The Outer Worlds
PC Gamer|October 2019

Honesty isn’t the best policy in Obsidian’s first-person RPG

Chris Livingston

A lot of games have extra-difficult ways to play. You can finish Deus Ex without killing anyone, sneak through Dishonored without being detected, and play Thief with zero combat. Phil and I each played about 90 minutes of The Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming RPG, and I can already predict the toughest way to complete it.

It’ll be making it through the entire game without ever telling a lie. It’s got to be nearly impossible, because in just this short session alone the two of us bluffed constantly. I lied to a drug dealer who hired me to track down his missing stashes, telling him I couldn’t find them so I could keep the drugs for myself. Phil lied to a weeping mother about the fate of her missing son and claimed to be a professional athlete so he could investigate a gambler’s murder. I lied to an animal rescue worker, a corporate security guard, and a shop vendor so I could get my hands on an item I wanted. I even disguised myself as an employee of a factory so I could murder the owner, and when the disguise failed I lied my way out of trouble. Twice.

There are so many opportunities to lie, and there’s so much to be gained from dishonesty. Plus, being a huge liar is just fun. A squeaky clean, completely honest playthrough of The Outer Worlds – that’s going to be the true nightmare mode.

Of course, the quality of a lie needs to be matched by the quality of the people you’re lying to, and thankfully the small slice of The Outer Worlds I experienced was full of enjoyable and eccentric characters. The NPCs I spoke to were well-written and voiced, and I spent a lot of my playtime just listening to everything they had to say and wishing I made more time to talk (and lie) to everyone else.

In the town of Fallbrook on the planet Monarch, I took a job from Nelson Mayson, a drug distributor with a bowler hat, a curled moustache, and a charming lack of subtlety. “Might I interest you in a surefire scheme?” he asked. “Wink, wink.” Yes, he actually said “wink”.

His scheme was hiring me to find his drug shipment – he’d been using alien critters called sprats to move his product, and unsurprisingly the little beasts had all disappeared. I recovered the drugs, first from some sprat corpses, and then from digging through piles of sprat poop. Both times I reported back to Mayson that I hadn’t found a thing. He was upset but I walked away with a pocketful of drugs I assume can be put to some use.

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