This is filled with spoilers from Outer Worlds. If you haven’t played it yet, I recommend picking up a copy and diving into this epic world. If you want to read the thoughts of a gamer who made the seemingly wrong decision, tread on….
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Parvati made a good point, asking me to consider the life I’d be taking away from people already struggling to make ends meet. They needed the factory to survive. What were a few revolutionaries compared to hundreds of people struggling on the outskirts of civilization?
True, the first city in Outer Worlds subscribed to the corporate notion of work before all else, treating their citizens as nothing more than employees who perpetually owe money to ‘the man’, even after death. The revolutionaries seemed so admirable, living in reclaimed abandoned ruins that housed new life, thanks to the green thumb of their leader. I was all set to choose them, to divert power to a different future.
Two conversations derailed my revolutionary spirit. First, the revolutionary leader showed a bit of a dark side, reveling in the promise of bodies to feed her hungry plants. In that moment, it seemed like human life was secondary to her cause. She wasn’t any better than the shady mob boss running things in the nearby town. Suddenly, I found myself stuck between two less than ideal situations. Is it possible I misunderstood what she was saying? Yes. Did I make a decision based on incomplete information? Probably.
After a bunch of little missions taking down the somewhat terrifying monsters roaming the land, I stood in front of the terminal that would decide the fate of this far off warren forgotten by the powers that be. I was set to make the revolutionary decision out of a sense of ‘doing the right thing’ as a gamer. Then Parvati made a compelling point. She knew more about her hometown than I ever would. So I chose. I sided with corporate. And things went downhill from there.
Outer Worlds has many interesting aspects. There’s a deep story, heavily engaging relationships, and two quest lines that couldn’t be more different.
If you’re not careful, you’ll head down a dark path that seems like the right thing at first, only to become a cog in a horribly mechanical machine that leads to a terrifying dystopian future for the many colonists in this rundown cranny tucked into the edge of the universe.
It started by choosing a tuna factory, which led to turning in revolutionaries, which led to making more money than I knew what to do with. The money, in turn, inspired me to head to the beautiful capital, to be charmed by the intense and badass corporate commander who seemingly ran everything behind closed doors, and to do everything she commanded of me. There would be no bright future thanks to me, and as the credits rolled, I questioned everything I had done.
Does my character have regrets? Absolutely. He tosses and turns amidst the ruins of these once great cities, watching the rich revel in their newfound freedoms. He imagines the revolutionaries he could have sided with, the world they might have built had they only been given the resources.
Do I, as a gamer, have regrets? Absolutely not. I took the road less traveled and, in this instance, I was able to see a part of a game I don’t normally see. I’m chaotic neutral at the core, tending to side with the good because it’s what’s expected. Seeing a dark side of a game makes it all the more interesting, from my perspective. My travels through Outer Worlds didn’t have a beautiful ending, but it was a hell of a ride.