Developer Obsidian is eager to create a sequel to The Outer Worlds and turn the RPG into a series, but the team is wary of making the series open-world.Talking to Game Informer, when asked about an open-world sequel co-game director Leonard Boyarsky said “Possibly. But I think the franchise leans a little bit away from that. It’s a pulpy space opera where you’re a guy or woman who flies from place to place, exploring a solar system. So to have one giant map defeats that.”
See what we think of The Outer Worlds in the review above.
Echoing that idea was narrative designer Nitai Poddar, who added “I’m always skeptical of this idea that seems to be going around in AAA development that open-world is the standard. That if you’re going to have a very big budget game that it should be open-world.”
“I think it’s very easy to get burnt out on open-world games because they tend to be so sprawling, so massive, that every open-world game you play tends to be the kind of the same thing,” Poddar continued. “Go here, collect that, see that landmark. I think there is a lot of value in having an open-ended game that is still structured around individual discrete levels.”
The Outer Worlds has large areas, but is not an open-world game in the sense of something like Fallout. Each of the numerous planets you visit are seperate, unliked areas that you travel to via a map menu. So while moment to moment the game feels like an open-world game thanks to the size of each planet map, it’s technically not an open-world game. Poddar likens it to Mass Effect, which made its galaxy feel huge despite actually being a series of levels.
Boyarsky also noted that Obsidian, while hoping for a larger budget on any potential sequel, would like to keep The Outer Worlds as a somewhat smaller project, with manageable staff levels. That naturally means clever use of resources, and open-worlds tend to be very intensive on that side of things.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.