Like many big Fallout: New Vegas fans, my first impression of Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds was that it seemed a bit like a spiritual successor to New Vegas. Like New Vegas, Outer Worlds is a RPG with FPS gameplay, but the primary focus is on role-playing stat checks, perks, quests, exploration, companions, and etc.
That seemed to be the general consensus among most people, and I think it was a fair comparison to make. For me, playing through The Outer Worlds was like playing through a modernized New Vegas in a different world. For this blog post, I’m going to be displaying the beautiful world and aesthetics of The Outer Worlds, rather than the actual gameplay.
In Fallout: New Vegas, you’re thrown into the Mojave Wasteland – a large open world desert in post-war America in the with a handful of sparse settlements, plenty of monsters, and the lights of New Vegas in the distance.
The Outer Worlds omits the open world concept and instead offers smaller discrete maps. In The Outer Worlds, the game throws you into a good handful of maps that are no longer on Earth, but are instead within the Halcyon star system – and thus, maps that are more vibrant or “alien”.
Long story short, I loved running around the various maps in The Outer Worlds and I have a lot of pretty screencaps I wanted to share of my favorite places in the game.
Right off the bat, you’re thrown into Emerald Vale on the planet Terra-2. According to The Outer Worlds Wiki, Terra-2 is “A terraformed planet with a viable atmosphere conductive to earth-like habitation for humans”. However, it also happens to be a big and beautiful volcanic mess.
My favorite part of this entire region is that there exists a video game world with columnar basalt formations. But what is columnar basalt?
These are just some images I shamelessly stole off of Wikipedia. Columnar basalt occurs when a lava flow cools in a certain way to create igneous rocks with hexagonal shaped cracks. In an AGU blog post, geologist Evelyn Mervine writes, “When the lava cools, it contracts. When objects contract, they often crack or fracture. When contraction occurs at centers which are equally spaced, then a hexagonal fracture pattern will develop.”
Here’s another screencap I have from the same spot. This one demonstrates more of the civilization that resides in Emerald Vale.
The second map you enter is a ship called The Groundbreaker. The technology in Emerald Vale is quite humble. The town is drab and most of the technology is more industrial and within the canning factory. Some of the residents will complain about how terrible and disgusting the whole place is. It feels almost a little empty and post-apocalyptic, similar in aesthetic to some parts of New Vegas. The Groundbreaker is when you and your crew get thrust into a more sci-fi and capitalistic environment. This is the hub of The Groundbreaker, full of ads, vendors, and robots.
The following is a screencap from the landing dock in Scylla, a small asteroid with a large terraformer in the middle. I really love how the purple and orange contrast each other here. In general, I think the colors in this game look really good.
Lastly, these are two images from a small settlement in Monarch – a dangerous hazard filled planet with spores in the air (somewhat visible in the top image). Most people have left this planet for better ones, but some people have remained. Even though the environment itself is super dangerous and full of monsters, I find this location to be somewhat cozy. I like the second screenshot a lot because it looks vaguely like a painting.
As a bonus, I would like to note that I absolutely love the aesthetic of these loading screens of the monsters in the game that look like they come out of a field guide.
I also put all these photos into an Imgur album because I’ve noticed that WordPress compresses and resizes all of its images and then makes them look terrible. This link has all the images in full resolution and they look significantly better.
(Edit: This seems to only be a problem on Firefox, and not on Chrome, but unfortunately, the images were loading really slowly for me because they were full size PNGs, so I ended up just re-uploading my own compressed images).