Obsidian's New Game 'The Outer Worlds' Is The Space 'Fallout' We've Always Wanted

During The Game Awards 2018, some viewers were perplexed when it was announced that the creators of Fallout were on stage. Many expected to see Todd Howard or Pete Hines of Bethesda Game Studios, the developer that's been launching Fallout games for the better part of a decade. But old school RPG fans remember Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, or if not the men their studio, Obsidian Games. Known for creating Fallout , and arguably the best modern entry in the franchise Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian also developer Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, the Pillars of Eternity franchise and South Park: The Stick of Truth. It's a solid pedigree, so RPG fans have every reason to be excited for Obsidian's new game, The Outer Worlds.

As seen in the above trailer, The Outer Worlds may be best described as Fallout in space. It's a first-person RPG in a world filled with space colonists and nefarious factions and a steampunk-meets-Jetsons aesthetic that seems to hit the sweet spot of those hardscrabble space ports that serve as wretched hives of scum and villainy. Here's the official description:

In The Outer Worlds, you awake from hibernation on a colonist ship lost in transit to its destination on the edge of the galaxy, only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions, all vying for power, the character you decide to become will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.

But plenty of RPGs and first-person shooters reach for the stars. Why should RPG fans (or those who aren't familiar with Obsidian) take notice? Because it seems like from the brief glimpse in the trailer The Outer Worlds will be delivering the kind of dynamic, branching dialogue system Obsidian is known for and that has been largely absent from AAA-gaming these days.

The press release for The Outer Worlds highlights it's "player-driven story" so it's safe to assume how you approach conversations will be a key factor in how things unfold. It's an exciting development for RPG fans, many of whom (myself included) feel that sort of in-depth character control is lacking in modern games. I understand why, as it is difficult to pull off and there are large swaths of the gaming audience that just mash through dialogue anyway. But it's something Obsidian has always done exceptionally well, so it's a smart play and a relief to see the team leaning on its strengths.

The timing could not be better for The Outer Worlds. The launch of Fallout 76 has been woeful at best, with bad reviews, bad merch and bad support plaguing the publisher since the game's release on November 14. Plenty of disgruntled fans have been pining for the days of Fallout: New Vegas and elevating Obsidian as the studio who understood what they wanted. And now Obsidian is coming out in a big way. It's been acquired by Microsoft, meaning that some massive project will be underway soon, and it's announced a promising RPG that looks set to tick the boxes Bethesda's left unchecked recently.

There's still lots to learn, but the hype train has left the station. The Outer Worlds is scheduled for release sometime in 2019 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.