In my last review on The Outer Worlds, I tried avoiding a lot of the plot points so as to not spoil anything, but this review is mainly discussing the major plot points, choices in the game, and the alternate endings.
As I mentioned in the last review, I really love the story and depth to this game. At the start of the game you can build your character in different ways, that can unlock dialogue options that really change the way the game plays and the outcomes of some major plot points. For example, close to the games ending, Intimidation or Persuasion skills come in handy when dealing with Sophia Akande, a member of the board after she kidnaps Phineas, as you can make her believe she was betrayed by the board, and possibly skip the final boss fight if your Lie skill is high enough. Depending on your initial attributes, you can unlock other options, such as having low intelligence can give you things to say in a conversation, for example at the end of the game, Phineas can revive the colonists (depending on your choices), and asks what you want to do, you can choose options like running the colony yourself, entrusting Phineas to rebuild the colony himself, or do what I did. After a journey full of concussions and taking anything I could to boost my stats took a toll on my brain, and lowered my intelligence enough to get the Ice Cream Ending. Telling everyone to do what they want while I out my feet up and enjoy a delicious, well deserved ice cream cone.
The game offers you multiple choices in the game that can sometimes have neutral decisions depending on how you act to the factions you have to decide between. The earliest game-changing choice you make is when you get to the town of Edgewater on Terra 2, to get a part for you ship you need to take it from a nearby power plant, meaning that the town, or a nearby settlement of outcasts at the Botanical Garden, have to lose power. Doing missions for either one of the factions helps you learn more about their situation and the possible consequences of your actions. Both sides have equally good arguments but I chose to save the Botanical Garden, plunging Edgewater into chaos. Choices like this increase/decrease your reputation with the factions throughout the game. For example, ruining Edgewater (a board controlled town) will decrease your reputation with the Board. Another conflict was between the Iconoclasts and Monarch Stellar Industires (MSI). A ship falls from space catching the eyes of both factions, as they both need a targeting module for their own needs, siding with one of the factions means eliminating the other, however a peaceful outcome is possible by completing a side mission for Zora from the Iconoclasts, after doing this mission, she becomes the new leader of the Iconoclasts and comes to a compromise with Sanjar, leader of the MSI. My decision was to side with the MSI as I hadn’t completed Zora’s quest, meaning I had to eliminate the Iconoclasts, at the end of the game, you can make a final push to save Phineas and have the factions you side with help you with combat, such as troops from the Groundbreaker, a colonist ship free from the Board’s reign, and in this case, the MSI came to fight by my side.
Speaking of endings, the game has three endings, these can be decided when you skip the Hope, either to Phineas’ lab to save the colonist on the ship, betray Phineas and take the ship to Tartarus, or the low intelligence ending, in which you take manual control of the Hope yourself and fly it directly into the Sun. In the ‘Saving the Hope’ ending, Sohpia Akande will contact you asking you to plant a tracker in Phineas’ Lab, if you ignore this and tell Phineas of the plan, you jump the Hope into orbit around Terra 2 and go to Phineas’ Lab as ADA (your ship’s computer) cannot contact him. When you arrive at the Lab, you find it overrun with corporate soldiers and learn Phineas has been taken to Tartarus and imprisoned and save him after either killing Akande’s mechanical warden, or convincing her to give up. After talking to Phineas, you learn that Earth has gone dark and no contact has been made in three years, and reviving the colonists is the only way to save Halcyon. Which is when Phineas asks how you would like to conclude the game as discussed earlier.
In the ‘Sacrificing the Hope’ ending, if you choose to plant the tracker in Phineas’ Lab, Akande will ask you to meet with her, if you chose to save the Botanical Garden, you will be asked to eliminate the town as it is a drain on the Board’s resources, and a way to gain their trust. When asked to jump the Hope, you can jump to Tartarus. When you arrive, you find that Phineas has started a riot and taken Akande hostage. Eventually after fighting your way to Phineas, you confront him through a monitor, and after attempting to talk him into surrendering, he takes his own life. After talking to Akande, you once again learn that Earth has gone dark and that the board’s plan is to eject the Hope’s colonists into space to put Halcyon’s current citizens into stasis until order can be restored in the system.
Both of the proper endings are difficult choice to decide between as both factions have reasonable points and it’s hard to see who’s right in this choice. The freedom of choice in the game is where the game really shines, making you feel like The Outer Worlds are truly yours to explore.