Warning: This review contains minor spoilers for several side quests.
I’ve been looking forward to Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds since I learned about it earlier this year. I’m a huge fan of the classics Fallout 1 and 2 and I loved what Obsidian did with Fallout New Vegas. While I’m sad to see how Fallout has suffered under its current owner I was thrilled that the original creators of Fallout were coming out with a new IP that had the same kind of depth and humor as Fallout.
Sexuality: Most of the characters seem straight if they get into their sexuality at all. The only real exception is the character Parvati, your ship’s engineer. She has a side quest which involves the PC trying to help her snag a date with a woman she likes. My main issue with this was how quickly the woman she wanted to romance started to heavily flirt with her, sending her romantic poetry almost as soon as they met. Do people really behave like that? I haven’t encountered it. But all in all, it’s just a side quest and it’s not in-your-face about it. Score: 2 out of 5
Gender: Men and women abound in this game! This was another issue I had. Just about every woman you meet fits in the “strong woman” cliché and just about every man you meet is either evil, corrupt, crazy, or goofy. There’s not really a good example of a strong, morally upright man in this game. Vicar Max could be considered in this role, but he loses his faith halfway through the game and starts acting like nothing matters anymore, which I had to put up to another weak-willed male. In fact, three of your 6 crew members are women and two of them fall clearly in the “tough chick” category (another crewmember is a robot, meaning only two are men, and one of those is a lovable goofball and the other, as I said, is the Vicar). Though one of the evil characters near the end of the game is a black woman so props to them for not making everything a cliché. Score: 3 out of 5
Race: This game is set in the future with futuristic colony worlds so its quite diverse. Unsurprising, given the setting. Though one character, a woman named Hortense Ingalsbee, is very anti-immigrant and anti-poor and was quite thrilled to learn that the poor were (spoiler) being gunned down by the one of the corporations so they wouldn’t have to feed them anymore. So, I must give it a point for its obvious “people who are for immigration control are evil” propaganda. Score: 1 out of 5
Anachronism: Given that it’s a sci-fi setting I can understand the diversity. It certainly fits that in a couple colony worlds there would be so many kinds of people. The only issue I had, as I said, was the lack of decent male characters. Score: 0 out of 5
Overall: 6 out of 20.Not terribly woke. The diversity fits in the game world so even the lesbian relationship I can give a pass to even though it did feel kind of forced. Still, I must deduct points for overly evil corporations run by overly evil male characters.