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Playing through The Outer Worlds

Humdinger

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Apr 21, 2010
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I'm a little over 20 hours into The Outer Worlds, well into Monarch, I'm guessing halfway through. I'd like to share a few thoughts.

I like the humor and light touch. None of it is laugh-out-loud funny, but some of it is amusing.

Lots of options to fiddle with. A little too many, tbh. It's been a while since I played an in-depth RPG like this. I'd forgotten how much of your time goes into inventory management, tinkering, selling stuff off, breaking it down, comparing weapons and armor on multiple characters, and so forth. It gets a little tiresome sometimes, and I wish for a more action-oriented, less stat/detail-oriented approach. I suppose some of the fiddling is optional, though, so I'll take some responsibility. I don't necessarily need to do as much fiddling as I do.

The quest log is really good. Well done.

Very dialog-heavy game. It's been years since I played a game with so much dialog. I find that setting the dialog display to "minimal" helps the experience. If the text is displayed in full immediately, I have a tendency to read it before the character is finished talking, then cut them off, which makes it less immersive. With the minimal setting, you just hear the character speak, then at the end, the last couple lines of dialog are displayed.

I wish you could change companions more easily.

There are a lot of loading screens.

I wish there was an easier way to tell what type of damage your weapon does. I specialize in handguns, so I carry three of them, each with different damage types. It's hard to tell them apart visually, so I have to consult the menu to see which gun I'm holding and what the damage type is.

There is a "woke" vibe to the game. It's subtle (usually), but it's there. For example, most of the positions of power are occupied by women, and most of the "tough, strong" characters are women. Most of the corrupt or psycho characters are men. Not all, but the tilt is clear. A less subtle example is Parvati's asexual lesbian companion quest, which comes right up front and in a very non-sequitor sort of way. There is no story explanation for it, no bridge -- one moment she's being tutored in engineering, the next she's madly in love with her teacher, and telling you, uninvited, about it and about her asexuality. It's not just awkward (boundaries, anyone?), but it's transparently woke/feminist/whatever you want to call it. (edit: see post 21 for more examples).

The leveling up is done well. Plenty of choice and flexibility.

Combat is pretty good, at least for an RPG. I like that increasing dialog also affects combat.

Overall, I'm enjoying the game, but I'm not thrilled with it. I'd give it a B, at this point. Although I am engaged enough to play it every day, and it's keeping me "hooked" in that regard, it feels like the hook is more or less mechanical, not emotional or personal. That is, I'm playing the game to complete the quests and check them off the list. The moment-to-moment gameplay is okay -- the combat is engaging, although all the inventory and stat management can get a little tedious. The story is kind of meh, and I don't feel particularly connected to my character or any of the others. I kind of like Parvati, our lesbian asexual, but the others could get shot into space and I wouldn't mind.

It's not a bad game, by any means. Like I said, I'm playing it regularly, and it's keeping me engaged. In a lot of ways, it's well done. It's just missing that special something that makes me immersed in the world and story.

Anyhow, just thought I'd share some thoughts.
 
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Fredrik

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Jun 27, 2005
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It was short and a bit closed up compared to bigger budget games but I liked it. Well-written dialogue and story bits in computers. I liked the design for the most part but the big bulky armour was ugly as sin. Planned to do several play-throughs but I ended up doing just one, got a somewhat okay ending.
 

Axonometri

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Jun 2, 2012
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Well.. You guys are doing a good job of convincing me to finally play this one from my growing list of BL. BTW, I don't think women being in power directly equates "woke." There are many deserving Women out there. I hope it's not full of crap though.
 

ANDS

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Jan 18, 2012
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There is definitely a "woke" vibe to the game. It seems like most of the positions of power are occupied by women, most of the "tough" characters are women, and most of the corrupt or weirdo characters are men. There's some mix, but the tilt seems pretty clear.
Is "woke" now just a catch-all phrase for when characters aren't designed based on centuries old tropes?
 

drganon

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Sep 20, 2019
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Cant really remember much of it myself. Didn't leave a lasting impression positive or negative.
 

