The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition Review – A Beautiful Return to Halcyon

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition Review

Launching in late 2019, The Outer Worlds set out to rekindle the magic of the original Fallout games in a brand new setting. Players are given the freedom to act as they see fit – providing they are willing to pay the consequences. We are encouraged to approach each situation not only through brute force or stealth but an array of diplomatic options which can offer several unique experiences. The Outer Worlds was followed up with two impressive DLC packs: Peril on Gorgon and Murder on Eridanos. Both expansions let players delve further into the weird and winding narrative of the Halcyon system, only serving to enhance an already enjoyable experience.

The Outer Worlds is not without its flaws, most of which come from performance and graphical issues, but The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition offers to remaster and enhance the game and its extended content. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Halcyon back in 2019. I was happy to return to the side of Phineas Welles as we battle against the various corporations. The Spacer’s Choice Edition delivers on what it advertised, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is worth the cost.

This is a first-person shooter with a brilliantly written satire of capitalism. Humanity is in the process of settling in the Halcyon system; a small collection of planets purchased and operated by major corporations. Everyone is forced to follow strict, regimented rules with precise pre-written responses to potential consumers, all set against the backdrop of the wild west in space. It’s gritty and dirty, but with that 50’s sci-fi Fallout charm. It features full RPG elements, customization, and branching events where your choices actually matter.

The Outer Worlds is a Clever Satire on Capitalism

I lamented the struggle this game put my PlayStation 4 through with long load times, lagging under strain, and causing the console fan to kick into overdrive to run this beautiful piece of pulp fiction. The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition fixes those issues. Load times are significantly improved, although not quite up to my expectations of the PlayStation 5. I have experienced no lag during graphically intensive moments, nor have I had any texture issues the entire time. What I have had is new and different issues, even after the recent patch.

While having a conversation with an NPC my controller became unresponsive. The light was on, but the buttons weren’t functioning. Concerned the controller had simply malfunctioned or died, I switched to another. Upon turning the second controller on, the game resumed and I finished the conversation. The very next NPC I spoke to, however, had the same issue. I swapped back to the first controller and, sure enough, I could continue our dialogue. This has not happened frequently, but it’s not something I’ve seen in any game before. There have also been many times that generic NPCs would pop in or out of existence for no reason. This has yet to occur with a named character or anyone with important dialogue, thankfully, but it is strange nonetheless. Despite these new issues, the improvements to The Outer Worlds are quite noticeable between launch and the Spacer’s Choice Edition. Even in Quality mode, the frame rate is much smoother than the original.

Crystal Clear And Silky Smooth

I played the first several hours in Quality mode and then swapped to Performance mode. I often find Performance mode to be my preferred setting, but there really seems to be no drop in graphical quality to the naked eye. The already vivid game pops even more with greater details, shading, and lighting. Faces are a bit more robust as if I had previously been looking at them through dirty glass and now I could truly see them for the first time. Make no mistake: The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition is a lovely upgrade to what is easily one of my favorite games. This begs the question; Is it worth the price tag?

A Great Update but a Confusing Price Tag

Many companies have been generous enough to offer similar next-gen upgrades for much older games for free. The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition goes for $59.99 USD, or $9.99 USD if you previously owned the game. I understand it took effort to upgrade and enhance the game and the team ought to be compensated for their efforts. It seems steeper than it ought to be, and $10 for an objectively marginal upgrade feels out of place, especially one that introduces all new bugs and issues. I greatly enjoy this game, but I’m hesitant to agree on a $10 price tag for a next-gen upgrade offering little more than graphical enhancements. If it offered new missions, gear, or other content I would be on board with the price. As it currently stands, it ought to have been a free upgrade or $39.99 for new players.

The Outer Worlds is a great game. It is beautifully crafted, intelligently written, and a delight to play. I’ll once again be exploring every corner of Halcyon with the Spacer’s Choice Edition because the experience that Private Division put together is an absolute must-play. Despite the odd bugs, the upgrade does make for a better experience. Yet slapping a price tag on it rather than offering it for free, especially without any new content, seems unnecessary. The irony is not lost on me that this upgrade is named after one of the game’s more blatantly satirical, greedy corporations looking to make a dollar.

Still An All-Time Classic

For sheer memorable and engaging gameplay, I recommend The Outer Worlds. It was an absolute delight to play back in 2019, and it still holds up as one of my all-time favorite gaming experiences. I am pleased with the graphical upgrades and enhancements from The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition. Although, with less new content and more new bugs, it should have been a free upgrade for returning players

***PlayStation 5 code provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Improved Load Times
  • Better Graphics and Lighting
  • Same Great Satire
  • Plenty of Bug Fixes

The Bad

  • All New Bugs
  • No New Content
  • Why a Paid Upgrade?