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Watch 20 minutes of The Outer Worlds combat, featuring a baton that shrinks enemies' faces

Obsidian showed off 20 minutes of live gameplay from their highly-anticipated RPG The Outer Worlds at PAX East yesterday. We got to see humorous dialogue, two companions and plenty of combat—including a baton that shrinks and enlarges enemies' faces when you whack them.

The slice of alpha gameplay came from inside Byzantium, city of the elite. For starters, the protagonist was invited to take part in a propaganda film shoot at Odeon Pictures, and cast in the role of a hero fighting off pirates that were trying to steal food pills from a town. The dialogue, which doesn't have voice acting yet, seemed genuinely amusing, and had plenty of chances to roleplay, including options to simply "exude wordless fury" or make your eye twitch. 

At the end of the scene, the player could stay in character and carry on acting, or—and this is naturally what the devs decided to show off—you could murder the other actors and steal their stuff. The director was ecstatic with your commitment to the role, until he too was peppered with bullets. In The Outer Worlds, you can kill anyone, the developers explained.

The rest of the footage featured combat in the wider city. I'm still not convinced by the gunplay, which looks floaty, but the weapons seem fun, not least the Mandibular Rearranger. It's one of the game's science weapons, each of which has unusual effects, and when you hit someone with it their face will either shrink or swell up to twice its usual size.

We also saw the player equip a companion, Felix, with a ridiculous helmet that's basically a moon wearing a top hat. We got a glimpse of what it's like to command your followers: Felix was instructed to dropkick random civilians while Nyoka, your other companion, took a swig from a bottle and let rip with a giant machine gun that set enemies ablaze. 

At the end, the player picked up a flaw, one of the systems I'm most excited about. Repeated interactions with a particular enemy will give you the option of taking a flaw: in this case, the player was nibbled by a pet canid, which gave them a phobia that would make them worse at combat when canids were nearby. If you take the flaw, you also get to pick an extra perk.

Take a look at all the footage at the top of this story and let me know what you think in the comments. The video was uploaded by YouTube channel MrRedRivers.

The Outer Worlds is set to launch on the Epic Games Store and the Microsoft Store later this year—but not on Steam.