JLB

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Completely loved the game and the DLCs, though im a lost-cause fanboy of Obsidian since forever, so im not that reliable.
 
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harmny

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I liked the game but honestly unlike OP I didn't find the game dialogue heavy and I didn't think it was a deep rpg at all.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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Jun 10, 2019
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Finished few days ago.

Felt like natural successor to Fallout 2. Similar kind of choice in dealing with situations and role playing opportunities. Similar sized towns and associated wilderness areas spread on few planets.

One improvement would be Journal and quest markers. I had to play Fallout 2 with a guide to find quests. In OW they were easier to find.

Writing and quests are definitely the highlight. Gameplay is serviceable for an RPG. Wish music was as good as Fallout 2 though.

I would rate it 8.5/10.
 

Graciaus

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Nov 17, 2014
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I thought the first part of the game was the best. Goes downhill from there and nothing about the game was that special. I was overall very disappointed but maybe my expectations were to high. Hopefully a sequel improves on the base game.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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Nov 1, 2020
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The “asexual lesbian” thing felt like blatant propaganda.

The whole game is unbearably cynical. Everybody is either a soulless corporate automaton or else some wretched sociopathic rich person. There isn’t a hint of genuine human romance or affection among anybody in the game.

Except for Parvati, who’s like the only pure and decent human being in the entire galaxy. Her only character flaw is that she has some self doubt, and it’s up to you to give her the encouragement to fully embrace the awesome asexual lesbian she really is.

They try so, so hard to make you like her and she just feels so out of place.
 

Jigsaah

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Jan 31, 2018
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I enjoyed my time with the game. Couldn't bring myself to finish it. I was much further in the game and I feel like I'm almost done. I should just go ahead and wrap it up.

The game's humor was dry. Not my kinda humor I guess. I didn't play it for that though. I was intrigued by the whole corporations rule the solar system idea and I loved playing these games as if I were playing myself making the decisions you have to make in the game. So for the first playthrough I try to be as true to myself as possible, rather than trying to be a goodie two shoes or outright evil.

One of the things I do like about the experience is that there are plenty of decisions that tread the line. One's that really left me thinking what would I really do in a situation like this.
 
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GuinGuin

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Everyone I know personally who has played it says not to waste my time. Then again I have weird tastes that seem to align with no one else.
 
Mar 6, 2016
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Started doing the starter area and it became quite apparent very fast I’d already seen everything the game had to offer. Hub sized zones with a central hub where you choose between factions.
The writing felt cringe.
Dropped it. Also hated how it was meant to be different from fallout yet, felt like fallout in space.
 
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Humdinger

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BTW, I don't think women being in power directly equates "woke." There are many deserving Women out there.

Sure, but like I said in the OP, it's about the proportion, not about the existence of female leaders per se. The number of strong women vs. weak men. It's about other things, too. The haircuts. The lesbian asexuality being right up front and center. Corporations are all evil, and the workers are all exploited. The Deserters poster modeled after King Kong, with a fainting man in a three-piece suit in the place of Fay Wray. Other stuff, too. If you take it all in, you can sense a "woke" undercurrent. Or I do, anyhow.

I don't want to exaggerate. It's mild. It's (mostly) subtle. It only intrudes every once in a while. The whole game isn't soaked in it or anything. It's only occasional. It does diminish my enjoyment of the game, though. It does that by interfering with immersion in the story and world and instead making me think about the writers and the sociopolitical forces that have shaped them.
 
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Humdinger

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Everyone I know personally who has played it says not to waste my time. Then again I have weird tastes that seem to align with no one else.

It really depends on what you're in the mood for. If you're in the mood for a dialog-heavy, choice-heavy, option-heavy WRPG, check it out. It goes for cheap at this point.

I wouldn't expect much in the "science fiction" department. I expected more in that regard.

