Two forthcoming games are generating a lot of buzz – but they also suggest the genre is in need of a shakeup

It might be set in space rather than on an Earth ravaged by nuclear war, but there is a strong argument that The Outer Worlds, a forthcoming first-person role-playing game (RPG) by storied developers Obsidian, is spiritually a Fallout game. Not only is it directed by Fallout creators Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, it shares a lot of DNA with Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas – a spin-off with a reputation as the best in the series. New Vegas earned particular praise for its dialogue, and a world-building background that makes it feel like more than a thin justification for firing mini-nukes at super-mutants.

New Vegas was Obsidian’s first and last game set in the Fallout universe, but The Outer Worlds places similar importance on freedom of choice in dialogue and gameplay. In this world, where mega corporations are starting to take over alien planets, you can act like a hero, an opportunistic mercenary, or a total idiot. The writing is sharp, snappy and funny, the world exciting and vibrant, and there’s a classic New Vegas interplay between factions of characters, any of whom the player can help or hinder.

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