Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds will deal with some political themes, but it’s not going to be a “politically-charged” game.
The Outer Worlds co-director Leonard Boyarsky is careful not to lean too hard into some of the game’s story implications. Though he says the game will poke fun at capitalism, it won’t “lecture” players about one ideology or another.
To Boyarsky, it always comes down to power and how it gets used by the game’s factions against those who don’t have it. “I like money: I’m not against capitalism and in a lot of ways I’m happy with our society. But of course there are a lot of ways in which it could be improved,” he told VGC.
“Having grown up in America and been through the onslaught of consumer culture, we’re very familiar with that and like to poke fun at it. But like how with [2001 RPG] Arcanum when we were dealing with racial issues, the story always comes down to balance of power, how people get power and how they use it. We’ve been very careful, I’ve been very careful.
“I don’t want people to think this is a really hard, politically-charged game: it’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be humorous.”
For instance, Boyarsky says the team went to great lengths to make characters whose ideologies he doesn’t agree with “very sensible and very believable.” The inverse is true, as there are others who posses stances more in line with Boyarsky’s, but they may not be “very nice to hang out with.”
“So we don’t want to set up strawman or anything and say, ‘look how horrible this is!’ It’s really about looking at all aspects of issues. The last thing we want to do is make a game that people feel is lecturing them,” he explained.
The Outer Worlds is out October 25 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.