The Outer Worlds: Fallout in SPAAAACE

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

Pavarti’s Mega Important Date night!

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

We need to get rid of those filthy, dirty poor! It’s what Trump would want!

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.

Introduction: How the System Works

I’ve been a gamer since I was 6 years old. I love gaming. But one thing I can’t stand in recent games is the “wokeness” that has been driving the narrative of many modern titles. For those that don’t know, Urban Dictionary describes being “woke” as “The act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue.” This will not be a page that disparages real issues that need discussion. It will not be a page that mocks any kind of diversity in gaming. It will, however, mock forced diversity for the sake of “wokeness” in gaming.

A good example of wokeness is the recent Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War. Among the NPCs who help you in your quest to free Gondor is a black man and a woman. As we know, Gondor is based off medieval Europe, who were not known for their black soldiers or putting women in the field of battle. If this game were in a modern setting or a different fantasy world (such as Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft), I wouldn’t really care. But Tolkien had a clear point of reference for his work and the game developers ignored it for the sake of diversity.

If my pointing this out pisses you off, then before you call me a racist, consider this: If a series was based off an African story or an African legend that involved only Africans, would you put Asians in it? If you don’t see the difference between this and what I’ve described above, you are a hypocrite and also probably a secret racist. I don’t care what your college professor told you about “white privilege” or some other modern philosophical BS that was made up just to give people another group it was okay to hate.

Introducing the Elder Wokeness Scale:

Now let’s get on with this. Wokeness will be measured in five categories:

Sexuality: Gay? Straight? Something else?

Gender: Male, female, or whatever else might be applicable.

Race: Does it matter if you’re black or white?

Anachronism: Does the above fit in the game world?

Overall: Is the overall experience “Woke”? Is it so woke it gets in the way of enjoying the final product?

Each score will have a 0-5 rating.

0 is a null rating, usually means non applicable in this particular game.

1 means the subject doesn’t matter much in the overall game experience.

2 means the subject matters a little but is not in your face about it.

3 means the subject is present but can be easily ignored.

4 Very woke and in your face about the subject

5 EXTREME wokeness. The game is clearly just a vehicle for this subject and not much else.

For the overall score:

1-5: Not woke at all.

6-10: Somewhat woke, usually not enough to prevent enjoyment of the game.

11-15: Pretty woke. Social justice issues are a major subject of this game.

16-20: Pretty much a Social Justice Warrior’s dream game.