Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios is making waves in the world of Western RPGs with its upcoming releases. While Starfield has captured attention with its grand scale and ambitious gameplay, another first-party sci-fi RPG, The Outer Worlds 2, is also on the horizon.
The Outer Worlds, developed Obsidian Entertainment, garnered praise for its excellent writing and unique vision when it was released in 2019. Xbox Game Studios announced the sequel in 2021, and although details are scarce due to the focus on the immediate release of Avowed, the game has come back into the spotlight following Starfield’s launch.
Starfield, Bethesda’s highly anticipated space RPG, offers a vast and ambitious experience reminiscent of Bethesda’s RPG roots. However, it is not without its flaws. As attention turns back to The Outer Worlds 2 after playing Starfield, there is hope that the sequel will maintain its unique identity without feeling the need to match Starfield’s scale or ambition.
The Outer Worlds stood out as an AA game published the smaller-scale Private Division, even after Microsoft’s acquisition of Obsidian during its development. It prioritized quality over quantity, with handcrafted locations, meaningful player choices, and an influential narrative. While it had constraints in terms of character animation and the scale of areas, these limitations fostered creativity and resulted in a memorable and cohesive experience.
Starfield, on the other hand, occasionally struggles to maintain the same level of quality across its expansive features. Despite its narrative themes and well-written characters, the game sacrifices variety for scope, leaving certain planets feeling barren and uninteresting to explore.
As Starfield’s shortcomings and ambitions set the stage for future RPGs, particularly Xbox exclusives, it becomes clear that The Outer Worlds 2 should not feel compelled to chase Starfield’s scale. Instead, the focus should be on refining the original’s rough edges with the backing of Microsoft, making it a polished and immersive experience. While the sequel is promised to offer a new solar system to explore, it should strive for impeccable detail and entertaining, reactive content on a smaller scale rather than attempting to match Starfield’s overwhelming number of planets.
It is evident that there is room for both The Outer Worlds and Starfield to coexist as distinct sci-fi RPG entities under Xbox Game Studios. The Outer Worlds 2 has the opportunity to maintain its unique identity and circumvent the issues faced Starfield. With Microsoft’s support, Obsidian Entertainment can create a sequel that stands on its own merits.
Source: Xbox Game Studios, obsidian.net, bethesda.net