Obsidian unveils sci-fi RPG that could steal Starfield's thunder

Obsidian the Outer Worlds

In amidst a host of new game announcements – Far Cry: New Dawn, Crash Team Racing, and Dragon Age 4, to name only a few – Obsidian grabbed our attention with the announcement of a new, sci-fi RPG titled The Outer Worlds. 

The developer is behind some of the best RPGs of recent years, including Pillars of Eternity and South Park: the Stick of Truth – not to mention 2010's well-received Fallout: New Vegas. And the new RPG, coming in 2019, is giving us serious Fallout-in-space vibes.

The developer has been teasing its upcoming game for a few months now, but it was only at this week's Game Awards 2018 that we got an official title and a general sense of the game.

The Outer Worlds will be a single-player RPG  set on "the frontier of space", according to the trailer's narrator – but a frontier that big-brand corporations have bought out and run for their own financial needs.

Check out the trailer below:

Setting aside, the trailer shows off some slick animation, bleak but hard-hitting comedy, and a knowing awareness of usual RPG tropes ("You know you didn't have to shoot either of them, right?").

It's a vibrant twist on the often dour worlds of Fallout, in a fun an expansive new setting – though this is essentially what we expected from Starfield.

Starfield remains a bit of a mystery, but was confirmed at this year's E3 2018 as another expansive RPG franchise from Bethesda, alongside The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. There's no release date, though we expect it on next-gen consoles not earlier than 2020, and possibly after.

While the original Starfield trailer was sparse on details – effectively just a shot of a satellite in space getting sucked into a wormhole – we know the game is planning on being made in the same engine as Fallout and Skyrim, with the mechanics – and technical issues – that entails.

However The Outer Worlds turns out, it may be difficult for Bethesda's eventual take on the space RPG not to feel like retreaded ground.

The closing tagline of the trailer sums up both the fun Obsidian is aiming to bring to its space RPG – and possibly fires a parting shot at Bethesda's plans for something similar with its outdated engine:

"Welcome to the future... Try not to break it."

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.