The Outer Worlds, 2019’s Great RPG, Has A Busted New-Gen Update
Image: Obsidian Entertainment
The Outer Worlds upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S seemed to come out of nowhere. Announced just a few weeks ago, the Spacer’s Choice version of the 2019 sci-fi shooter arrives long after other PS4 and Xbox One games received their next-gen updates. And now that it’s finally here, players are discovering all kinds of issues.
Out on March 7, The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition bundles together the existing paid DLCs Peril on Gorgon and Murder on Eridanos and promises visual enhancements, improved performance and a host of other enhancements. And after playing it for an hour on the Xbox Series S, I can confirm that the environmental textures, volumetric lighting, and other small details make it the best-looking version of Obsidian Entertainment’s space pirate and espionage action RPG. corporations so far.
Volumetric lighting is one of the promised enhancements of the Spacer’s Choice Edition. Screenshot: Obsidian Entertainment / Kotaku
Unfortunately, performance is far from smooth when it comes to things like frame rate. Cinematic mode can be rough, and Performance mode, which aims for 60 FPS, often crashes when entering a new area or fighting enemies in a particularly large environment. And I’m far from a freak. In fact, gamers across Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and the new PC version are all reporting issues. “It’s not the best choice, it’s Spacer’s choice,” goes the corporate slogan in the game synonymous with cost-cutting. Many of them have already made similar jokes about the new edition.
The consensus seems to be that while the visual improvements are welcome, they hardly make up for the new world travel stutter. Load times are faster on newer consoles, but they were already decent on backwards compatible versions. It just doesn’t feel right to play in its current form, an especially hard pill to swallow considering Spacer’s Choice Edition is a whopping $60 (currently discounted to $48 for a limited time), even even players who already own the base game and existing DLC will have to pay $10 to upgrade.
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That’s because instead of releasing a simple upgrade, Spacer’s Choice Edition is technically an entirely separate version of the game. It takes up a special place in your console and Steam library, and you can’t transfer your existing save file to it. Unlike the base version, it’s not even on Game Pass. And players who own physical copies of the game are having trouble even accessing the paid upgrade option.
While Obsidian Entertainment is owned by Microsoft, The Outer Worlds was published by Private Division, one of Take-Two’s labels. Notably, Private Division was also the publisher of Remedy Entertainment’s excellent paranormal shooter control, which went through its paid next-gen upgrade program. Several players are currently lobbying each other to fill out support tickets on the publisher’s website on the state of the new version. The Private Division did not immediately respond to a request for comment.