Being invited to a behind closed doors session of any game is always exciting, but when it is for a game that you are hyped for and a developer that you know takes amazing pride in their work, expectations can be quite high, so seeing them delivered and then some, is always rewarding.
Outer Worlds is the Fallout game we have wanted to get for a while, it is just that simple and when you consider that the studio is the same that made the impressive and highly regarded Fallout: New Vegas, it makes a lot of sense. The demo that I was lucky enough to see played before me, had the character that was created, walking through a town, before heading to get a mission and the mission was one that sounded easy. The objective was to enter a meat plant and take out the man behind it, as the person who hired us, decided that they wanted a larger piece of the pie, or should that be bhorst. With the objective learnt, it was time to head out and get ready and it was here that we saw the two companions that we had with our character and gave the dev a chance to explain how they work.
Each character that you have supports you, but depending on the class of character they and you are, will change how things work out, for the character that was being played, they were a leader. That meant that they could start a fight and the other two would finish it, it was not long before we got to see that in action, as we were leaving town, there was a bandit camp set up. Here we got to see the combat system play out, which meant picking a target and after we fired, the other two did so as well, while we had to begin the fight, they kept at it until all the baddies were taken down, which was nice. With the threat cleared, it was time to push onto the factory, where things evolved far beyond the concept of a Fallout clone.
Approaching the facility, we were given a rundown on the choices we had available to us, as one of the items we got allowed us to wear a holographic disguise, it meant we could try to walk through the front gate. That of course had us stopped by a guard and then having to lie our way in, as with other rpg’s there are mechanics in place that allow you to lie, deceive, be forceful and so on, if your skill in them is high enough. After a little lie, we were able to get into the facility without issue, but there was still a major catch, the disguise we were using had a battery and the more we moved, the faster it would drain, even more so, if we got to close to guards or droids, they might be able to see through it and then a fight could break out.
Once inside the facility proper, we got our first look at cystpigs, pigs that had been modified to allow cysts to grow on them, which when large enough, would fall off and then you would have some meat to eat, sounds pretty gross, but on this planet, it is normal. As we were wandering through the pens, a droid spotted us and we had to lie to get past them, but it came at a cost, as they spotted us, we lost a charge from our disguise and going forward all attempts at lying would be much harder. In the next room, we found a set of stairs that went up, overlooking the factory floor and there was a console that could be interacted with. After a quick hack of it, we changed the parameters of the robots to kill all humans, lowering the guard count by more than half and with the way made easier, it was back out onto the floor.
Another attempt at sneaking through was destroyed when a robot spotted us and we were not able to lie our way out, so a fire fight began and after becoming victorious, it was time to head up the stairs to take down our target, but there was a catch, he knew we were coming. Once up there, we had the chance to chat with our target, who offered up more money and a limetimes supply of bhorst, harvested from the ever plump cystpigs, if we would turn around, head back to town and kill our hirer. What surprised me here, was that there was a little icon next to one of our options, which indicated that the support character could speak instead, something only possible, because we had ourselves classed as a leader.
Sadly this is where the demo ended, with a choice to be made, but no time to do it, but even with that, the entire demo took over 25 minutes to play out, making it one of the longest of the show. Even cooler, was that there were so many things shown that we did not get to interact with or see, as we left town, we had the gear needed for the mission, but normally you would need to get it yourself. There were plenty of creatures on the planet that were just off the track, doing whatever they were doing, that we were told in earlier sessions, had been made angry by how close they had gotten and fights had broken out.
Outer Worlds was a game that sounded cool to me when I first heard about it, but having seen it in motion, I am quite excited for it to release, given that choice is something that most games have you make at the start of a mission and then you live with it, being able to make dozens of choices along the way, inside of one mission and then possibly a game changer choice at the end of it, means that no two play throughs should ever be the same and that sounds perfect to me.