Back when I was a teenager, I remember racing home to log into World of Warcraft and work on a legendary quest, or dig into Dragon Age: Origins. Now that I’m nearly 30, I have to spend considerably more time on mundane stuff like “dishes” and the occasional bout of depression-over-taxes. I’ve gotten to the point that when a game promises a richly layered experience, with hundreds of hours of gameplay, and an immersive quest system that really sinks you into the world, I weep and wail.
That’s part of why I’m really digging The Outer Worlds. I’m on my second playthrough and already planning a third. I pick away at the game for a couple of hours here and there, but I never feel lost or confused, thanks to the game’s wonderful quest tracker. Here’s an example for a random sidequest:
Now, for a quest of this size and scope, the summary and recap under each step of progress might be a little redundant. But when I look at the game’s bigger quests, like the main story, the science weapons, or some of the planet and faction storylines, I find myself really appreciating the ability to go back and recheck who I had spoken to and about what. This is especially true on successive playthroughs, where everything kind of blends together.
The Outer Worlds is full of little handholds and reminders like this that is perfect for the older player who can only chip away at a RPG like this in chunks. I may have to step away, but I never forget where I am or what I’m up to. Honestly, I’d love to see quest logs like this in more games.
Sometimes returning to a big RPG is confusing and alarming. Why do I have this bag of grain? What’s this progress bar? Who do I need to speak to? Oh, God, why is this thing blinking? Meanwhile The Outer Worlds is more like meeting up with an old friend for coffee.