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Mar 07, 2023

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition Review

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4 Awesome
Retails for: $59.99
We Recommend: $59.99
  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, Virtuos Games
  • Publisher: Private Division
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
  • Released: Mar 07, 2023
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
  • Reviewed: Windows

Ever since Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds released in 2019, it’s been an underrated and unsung hero in RPGs. It was a player-driven narrative through alliances made and broken, and shaped by your decisions. The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition comes shy of four years that includes the main game, all DLC, and many updates and enhancements that make it well worth the upgrade or brand new buy. The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition is the ultimate version of this wild west meets space RPG that’s sure to find its place…

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There’s a whole lot that’s new in this release, with a majority of it being related to visuals and graphical fidelity. The Outer Worlds was released a year shy of the new consoles, and I won’t say it suffered for it. But I think a lot of its longevity was shortened as it didn’t have an upgrade for those systems, until now. The game now has 4K60 support, volumetric lighting, enhanced particle effects, and environment and weather improvements. This truly has a next-generation sheen of polish on it that the game has been missing. Another area of improvement was for the AI of enemies and your companions, which behave better in just about every scenario. The Outer Worlds shipped with a level cap of 30, and with the Peril on Gorgon DLC the level cap was raised to 33, and then when the final DLC Murder on Eranos released, the level cap was then raised to 36. Not to be outdone by what came before, but now The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition has a level cap of an astonishing 99 – yes you read that right, they’ve gone absolutely mad and simply removed any barriers of character building.

I was surprised to find that (at least) on PC, The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition has a smaller install size than that of The Outer Worlds . The Spacer’s Choice Edition has an install size of 51.81GB whereas the original is 55.35GB with all DLC installed. Upon booting the game up for the first time, it seemed that the saves from the original game would not be compatible. I thought, clearly this is a mistake, and promptly exited the game. I navigated to %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games\The Outer Worlds and copied all my saves, and then pasted them into %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games\The Outer Worlds Spacers Choice\76561197970666351\ folder (that numbered folder might be different for you). When I relaunched the Spacer’s Choice Edition of the game, I was then able to load my save from where I last left off. I do hope they streamline this process for release, but for now this’ll get you by. It’s not very intuitive process, but at least the save files are in fact compatible.

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This repacked and refurbished version of The Outer Worlds is largely the same game as it was before, but prettier and deeper. You awaken from cryosleep, only known as The Stranger, on a ship sent to the furthest reaches of the galaxy amid a corporate conspiracy, so how this story plays out is entirely up to you. This is an Obsidian first-person RPG, very much in the style of Fallout: New Vegas . There’s a certain style to this kind of RPG, a lost art that I wish we hadn’t gotten away from, that I’m happy to see revisited.

As this is a game played from the first-person perspective, the combat means you’ll be aiming down sights to shoot your enemies. The game has a vast variety to choose from: pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, plasma cannons, and more. The game simplifies ammo that is used across all these weapon types into just light, heavy, and energy ammo. Instead of V.A.T.S., as a side effect from the cryosleep, your character can utilize time dilation (slow down time) to gain advantages in combat. I will say that while playing on PC, there was little reason to use it, because the game is not difficult, especially on the Normal difficulty. Though the reasons why you should use it are worthwhile, as you’ll see extra information on enemies and can target specific body parts to cripple them. Firefights are always fun to get into, and a great way for you to earn experience, and is easily the most fun you’ll have.

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This is an RPG after all, so there’s a plenty of quests you’ll embark on from main, side, loyalty, and faction quests. A quality of life feature I’ve always liked is that you can sort quests alphabetically and by location, ensuring that you’ve done all the quests somewhere before moving on. The quests themselves can be solved in multiple ways, and can be intertwined with other quests, with benefits or consequences stemming from that. Dialogue plays a large part in all of them, as you can gain a lot of information simply by asking questions, and drilling deeper into topics people clearly want to talk more about. And when the time comes, you can utilize one three tactics to ensure things go in your favor with lie, persuade, or threaten skill checks, provided you’ve got enough points in either to adequately pull off a successful call.

