In more ways than one, The Outer Worlds is an attempt to appeal to disgruntled western RPG fans who may have been burned by disappointing games like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Fallout 76. The game’s announcement trailer at The Game Awards 2018 proudly pointed out that it’s in development by the original Fallout devs in addition to people who worked on New Vegas, and it is set to have some gameplay features that will appeal to fans of those games. However, it appears one popular gameplay feature that’s common in western RPGs won’t be in Obsidian’s new game.
It’s been confirmed that The Outer Worlds will not have romance options for companions, unlike many other western RPGs. This revelation came about from 15 minutes of gameplay released by Game Informer, which indicated that romance options aren’t included in The Outer Worlds because romance quests are “hard and involve a lot of work,” so the development team decided to focus its efforts elsewhere.
While players will not be able to romance their companions in The Outer Worlds or partake in any romance quests like in similar games, that doesn’t mean romance is off the table completely. It’s possible that players will be able to romance other characters in the game besides their companions, or participate in some romantic activity in some capacity somewhere in the title. That possibility has yet to be confirmed or denied by the developers at the time of this writing.
While players won’t be able to romance their companions in The Outer Worlds, that doesn’t mean they still can’t build a strong bond with them. All of the companions in the game will have their own distinct personalities and goals, and will react appropriately to what the player does. In fact, it’s possible for the player character to react in a way that would make their companions abandon them, which is sure to be the source of some heartbreak down the line.
Even so, some fans may be disappointed that The Outer Worlds doesn’t appear to have romance options in the traditional sense, and it may lower their anticipation for the game. On the bright side, The Outer Worlds seems to be featuring plenty of other features that will appeal to hardcore fans of the genre, like a classic Fallout dialogue system, for instance.
The Outer Worlds launches in 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.