Combat in The Outer Worlds is far more complex than it seems

The Outer Worlds, in development by Obsidian, looks and feels like a shooter but is, at its core, an RPG. When you play, you’ll move and shoot, just like any other FPS. You can aim-down-the-sights and fire at enemies to deal damage, however, there’s a lot more going on than what you can see. Like other action RPGs/shooters, when you deal damage, you’ll see number indicators on screen.

This is pretty standard for these types of games but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you activate Tactical Time Dilation (TTD) — The Outer Worlds version of VATS — the world around you slows down.

It’s when TTD is active that you begin to see how complex and deep the combat actually is.

The Outer Worlds Combat

Using TTD you can aim at enemies and gain information on them. You’ll get information on what type of creature/enemy they are, their level, HP, armour rating and a short analysis on them and their abilities.

For example, in the image above you can see that I’m targeting a Mantipillar that is level 13 with 285 HP and an armour rating of 5. It will spit plasma balls at enemies that deal burn damage.

You can also see that Obsidian is having fun with the enemies by giving them a bit of flavour. This particular Manitpillar once ate a hat. Other characters I’ve come across have had text like “misses its mother” and “Also Monarch’s preeminent alcohol guide.”

Attributes and Stats aren’t the only things you’re able to discover by using TTD. You can also see a creature’s status effect and what status you might inflict.

Aiming at an enemy’s head will give you a chance to Blind it. Aiming at its limbs gives you a chance to Maim or Cripple and other locations can Stagger an enemy. You can hit multiple points on enemies to give them multiple status effects. If you’re using a plasma weapon you can give them a burning status effect while other weapons can cause different effects.

I wasn’t able to get a full list of all of the status effects that appear in The Outer Worlds but there does seem to be quite a few.

Additionally, because TTD only lasts a short time, characters that are affected by a status effect will be marked with a small icon. Blinded enemies will have a small eye icon above their health bar for example.

The best part is that The Outer Worlds is just as playable as a straight shooter as it is by taking advantage of the RPG systems. If you want to run around, aim and shoot and not worry about status effects you definitely can. Likewise, if you want to exploit enemy weaknesses and use status effects to your benefit you can.

Combat in The Outer Worlds is one of the most impressive elements. I’m certainly looking at how deep and complex it will get the longer I play.

It will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 25, 2019. It will release for Switch at a later date.

Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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