Having played Outer Worlds once, I immediately went back and played it again … and again … and again … until I completed the game on the most difficult level, Supernova.

image: a screenshot from outer worlds
from Murder on Eridanos

I found myself replaying the techniques I used to used when playing First Person Shooter games in the early days. For the last few years, until this game, I’ve played games at the story–telling level. I think, from now on, I will aim to play games at high difficulty instead. In other words, the Outer Worlds has improved my gameplay significantly. Admittedly, I’m a long way from being a good player, but at least I’m no longer among the weakest.

I enjoyed the game so much that I bought the two extensions, Peril on Gorgon and Murder on Eridanos. Both are as good as the original game itself, which is rather unusual.

I ended up playing sniper. I’d shoot up a pack of nasties, then run away. I’d found that they only chased me so far, usually, before they retreated, so if I ran away far enough, they’d make no attempt to get me. In other words, I got to shoot them without them returning the complement, usually. Do that enough times, and monsters are munched, criminals are crunched, and so on, without touching me. Of course, that doesn’t always work, but it proved a pretty good tactic a lot of the time. Indeed, sniper play in the game is so effective that I’m pretty sure both add-on maps were developed to reduce the opportunities to do so, particularly Murder on Eridanos. Of course, had I been a decent player, I’d have developed skills and strengths across the tactical board, not just shoot and bugger off pronto.

Now, I’ve now finished the game, and all it add–ons, on all levels of difficulties. There is nothing major left to discover. I could try some new tactics, but the context, the story, and worst of all, the jokes, would all be too familiar. The Outer Worlds has become an old friend, a pandemic friend, but I really ought to say goodbye to it. I’ll return a couple of years.