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The Outer Worlds will have a survival mode

Obsidian's Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky dropped a ton of new details for The Outer Worlds on The Game Informer Show recently, teasing a survival mode and chatting about gear customisation, companions, character progression and lots more. 

The Outer Worlds will offer a few different modes, letting you choose a difficulty that fits your playstyle, whether you just want to enjoy the story or you want a hardcore challenge. If you're the latter, you might be interested in Supernova mode. It gives you hunger, thirst and exhaustion meters, so you'll need to eat, drink and sleep. If you ignore your body, there will be penalties.

While survival and crafting are often conflated, The Outer Worlds won't send you rooting around for hundreds of crafting materials. There isn't a crafting system at all, really, though you'll be able to augment your gear with parts scattered around the worlds. You'll be able to change how your gear works, but you'll also discover unique stuff with abilities that can't be recreated with mods. 

On the subject of loot, there will be lots of hand-placed stuff, and some enemies will have specific weapons and gear you can loot from their corpse. You'll find plenty of random loot, too, so you'll still find some surprises while you're digging through the trash. 

As well as using gear yourself and altering your character's appearance, you'll be able to equip your companions, and their skills will determine what sort of weapons you'll want to give them. The shrink ray, for instance, should be given to a high-science companion, allowing them to more effectively shrink enemies while you fill their tiny body with bullets.

Obsidian loves its companion banter, so expect your pals to comment on stuff as you're exploring, chat among themselves and interject while you're talking to NPCs. Back on the ship, you'll be able to spend more quality time with them. And while you won't be seducing any of them, you'll still be able to form friendships, influencing them and watching your relationship grow. If your goals are very different from their own, however, you might end up developing a more adversarial relationship, eventually making them leave your crew. 

Also mentioned is limited enemy scaling for specific creatures, dynamic weather and where the history of The Outer Worlds diverged from real history. Obsidian touched on some things that had to be cut or scaled back, too, including a gravity system that hasn't made it through development. Cain and Boyarsky say they've cut quite a lot in an attempt to make a leaner, more focused game. It's the same reason it's not a sprawling open world. The developer wants it to be digestible and replayable instead of sending players off in a million different directions on one big map. 

It's a hefty interview and a lot of ground is covered, though Obsidian still isn't ready to talk about a release date or platforms like Steam, the Epic Games Store or GOG. It's due out at some point this year. Obsidian will also be doing another Q&A at PAX East, if you've still got more questions.

Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.