New information reveals that Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds will feature a very active combat system that won’t interfere with the game’s RPG mechanics.
“I don’t want anyone to either think our combat’s boring, but I also don’t want them to think there was too much rote combat in the game,” said Outer Worlds co-director Tim Cain in an interview with Game Informer. “I want them to come away thinking that combat was exciting, it was fun when it happened, it was a little scary—you could always die, there’s always a chance you could die—but that if you basically thought about it and were tactical, you could get through pretty much any encounter.”
Outer Worlds lead designer Charles Staples added that the game is “an RPG first” but it also is a shooter and needs to “play like a shooter.” He notes that most easy encounters can overcome with brute force but enemies with special abilities will often require players to consider both their own powers and the skills of their enemies in order to survive.
One of those abilities will be a combat slowdown mechanic called “Tactical Time Dilation” (TTD) that sure sounds a lot like VATS. TTD allows you to slow down time in order to take precision shots during combat. This ability is based on a skill meter, but the skill meter doesn’t always drain at a set rate. If you’re just standing still, your meter will drain very slowly (if at all). However, it will drain much faster once you start firing. This will allow you to essentially pause the game and consider your next move. While you can’t highlight specific body parts, hitting enemies in those body parts can actually add to your character’s skills.
Interestingly, it sounds like companions will play a potentially big role in the game’s combat. That’s especially true of those who put points in the “Leader” skill tree path. As a leader, you are better able to utilize your companion’s special abilities and take full advantage of companion perks that will enhance the effectiveness of those abilities. It sounds like every character type will be able to utilize companions, but the Leader path is there for those who want to base encounters around their companions.
All things considered, The Outer World‘s combat system makes it feel like an exciting blend of BioShock and Fallout: New Vegas. It certainly sounds like more of a Fallout game than Fallout 76has been.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.