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Obsidian’s new RPG, The Outer Worlds, has echoes of Mass Effect and Fallout: New Vegas

A tongue-in-cheek take on the far future of humanity includes plenty of corporate greed

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Obsidian Entertainment, the same developers behind Fallout: New Vegas and the Pillars of Eternity series of role-playing games, have formally unveiled their next new title. Called The Outer Worlds, it’s a first-person RPG set in space. The announcement was made during The Game Awards 2018, which was streamed live this evening.

The trailer began with a white-haired, off-kilter scientist tapping on the lid of your hibernation pod. Players will be dropped into the midst of a mismanaged colony far from Earth and tasked with making their own way in a hostile environment. Gameplay showed a first-person experience with a blend of melee and ranged weapons.

The Outer Worlds has been teased for weeks on Obsidian’s website. The game appears to evoke the same sort of gameplay found in Bethesda’s popular line of modern Fallout titles.

In fact, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, co-creators of the original Fallout, are leading development of The Outer Worlds.

The Outer Worlds - Auntie Cleo’s ad
An early tease for The Outer Worlds features an art deco-inspired advertisement for Auntie Cleo’s line of domestic products. The mysterious advertisement also included an audio jingle.
Obsidian Entertainment

The setting appears to be a mix of classic pulp science fiction and more modern, dystopian genres. In the gameplay shown, players are seen exploring an alien planet and doing battle against native wildlife and human adversaries.

Obsidian has been in the news a fair bit recently for its acquisition by Microsoft. However, The Outer Worlds is being published by Private Division, a new indie-focused label from Take-Two Interactive Software. Private Division currently publishes Kerbal Space Program, following the acquisition of developer Squad by Take-Two in May. It is also working with multiple developers on several other unannounced titles, and with Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.