The Outer Worlds’ combat is the result of Obsidian’s expertise in making RPGs, and more accessible mechanics found in modern games.
Obsidian revealed to Game Informer in a new video how the team is approaching the game’s combat to make sure it stays true to its RPG roots while being fun to play.
Right off the bat, lead designer Charles Staples explained that The Outer Worlds is an RPG first, but it needs to play as good as a shooter because that’s the perspective you play the game from.
What this means in practice, according to Staples, is that smaller encounters should play out as you’d expect them to in a shooter, but more difficult and elaborate fights require tactical use of your skills, and abilities.
Of course, being an RPG, not every player will be specced for maximum effectiveness in combat. To get around this, Obsidian implemented a leader trait that essentially allows players to make use of the skills of their companions.
As you can see in the gameplay footage below, The Outer Worlds’ combat is definitely inspired by Fallout. Though VATS is obviously gone, you’re instead given a limited slow-motion ability called tactical time dilation that achieves a similar effect. The more you move or shoot while using it, the faster it runs out.
Obsidian wanted players to be able to toggle time dilation on and get a moment to judge the situation and make the necessary moves. See it in full below:
The Outer Worlds is out something this year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.