I look forward to seeing what Obsidian can do with the sequel and Microsoft's bankroll, though. If they can raise the game up a couple of levels -- make it a true science fiction RPG (on the level of Mass Effect, for instance) -- that would be something.
 
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Balducci30

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I don’t know about ‘woke’-ness. I will say I just couldn’t get into the game though I thought it was gonna feel more open? Because you’re exploring universes and stuff. I played it for a few hours and it was a bit too hardcore rpg for me.
 
J

JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
Is "woke" now just a catch-all phrase for when characters aren't designed based on centuries old tropes?
It's fine, let them keep using it, the word is getting close to losing all meaning.
 
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nemiroff

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Feb 19, 2018
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This may sound harsh but It's not a troll, the game just rubbed me the wrong way. In my opinion it felt like a huge and disappointing turd. I really wanted to like it, but failed miserably, the game is utterly stupid and shoehorned out of its mind. The devs didn't even manage to stream a few interiors without inserting a thousand loading screens.. Good thing I didn't have to pay for it.
 
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LordBlodgett

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Solid 8/10 for me. Worth a play through, well done dialogue compared to most games (you have to try playing as a dumb character for at least a bit, my God the dialogue choices are hilarious), but not fleshed out enough for my liking. The closer you get to the endgame the more it feels like they had to cut out due to time or budget restraints. Also its pretty unbalanced. by the end I was so OP with my character that the game wasn't challenging at all and I was just running along waiting for the dialogue and moving the story forward. Though my last two sentences make it sound like crap, it really is worth a play through.
 
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Humdinger

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The “asexual lesbian” thing felt like blatant propaganda.

The whole game is unbearably cynical. Everybody is either a soulless corporate automaton or else some wretched sociopathic rich person. There isn’t a hint of genuine human romance or affection among anybody in the game.

Except for Parvati, who’s like the only pure and decent human being in the entire galaxy. Her only character flaw is that she has some self doubt, and it’s up to you to give her the encouragement to fully embrace the awesome asexual lesbian she really is.

Yeah, you articulated something that I was feeling, but I hadn't put it into words. It's a cynical game. I think that's part of why I don't enjoy playing it as much as I might. Although the game is lighthearted on the surface, it is pretty cynical underneath.

There are no genuinely likeable characters, at least none I've encountered (except Parvati). They are morally bankrupt, for the most part -- jerks, arrogant power-hungry manipulators, corrupt in various ways, nuts, etc. At best, they're tolerable. There is no one who is likeable, much less admirable. There are no characters I sympathize or empathize with.

Seems like there was a missed opportunity. The game sets up this world where evil corporations are doing bad things to innocent people, but it doesn't spend any time with the victims. It could've introduced some human, sympathetic characters who were struggling to survive. Genuinely good people who were getting their ass kicked by life and trying to get by. Sure, you see some occasional text blurbs about worker suffering, but the game keeps distance from it. There are a workers milling about, but they are NPCs without any personality.

Too bad. We could have had some sympathetic characters, some "little guys" trying to get by. But Instead, we get a cast of jerks, jockeying for power in an emotionally flat world. Maybe they were aiming so hard for a humorous tone, they wanted to steer clear of anything that got close to genuine warmth or humanity. Oh well.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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Yeah, you articulated something that I was feeling, but I hadn't put it into words. It's a cynical game. I think that's part of why I don't enjoy playing it all that much. The tone itself, although lighthearted on the surface, is actually pretty grim.

I mean, there are no characters in the game that you can genuinely like. Except, as you said, for Parvati -- but even there, she's kind of a cartoon, with all her "gosh golly gee whiz" big toe in the sand stuff. Just about everyone is a jerk, morally bankrupt, corrupt, or just nuts. There is no one to like, much less admire.

Seems like there was a missed opportunity. The game sets up this world where evil corporations are doing bad things to innocent people, but it doesn't spend any time with the victims. It could've introduced some human, sympathetic characters who were struggling to survive. Genuinely good people who were getting their ass kicked by life and trying to get by. Sure, you see some occasional text blurbs about worker suffering, but the game keeps distance from it. There are a workers milling about, but they are NPCs without any personality.

