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Is The Outer Worlds an open world game?

Remember Fallout: New Vegas? Of course you do: it is one of the best-received, most beloved open world games out there. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the game allowed players to really explore the world to their heart's content. Obsidian's newest venture, The Outer Worlds, operates on the same idea of player freedom and exploration, but it's not quite an open world experience. The Outer Worlds isn't open world so much as it is open worlds, emphasis on the plural. 

What does that mean exactly? Well, it's not Skyrim (something that people have begun complaining about, as their expectations were astronomically high). Players have to unlock areas and go about things in a linear fashion here and there, rather than run off in the first interesting direction. To put this into Skyrim terms: you can't ignore the Greybeards for 30 hours of gameplay. 

Obsidian didn't want The Outer Worlds to be completely open world

The devs aren't too keen on embracing the idea of a totally open world, either. The Outer Worlds' narrative designer, Nitai Poddar, said to Game Informer, "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."

Each planet is something of a discrete level, and planets, as you may surmise, are huge. With such a wide open space to explore, The Outer Worlds doesn't need to be a traditional open world title. Poddar believes that open world games can lead to burn out, stating, "I think there is a lot of value in having an open-ended game that is still structured around individual discrete levels."

So, no, The Outer Worlds is not an open world game, nor is it likely its anticipated sequels will have open worlds. Obsidian wants to make this into a unique franchise. There is plenty of galaxy to explore, though, so it may just feel like you're playing an open world game, even if The Outer Worlds puts a different spin on things.