Happy Friday, folks! It’s that time of the week where I try to put you on some good games and save you a little money in the process. While we are still in October, I’m going to ease up on the horror games this week, lest you think I’m in the pocket of Big SpookyTM.
Instead, today’s focus is on games that let you choose your adventure. So let’s wrap up the preamble and get into these games.
This week sees Xbox having a sale on all the Fallout games. While traditional knowledge would dictate Fallout 4 or Fallout 76 take this spot simply for being more recent, this isn’t called “mid-ass games at OK-ass prices.”
In the decade since New Vegas released, it has quietly assumed the throne of Best Fallout Game. This is mainly because it’s a Role-Playing Game (RPG) in the truest sense. The game provides you with a solid customization suite and a dense, thoughtfully crafted open-world to explore. While there are four, predetermined endgames, how you get to any of them is entirely up to you.
New Vegas is one of those rare open-world games where it’s fun to talk to your friends about how you navigate its world because, chances are, y’all had two very different experiences.
If you’ve been curious about the Fallout series, New Vegas is a great place to start. It improves upon everything Fallout 3 does, introduces some cool new shit, and doesn’t take forever to get into like Fallout 4. Having re-downloaded the game on my PC this summer, I can safely say it still goes hard 10 years later.
I’m going to keep it firmly a buck with y’all: I’ve never beat The Witcher 3. It’s simply too much damn game for me. I’ve sunk a solid 25-30 hours into the game, and I’ll occasionally take a trip back, but fuck, y’all.
This game is A LOT.
The Witcher 3 is a third-person action role-playing game that puts you in the boots of Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is the titular witcher, which means he hunts monsters for profit. The base story has Geralt on the search for his missing adopted daughter, who’s being hunted by the titular Wild Hunt. That’s only one of the many, many, many quest lines you can take on in Wild Hunt.
The game has 36 different endings, an in-depth dialogue wheel, multiple romantic options, and a litany of monsters to hunt. The sidequests are so well crafted, and the conversations so thoughtfully developed, that everything feels important to your journey in this game.
You decide the fate of these characters and their world, and the game works to make every decision feels like it holds weight. There are, literally, hundreds of hours of content in this game, and you can get it for only $15. The game’s visuals are still gorgeous five years later and the ambition rivals anything to come out in the time since.
Developer Obsidian Entertainment is this week’s MVP as they have two titles on the list. The Outer Worlds is more or less a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas. The game is a first-person, open-world role-playing game with a similar narrative framework to the Fallout games; you’re awakened from a decades long cryosleep to bring justice to an unjust world.
The unjust world here is Halcyon, a star system composed of six planets overseen by a collective of mega-corporations called The Board.
The game allows you to explore these planets to build a crew of companions, and either bring down The Board, or fight to keep planets under the control of their corporate overlords. The tone of the game manages to thread a generally consistent line between dark satire and sincerity.
I describe this game as an RPG for adults. Not because of the content or anything, but simply because you can beat the game in a reasonable timeframe. Simply having a job has impacted my ability to sink countless hours into games, so I can only imagine how having kids and a partner only further bites into that time. It took me about 25 hours to beat the game while doing a decent combination of main and side quests.
It’s a short but dense game, and from what I’ve seen the Switch port is actually pretty solid. So if you’re looking for a fun RPG that doesn’t require an ungodly amount of your time, you can’t do much better than The Outer Worlds.
Well, that will do it for this week’s installment. Seeing as next week is Halloween, you can expect I’ll be back on my spooky bullshit.
Stay safe, wash your hands, and as always, play more video games.