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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor story-spoilers for The Outer Worlds

Butch:

So played! I….uh….talked to Gladys. And….talked to a guy in a moon mask. And a patient who stole something for Udom. And someone named Ellie who looks important. And explored. Found a letter. And picked some locks. And broke a guy out of a bathroom. And now I’m about to talk to the salvage person. And the engineering person. And the Board person.

Sigh.

Game, I love ya, I do. But when you give the player a spaceship, and even a little cutscene when the spaceship takes off, you say to the player “The galaxy is yours!” That’s exciting! Do not follow that up with having the ship taken away and hours of talking and talking and talking. And talking.

It screeched to a halt. I’m sure it’ll pick up again and I’ll actually get to do these bazillion quests but for now? Kinda screeched to a halt. I want to play with my spaceship!

And it isn’t just the fact that life is making it hard for me to play. The last few sessions I’ve had have all been well over an hour and all three have been talking and talking and picking locks and talking.

Yawn. I wanna play with my spaceship!

Feminina:

Uh…I may have some bad news for you. So far as I’ve seen to this point, there is not a whole lot of playing with the ship involved in this game. I mean, you go back and talk to it from time to time, you use the navigation panel to fast travel to new locations, but it’s not like you’re going to go zipping all over the place all the time.

But on the plus side, in some of the new locations, you get to get into fights! If you’re into that sort of thing.

But also lots of talking, everywhere you go. It’s a very talk-heavy game as opposed to a combat-heavy one.

Butch:

Ah, man! Lame. I at least thought it would add some degree of open world, go explore to it all. This has become rather linear. Everything’s all right next door to everything.

I have no problem with talk heavy. Lord knows I would never criticize anything for verbosity, as that would be the height of hypocrisy. But this particular talking is just a whole mess of set up. I feel like I’ve spend WAAAAY too long talking about what I’m going to do without actually doing any of it.

I get that you have to set things up. Fine. But setting up everything all at once is a) boring and b) a recipe for me going “Wait….which quest was that?” later in the game. I’m already doing some of that. I’m not going to remember each little thread here when I’m on Meridian or Thedas or wherever.

Games should dole things out slowly. This big ol’ dump doesn’t bode well.

Feminina:

Yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not open world at all. More a series of closed environments that you can walk around, talk, and fight in.

Which is fine. We’ve spent a fair amount of time in our blog history complaining about the exhausting quality you can get with open worlds, where you feel you have to check out every corner and there are SO MANY corners.

I’m trying to view this as a kind of refreshing change, and to appreciate it for what it doesn’t do, as much as being kind of disappointed by what it doesn’t do. Because small scale can be a good thing.

Although if we’re stuck at home for three months, we might actually appreciate the vast expanse of an open world as well. We should have played this BEFORE AC:Odyssey.

Butch:

There will be other things to play over this time. Probably. That aren’t TLOU2.

What it is, really, in some ways, is the first ME trilogy. That was basically a ship as a home base, flying to rather contained places. We liked that. That was OK.

It’s not that that I’m taking issue with, it’s the pacing of the set up/do. I think that pacing, set up/do, is present in games regardless of their overall structure, and this game is kinda blowing it right now.

Feminina:

I felt like this part was OK, but I might have stumbled on things in a different order than you did. For me, it was a more balanced pattern of talking to someone and getting a quest somewhere else, talking to someone and getting a quest on the Groundbreaker that I could then go do, talking to someone just for weirdness (the moon hat guy?), fighting rabid sprats, etc. It wasn’t always just the talking.

But I can see that depending on how you get to things, it could get old. And I was definitely about ready to be done talking to people and go somewhere else once I finished up.

Butch:

How? The only stuff I can do is either a) leave or b) talk to the guy. I should talk to the guy. But I don’t want to talk to the guy until I’m ready cuz everyone gives me something else to talk to the guy about. Better to talk to him all at once, right?

Feminina:

Enh, just talk to the guy. Whatever guy you mean. (The guy with the parts?)

Whatever it’ll come out in the wash. And the sooner you talk to everyone, the sooner you can go do something else!

Butch:

I gotta talk to the salvage dude, Junlei (who Parvati also wants to meet) and the Board guy, who seems to be part of many quests.

So much talking.

But it’s cool. After all, totally quiet here. I’ll just settle in…alone….

Feminina:

Ah yes…in the blissful calm of an empty house…nothing to do but chat with video game characters…what a life!

Sure would be nice to actually have that life.

Butch:

I envy delusional people.

T SHIRT!!!!!

Though I will say that I’m taking back some of the things I’ve said about having a house. My poor brother had a fever so he had to really stay in, and he lives in that three room apartment. At least I have a driveway and a yard and shit. Deck to sit on to get some air. He has none of that. Had a nice swing with Meatball the other day, shot some hoops. It’s not much, but MAN it’s better than nothing.

Feminina:

Houses: A terrible idea except during a pandemic.

Buy now!