The Outer Worlds is big on companions, and they can join you on your adventures, as you’re free to play the game entirely solo and leave all the companions back on your ship. Though as you play with them by your side, and talk to them, eventually you’ll be given a loyalty quests for each companion that helps deepen the bond between you and them. As you go through the game, your action and inaction will affect the reputations with the factions you encounter, short and long-term. How you choose your morality throughout the game will impact directly or indirectly how people perceive you. The Outer Worlds may not seem like the biggest RPG, and it’s not, but it does offer a wide range of choice and replayability that makes it easily digestible.

As you explore planets, asteroids, and outposts, you’ll be plunked onto these places that are full of towns segmented by open mostly uninteresting areas populated by alien monsters. I can’t fault the design too hard, but it is noticeable. Towns are full of life, with vendors and vending machines to buy and sell goods. There will also be at least one workbench where you can tinker to enhance your weapons and armor, repair them, or add attachments through modifications. It’s also here where you can converse with just about anybody, and stumble into a new conspiracy, a mother who just loves her son too much, or be embroiled in a worker dispute. To get from planet to planet is through your ship, The Unreliable, which serves as a hub and place to store your finest weapons.

While this game has levels, skills, and perks like you’d expect, the more interesting element of The Outer Worlds is that you can take on character flaws. Flaws occur when something bad happens to you over a short period of time. For instance, the game offered me the ‘Agoraphobia’ flaw because I kept taking fall damage from failed jumps. With any flaw, you are awarded a perk point for accepting, at the detriment of having of lesser stats. It’s really fascinating system that thankfully you have to opt-in for, but wasn’t one I was willing to always engage with. The Outer Worlds does have fast travel, letting you to zip around to previously visited towns and notable locations with ease. Though you have to consider there’s also encumbrance, and if you’re over that max weight, you won’t be able to fast travel. Later on, there is a perk in the game that lets you fast travel even when carrying too much, negating that limitation to much elation.

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Peril on Gorgon

This is the first of two DLCs, which is recommended for players at level 25 or higher and requires one of two quests need to be completed before you can start it. From there you’ll off to an asteroid, and be investigating that goings on about a canceled project. This will take several hours to complete, and introduce you to new enemies and weapons, making it well worth the trip.

Murder on Eranos

The second DLC is recommended for levels 30 and higher, only requiring access to specific landing pad in order to get started. This one’s a unique murder mystery that evokes “Knives Out”, only set in a hotel. This even gives you a whole set of tools to help solve the crime beyond just guns. This too will take several hours to see through, but you’ll be glued to your seat like a good gumshoe should. The first game’s DLCs ends on a high note, and is easily the most diverse thing throughout the entire game, and a great way to endcap your journey.

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The initial performance while playing The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition does not give a great first impression. My PC is several years old at this point, but after gaining control on the first planet, I was getting 50-58fps. There’s no option to enable NVIDIA’S DLSS or AMD’s FSR, as they’re simply not present. So utilizing what’s native to the game, I could reduce the 3D resolution for more frames, but at a sacrifice of visual quality. Though, the game is absolutely gorgeous. It’s what I can only describe as “early Unreal Engine 4” that didn’t look particularly great several years ago, the visual improvements and updated engine are noticeable here. it’s a cleaner looking game, and this version is much preferred for future playthroughs, hands-down.

My PC Specs:

– Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
– Intel Core i9 9900K @ 5Ghz (Turbo)
– Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
– Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
– Seagate FireCuda SSD (500GB)
– Seagate BarraCuda SSD (1TB + 2TB)
– OWC Aura P12 NVMe SSD (2TB)

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For most, The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition is just a $10 upgrade, which makes it an absolute no-brainer purchase for existing owners. If you’re coming to the game completely new, the full price is still very much worth it for an RPG that doesn’t overstay its welcome and offers a varied and unique gameplay experience with familiar yet distinct style. This whole game is textbook Obsidian, but is no less interesting or cool. If you liked what Obsidian did with Fallout: New Vegas, then you’ll be right at home here. The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition is the definitive version of the game and it’s DLCs all but in name.

A Steam code was provided in advance by the publisher for review purposes