Perhaps against the odds, The Outer Worlds is in heavy discussion as the game of the year. It might have been a dark horse candidate, but whether or not the gaming community expected it, people really dig The Outer Worlds. Despite the glut of high-profile games released this week, The Outer Worlds is still dominating the conversation. This isn’t surprising to me, as I began my playthrough with a bit of skepticism, and ended it thinking that The Outer Worlds is likely one of the best games of the generation.
With a little over a week on the market, it is likely that many gamers are now nearing the end of the game, if they haven’t beaten it outright. As The Outer Worlds is designed to be as customizable as possible, I thought that it might be fun to review my finishing stats with the PSU community, as different players will have very different experiences. Where I ended up is likely very far from where you ended (or will end), and it might be interesting to take a look at my final, messy (but still awesome) build.
The level cap in The Outer Worlds is 30, and in retrospect that cap seems just about perfectly balanced. During my playthrough for PSU’s review last week, I was extremely diligent in cleaning up every single quest in my log. I also explored extensively, poking around the nooks and crannies of Halcyon in search of secrets and goodies. Still, I was level 29 when I completed the game – the final burst of XP for the very last quest pushing me over the edge to level 30 right as the credits rolled.
As I mentioned in my review, I started the game with a very heavy Dexterity build. Players begin the game with a few points to sink into general categories, each of which impacts a number of more specific stats. Thinking that I would focus on stealth and handguns, I dropped several points into Dex, while leaving Intelligence, Perception, and Charm in decent shape. I ignored Strength and Temperament out of the gate.
Of course, my intended play style was nothing like how I ended up playing The Outer Worlds. I went down blind alleys, sinking points into stuff that I didn’t need, just because I had no idea what was going on. Being one of the first people to play the game is neat, but you don’t have the benefit of internet build discussions. You have to feel your way through it.
It took me a while to realize what was clearly explained by the UI – that I would have to raise categories of skills up to 50 before I would be able to put points into the individual skills within that category. Apparently the game had been telling me this for a while, but I’m an idiot that can’t read.
Almost immediately in my playthrough, I realized that (for me at least) Sneak was kind of a bust. The movement speed in The Outer Worlds is fairly slow, and sneaking around made me feel like I was crawling.
The bonuses for shooting enemies from a stealthed position just didn’t seem worth the point investment to take the skill past level 50, so I refocused my points into Lockpicking instead of pursuing Sneak any further. But first, I had to take the entire Stealth category to level 50 – leaving me with halfway decent Sneak for the few times I wanted to use it.
Likewise, I found that Handguns just weren’t doing it for me. Once I laid my hands on some of The Outer Worlds’ machine guns, I lost all interest in dropping precious points into smaller weaponry. A bit further into the game, I also lost all interest in Melee combat. I realized that I needed distance from my opponents – my clumsy slow old-man gameplay style led me to often get surrounded and killed by attempting to Melee. So Long Guns became my weapons of choice.
I didn’t spend any points at all on Defense. I’m not certain why – but my choice turned out to be a good decision. It seemed like a waste of points when armor was protecting me just fine. By the end of the game, I was nigh indestructible due to my high armor stats, so it turns out that I was correct to ignore Defense. I never even figured out how to use Block, and it didn’t seem to matter all that much. Probably more of a melee skill.
Those that read my review might recall that I was very enthusiastic about Intimidate as a Dialog option. But looking at my skills, you will see that Persuade has far more points. This is because at a certain point, I simply had to face the fact that my perks, armor and companions gave me far more bonus points in Persuade. Putting more points into Intimidate seemed like sunk cost, losing points just for the satisfaction of being mean to people, so I had to face facts and realize that Persuade was far more viable for me.
The last big point-sink for me was Inspiration. After a bit of examination, I decided that the two companion skills basically translated into damage and survivability. Since Determination (survivability) was already level 50 by the time I had to choose one or the other, I decided to use my points on Inspiration, relying on armor to keep my companions alive.
I also wanted to give a shout out to the Tinker skill, which unlocks after you reach a certain (fairly low) science level. Tinker basically allows you to convert your money into either DPS for a weapon, or better protection from armor.
Named weapons seemed to cost more to improve via Tinker than standard weapons (and science weapons cost more still), so I picked my favorite standard weapon and tinkered the hell out of it. Combined with mods I was able to take my Light Machine Gun Mk 2 (I named her Betsy) and convert it into an instant death-machine. I was able to take down boss enemies in about six seconds, just wildly spraying lead in their general direction.
I then chose named weapons for each of my companions and “tinkered” them up to about 1000 DPS. I tried to keep different weapon types on each; say a plasma rifle on one and a flame-based grenade launcher on another.
As messy as my build was, it still kicked 90 different kinds of ass. My Perception stat kept me out of a lot of needless battles. But when I did have to fight, I could usually wrap things up and leave bodies strewn across the landscape in about 12 seconds.
Combined with my skills and perks, I could usually click into VATS (I know it’s not really VATS, but whatever), and kill two or three enemies before my time dilation ran out. Then my team would swoop in like lunatics and clean up the leftovers before I even had time to try to participate. I had the perk that gave me extra XP for companion kills, so even if an enemy ran away, I wouldn’t bother chasing them. I would just start looting the area and wait for the XP to roll in as my murder puppets chased the enemies down and tidied up shop.
I’ve restarted The Outer Worlds, and have been pursuing a different build, but I can feel myself falling into my old habits. It turns out that I just want to play The Outer Worlds with a machine gun and a dope hat. But my first experience proves that no matter what you do, you will turn out with a pretty great character by the end of The Outer Worlds. What are your favorite skills, perks and builds in The Outer Worlds? Let us know in the comments!
The Outer Worlds released on October 25, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Epic Game Store.