Many people on the writing and dev teams are from the Black Isle/Fallout era, so I’ve been following its development for a long time now. Since most of the marketing and advertising had a strong anti-corporate message, I thought that doing a playthrough as a corporate toady would be just the thing to try and break this game.
So without further ado, here’s Part One of my Pro-Corporate playthrough of The Outer Worlds.
Prologue “Diplo-Sniper II: Revenge of the Diplo-Sniper”
The mad scientist’s name turned out to be Phineas Vernon Welles, and like Doc Mitchell in Fallout New Vegas, he was among other things an amateur psychologist. He has a lot of comments to make on my attribute and background selection.
Phineas sends me out to find more chemicals to “rescue” my fellow colonists. I’m not sure what he’s rescuing me from: it feels like out of the frying pan, into the fire.
Chapter One “Follow the Mellow Dick Road”
After making my way through a cave, I meet a corporate flunky who is too wounded to continue on his own. Even though he’s desperately wounded, he rattles off some corporate slogans, which while very off-putting gives me a big clue as to how to act on this planet.
I take the “Mellow Dick” approach to convince him that it’s in the best interest of his employer to give me his sidearm, an early benefit of making a character with high charisma. It’s classic Diplo-Sniper: he thinks we’re friends now, but he’s still bleeding out and I have his gun.
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Like with her flunky who I met in the cave, I decide to play it cool with Lieutenant Mercer. She comes off as an extremely pro-corporate person, so I turn on the charm and pretend to agree with her. It turns out to be a good decision since I now get her (and her other flunky’s) help in the upcoming battle to secure the spaceship Unreliable.
Since I have low strength, the gun I wheedled off the wounded guy in the cave is a life saver. After a pretty chaotic firefight, only myself and Lieutenant Mercer are left standing. She thanks me for my help, and I continue on to the town of Edgewater.
Chapter 2 “Buying into the Marketing”
The first person I meet is the town gravedigger, who seems overwhelmed by the duties of his position. I promise to help him, and move on into the town proper. There’s a ton of side quests for me to do or not do: a sick man wants meds, and a ladder-climbing bureaucrat wants the same meds to make a group of people better. A True Believer out on the docks wants me to eliminate the perceived robotic menace.
The owner of the local Saltuna factory wants me to bring some lost sheep back into the fold, and he tells me that they have the part I need to fix my ship. He lends me his mechanic, a young woman named Parvati to help out. She’s a very open person, honest and eager to help. If only all meatshields were this easy to recruit.
Chapter 3 “Focus Group Research”
I had picked a pro-corporate playthrough for this article because I thought that playing against how the game “wanted” me to play would make for some funny moments and good stories. Usually, it’s easy to do this, since even games that market themselves as RPGs end up having a story-on-rails with clear right and wrong choices. I was starting to see that despite the hideously outdated well, everything, that The Outer Worlds was at heart a true AAA roleplaying experience.
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Chapter 4 “Customer Loyalty Program”
I had intended to pull off a classic corporate double-cross and betray Edgewater, but then I found out about the grave robbing. Now, as you know, the Diplo-Sniper has nothing against a little amateur archaeology; but there’s nothing there’s nothing that the Diplo-Sniper hates more than hypocrites.
They all claim to hate the corporation, but they rely on it to provide a steady supply of corpses so that they can grow their own food. That’s not rebellion; that’s just living in a Company Town with extra steps. In my view, I did them a favor by diverting power away from their community and stealing their Macguffin *ahem* Power Regulator to fix The Unreliable.
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Chapter 5: “Fired Upwards”
Yes, I made the company stronger by brutally destroying the labor strike. I also brought back into the fold the management team that will improve the product while also keeping an eye out for worker satisfaction. This game was deep, much deeper than I expected. I was anxious to see what other adventures awaited me.
There was only one thing left to do in Edgewater. I headhunted the cream of the local talent to form my own greedy, self-serving corporation. And like a good company man: I took off in the middle of the night without paying my parking ticket.
And the best thing? They kept true to their roots. Don’t like a particular NPC? Blow their head off; the story will adjust. Despise a certain party member? Send them packing. That’s the best thing about a real RPG: it’s your story, so play it however the hell you want.
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