The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition review | Having never played the initial release of The Outer Worlds, this was something that was on my radar. I have been a long-time fan of Obsidian Entertainment over the years so having the opportunity to play the new and improved version was something I didn’t want to pass up. The Outer Worlds was initially released back in 2019 with generally positive reviews across the board, so what does the Spacer’s Choice edition offer here? Well, if you are a nerd like me, you will be pleased to know that the Spacer’s Choice Edition isn’t just the additions of DLC it offered over the last three years. We have new graphical improvements such as high-resolution character models. volumetric lighting, additional environment detail, and new particle effects that really help the game look new for current-generation machines.
|Obsidian Entertainment, Virtuos
|Take-Two Interactive, Private Division
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Enhanced AI | The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition features improved AI in regard to enemies. Gunfights and melee combat now feels more fleshed out with enemies actively seeking cover when low on health, cowering when scared, and rushing you when they think they have you cornered or your partners are down. It makes each fight feel different and can keep you on your toes if you feel overpowered by enemies. It makes you rethink each fight and makes you manage your items better as some fights can lead to death if not careful.
- Dynamic Weather System | The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition now features a dynamic weather system, where the weather will change randomly wherever you are in the world. I’ve experienced hot sunny days, chilly night skies, tropical rain, and more since playing through The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition. It may not seem like much, but it really adds some nice details to the environments as you are running around exploring. It makes every encounter in the world feel fresh and exciting.
- The Music and Audio | The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition, features very cinematic music for its cutscenes, immersive ambient music for its world exploration, and upbeat, epic music for its large-scale fights. Each track is carefully matched with the time of day, and the current world you are exploring and finds the perfect track to play. It all adds to the immersion really well. On top of this, the gun and melee combat sound effects sound realistic and gritty and match the weapon well. The healing mechanic has a really satisfying sound attached to it too when you take a huge gulp of gas from your mask.
- Improved loading times | The Outer Worlds 2019 featured some pretty lengthy load times from the research I have done. Looking at some of the gameplay videos and technical analysis done on the game, load times were in excess of 30 seconds each time. For what would appear to be an open-world game, that isn’t too bad, but The Outer Worlds isn’t technically an open-world game. It has open areas for sure, but this is what was needed at the time to help keep down the load times in the original. The load times have now been greatly improved and now load in new areas in sub 5 seconds. A great addition to the Spacer’s Choice Edition.
- Improved Visuals | The visual enhancements that were added to the Spacer’s Choice Edition really do add a lot when looking back at the original. New character models have been added that look more realistic. Each main character or significant person you encounter now has a fresh coat of paint adding to the more populous worlds. Cities feel more alive with the additional environmental enhancements that have been added as well. The volumetric lighting along with the aforementioned dynamic weather system, really makes the game feel like a remaster of sorts.
- Upgrades | The upgrades in The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition are really deep, yet easy to understand. When you first start your game, you are able to make a character and kit them out with specific stats that will help you engage with the world. As you level up, you get to add to these skills and also add perks to your character. Initially, I started with combat and stealth skills which allowed me to traverse the opening areas of the game a little easier so I could get my bearings. As I progressed through the game I chose to go down a more stealth, and hacking route which allowed me to bypass a lot of locked doors with ease. This reduced the time needed to run around these areas looking for things to use and keys to find. For someone who makes games himself, I know key hunting isn’t something that is generally admired in the gaming space. Within each category of skills, there are also subskills. For example, under stealth, this is where you will find lock picking. You can upgrade each overall skill on its own or just upgrade the individual subskill when it reaches its max level. For the perks, it is as simple as choosing what perks you would like to apply to your character and then they are passively active for you. Health upgrades, movement speed, and damage negation are some of the many perks you can apply to your character when levelling up.
- DLC Included | The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition comes fully equipped with all of the DLC that was released previously. The Peril on Gorgon and Murder on Eridanos each add an additional 4 hours of story content to The Outer Worlds. This also adds new weapons and adds new side-story missions for you to complete, along with new achievements also.
- The weird next-gen upgrade path | It’s complicated this one. Since Microsoft owns the developer you think the usual upgrade path of it being free would apply here but sadly not. Private Division still owns the distribution rights and as a result, has chosen to apply the $10 upgrade fee here. If you don’t own the original game however, it is worth noting that for $60 you do get access to the new enhanced version of the game including all of the DLC previously released, making it a worthwhile purchase. The issue here is that owners of the original game and DLC are not getting much in the way of upgrades if you do decide to pay the $10. Currently, performance is horrible even in non-cinematic mode with terrible stutters and frame drops across the board. Cinematic mode is supposed to be a 4K 60fps addition to the game but it rarely achieves this. Personally, I don’t feel it is worth the extra $10 if you already own it, but ultimately the choice is yours.
- Minimal Ammo types for shared weapons | This may seem like a slightly nuanced complaint but I grew frustrated at how many of my favorite weapons all shared the same ammo type, meaning I had to use weapons that were inefficient against enemies when I ran out of ammo. Energy cells are expensive and having to constantly buy them meant I was always on the back burner when it came to money. Either better balancing of weapons using certain ammo is needed or make more ammo types so there are wider varieties of weapons to try that can compensate when you are out of your favorite.
What we Disliked
- No carrying over saves | It’s sad to say that if you are an upgrade buyer of The Outer Worlds and you are moving to Spacer’s Choice Edition, you won’t be able to carry over your saves. It’s a really weird thing to not offer, but if you are currently playing through on Game Pass also, and purchasing the entire game, the same thing will apply here. If you are considering buying this, maybe finish your first run first before upgrading or purchasing.
- Performance issues are bad | With the new additions we now have a 4K 60fps Cinematic mode which for 90% of the time, isn’t what you are going to get. I initially started in this mode since I am definitely a visuals guy over frame rate, but I quickly learned that if I am going to survive out here, I need to change my settings. I ended up defaulting back to the framerate mode since the sheer amount of stutters and frame drops were ridiculous. It still amazes me how apparently these things go “unnoticed” prior to launch. Let’s be honest though. They don’t. They are something that the higher-ups deem fixable in a post-launch patch rather than before launch. A serious update is needed before I recommend playing in this mode.
How long to beat the story | 13 hours main story
How long to achieve 1000G | 40-50 hours including DLC
You’ll love this game if you like these | Fallout, Skyrim, No Man’s Sky, Borderlands
The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition is a worthy upgrade to the 2019 release by the same developer. With new visual enhancements and all DLC included, owners of the original may want to revisit albeit with a fee. The poor performance of the Cinematic mode doesn’t stop it from being a playable experience, but players may want to avoid this mode. Users hoping to carry over their previous saves will also be disappointed as you will need to start from scratch. Despite the few issues it has The Outer Worlds continues to be a fun and enjoyable experience from start to finish with many additional hours of content for those hungry to explore more.
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I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.