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The Outer Worlds will have a survival mode

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Obsidian's Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky dropped a ton of new details for The Outer Worlds (opens in new tab) on The Game Informer Show (opens in new tab) 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 is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.