned ''''tuna'''' that would be fortified and/or seasoned to be a better product. The response from corporate was 'we are a vertical monopoly and we are not gonna compete with ourselves. Also you're fired and re-hired as a janitor'.
  • After quarterly reports collapsed for too long corporate activated it's exit strategy: departments would covertly sabotage one another, causing terrible accidents and triggering insurance claims. Win-win.
  • After the town was effectively abandoned to it's luck the middle managers started cannibalizing it. Both metaphorically and literally. The mid-boss in charge is making sure workers punch clock until they die since he's not even aware that frankenmeat is not nutritious. He is mentally incapable of disbelieving the ads about how great they are for your health. The mid-boss who was exiled from town is using the bodies of the dead to fertilize her farms, feeding her followers however she can.

While you can't reconstruct the entirety of Edgewater's history you can feel this progressive decline as you explore the first area. You see each part of the colony that was abandoned. The laboratories that were once used to try and regenerate the soil, the department where the middle managers and marketing people used to live, the sabotaged power plant, the social centers that didn't make sense anymore since the town was dead, and so on. Exploring Edgewater is like walking into Generic American Coal Town That Couldn't Gentrify Itself To Survive.

There's one more instance of this sort of thing later in the game and I enjoyed it as well. But that's it. Edgewater was my high note and it's the first goddamn town. If these sorts of background mysteries were more common then Outer Worlds would have been a very fun game. Or at least one that would be entertaining all the way through.
 
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Diggfinger

Arcane
Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
1,037
Location
Belgium
I .... Feeeel..... like ....playing...this, again...????


Bros help me
 
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