Too bad. We could have had some sympathetic characters, some "little guys" trying to get by. But Instead, we get a cast of jerks, jockeying for power in an emotionally flat world. Maybe it's because they were aiming for a humorous tone, they wanted to stay away from anything with emotional weight. Oh well.
Yeah I totally agree. I think they should’ve made these people more believable and earn your sympathy. Instead the bad guys are caricatures, like it was written by some teenager who just discovered Rage Against the Machine and wants to tell you all about how evil rich people, corporations, and capitalism are. So of course you’re going to side with the downtrodden masses.

If felt like propaganda. The humor fell flat because propaganda is not funny. The butt of the joke is just some ridiculous straw man. It was kinda like an unfunny woke version of Idiocracy infused with some “wannabe Fallout” retro-futuristic kitsch. The whole thing is just nowhere near as funny and clever as it thinks it is.
 
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BabyYoda

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Sep 9, 2020
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It was woke, but not super woke (aka pushing a lefty agenda, but not as egregiously as many others, thankfully I was able to avoid the alphabet character).

The combat was average, the writing was average, the graphics were average, the sound was...well I forget, forgettable then and it was technically a mess (not buggy, just felt like the tech was creaking under the surface), so glad I got to try it for free on GP as it was really overrated. I really hope this was Obsidian's B-team.
 
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kyussman

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Dec 6, 2018
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I enjoyed all the talky stuff.....but I thought everything about the combat gameplay was kinda broken.......too much shit everywhere to loot that meant nothing,no need to ever use 99% of all the various loot you can get and even on hard difficulty it became a joke very early on.
I enjoyed it overall though,just needs some tweaking with all the systems in the next one that's all.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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Gameplay was definitely broken. I played on hard. It was really difficult early on, but it kept getting easier. By late game it was a cakewalk. You could defeat any enemy by launching into close range and unloading your weapon right in their face.
 
J

JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
You're going to "let" me use the words I choose to use? Gee, thanks, pal. Very un-woke of you.
It's an American expression.

Example:
 
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Humdinger

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Apr 21, 2010
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It was woke, but not super woke (aka pushing a lefty agenda, but not as egregiously as many others, thankfully I was able to avoid the alphabet character).

The combat was average, the writing was average, the graphics were average, the sound was...well I forget, forgettable then and it was technically a mess (not buggy, just felt like the tech was creaking under the surface), so glad I got to try it for free on GP as it was really overrated. I really hope this was Obsidian's B-team.

Yeah, I have to agree with all of that. The woke is about a 1 or 2 on a 10-point scale -- noticeable, but nothing major. I wasn't annoyed by it. It just took me out of the game occasionally. That's why I minded.

And yes, "average" describes it well. The game is very option-rich, yet there is something missing, and the whole thing ends up feeling sort of average. Not bad -- just average. Sort of forgettable. When I finish, I doubt I'll have any desire to replay it, despite all the potential possibilities for different character builds, dialog experiences, and so forth.

too much shit everywhere to loot that meant nothing, no need to ever use 99% of all the various loot you can get and even on hard difficulty it became a joke very early on.
Yeah, I've noticed that, too. I have piled up so much ammo that I'll never use. I'm constantly selling off consumables that I'll never use. I'm accustomed to picking up loot wherever I find it, so my inventory quickly fills with stuff I have no use for.
 
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Axonometri

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Sure, but like I said in the OP, it's about the proportion, not about the existence of female leaders per se. The number of strong women vs. weak men. It's about other things, too. The haircuts. The lesbian asexuality being right up front and center. Corporations are all evil, and the workers are all exploited. Other stuff, too. If you take it all in, you can sense a "woke" undercurrent. Or I do, anyhow.

I don't want to exaggerate. It's mild. It's (mostly) subtle. It only intrudes every once in a while. The whole game isn't soaked in it or anything. It's only occasional. It does diminish my enjoyment of the game, though. It does that by interfering with immersion in the story and world and instead making me think about the writers and the sociopolitical forces that have shaped them.
Thank you for the deeper dive. Understood.
 

JayK47

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I loved the ship AI more than my crew members. I enjoy the few games where you have a ship and a crew and can go where you want. The problem was, the worlds and a lot of the characters were just not that interesting. And it felt like it ended abruptly. I played the game twice and the different choices did not feel like that big of a deal. I guess my choices mattered, I just did not feel that invested in them so I did not care. I guess the best part about the game was it was over pretty quickly. I actually enjoyed Andromeda more. Andromeda was too bloated, but more interesting.
 
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bbeach123

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First 10 hours was good . The rest is meh with the overuse and reuse joke ,shit game balance , uninteresting leveling system , average story , bad characters design , boring gears , bland world .

I try to recall my memory about this game right now and couldnt even remember any of the characters , that how bad they are .
 
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BusierDonkey

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Sep 21, 2018
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I loved the environment art and soundtrack for the most part, but the characters outside Phineas Welles, Vicar Max, and a handful of the more prominent NPCs all looked near-identical at times. I often forgot which lesbian I was talking to. Gameplay was pretty limited in terms of it's leveling system throughout the game but it played well enough. The woke stuff was overblown, though I really didn't care about most of the main characters or their back stories. Parvati doesn't like sex so you hook her up with a lesbian. Ellie hates her wealthy parents and runs away so she can... get rich. Nyoka's entire character is "I'm a raging alcoholic." Even the remotely interesting characters stories are softball versions of what they could have been.

In all it was a completely average game in just about every way that could have used another year of development and a much better group of writers. Still glad I played it but it could have been great.
 
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Humdinger

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Got a hit of nostalgia when I saw the quest labelled "The City and the Stars," where you go to seek a man named Clarke with an e. I know the game has a number of these references, but it's the first one I noticed. I used to read Arthur C. Clarke a lot when I was a kid. If nothing else, the game gave me a dose of bittersweet nostalgia.

Ordered a copy. I've been trying to read "normal"/literary novels and short stories lately, but having a rough go. Most of it just doesn't hold my attention. Maybe I'll have better luck revisiting stuff I loved as a kid.

 

Humdinger

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Finished the game today. Can't say I was really impressed. They tried to make it dramatic at the end, but they hadn't done the foundation work so that I felt any connection to the story or the world. I was kind of just waiting for it to be over, near the end. Popped the disk out and will soon forget about it, I'm sure.

Not a bad game, just not a memorable or impactful one. Something to pass the time.

I look forward to seeing what improvements they can make on the sequel. I wouldn't bother with a sequel under normal circumstances, but with MS's bankroll, they might be able to turn this into something special. They've got a ways to go, though.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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I really liked a few things, like the robot companion SAM. but overall, I thought it was pretty disappointing for Obsidian.

Maybe a microsoft money injection can overhaul the sequel with big improvements.
 
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Most of the characters in the game seem to be ironically depressed or insane. And they managed to pull off a game that's anti corporation without being cringe. If you love working for some company laughing in your cubicle while browsing gaf with your big screen tv that you draw in Ms paint with "wtf arrows" pointing to parts of the tv where the picture doesn't extend to you probably won't like this game.

Vicar max is the best character and if you don't know anything about UFOs being able to change reality then you don't know shit. His quest was the best and he's the best character also. Lilya Hagen is best girl what a qt. Mysterious universe uses sound clips from this game. This is the kinda game where you just want to jump around and look at the stars and spin around the galaxy and go whooooo.

Its proof that obsidian can take a random genre and make a decent game while Bethesda can take fallout and make a complete vaultboy shaped turd each and every time out of Todd Howard's manlet rearend. Who's laughing now.
 

lh032

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game feels woke to me, and is it me or most women were short hair?

played the game half way and stopped, probably continue in the future, games just feels repetitive and generic to me