E3 2019: The Outer Worlds gets release date and new trailer

The minds behind the original Fallout take to the stars in this first-person shooter, role-playing game -- and now we know when we can get our hands on it.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
4 min read


Obsidian Entertainment

Take the team responsible for Knights of the Old Republic II and Fallout: New Vegas and let them run wild on a brand-new IP set in a silly, hypercapitalist space-faring society at the edge of the Milky Way and you'll end up with The Outer Worlds.

Obsidian Entertainment, the powerhouse development company that's made a name for itself with choice-driven narratives and expansive worlds, has strapped rocket boosters to the hype train and sent it hurtling into outer space. The game is being directed by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, creators of the Fallout series, and Kathryn Starks, senior narrative designer on Pillars of Eternity II. 

The Outer Worlds is already generating a lot of hype because it feels like a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas but goes an extra mile with its color, humor and science fiction landscapes of the future.

At E3 2019, we got a release date and a new trailer with a little more information.

That release date? October 25, 2019. That's like, three months away!

Read on for everything you need to know about the new sci-fi FPS RPG and all those other good acronyms -- and for your convenience? The incredibly hot-off-the-press new trailer is below!

Extremely late-stage capitalism

The Outer Worlds is set in an alternate timeline where megacorporations have set their sights on the stars, spending their accumulated trillions in cash purchasing habitable worlds and planting their flags in the soil. 

The chief setting for players is a solar system known as Halcyon, which is owned by a handful of companies and exists right at the edge of the galaxy. As with other open-world sandbox games, players will be able to take on missions and traverse some of the strange places within the system at their leisure. 

Along with this alternate timeline comes a bending of the world's physics. Faster than light-speed travel is possible, and the player's character begins the journey after years in hibernation. It's easy to see the Fallout blueprint, at least early on, because once you step into the world for the first time, you head down the familiar path of creating your character and setting up stats.


Some real classic sci-fi vibes.

Obsidian Entertainment

Details, details

  • It's a first-person shooter, dummy. 
  • There will be no microtransactions.
  • There's a player character creator (with sliders)!
  • Players can join factions.
  • There's a companion system.
  • The game takes place across two major worlds.
  • Fully first-person, no third-person view. 
  • There's more than one ending.
  • No solid plans for downloadable content but still in discussions.
  • 60 frames per second, 4K on consoles .
  • The game has a Flaws system.... Wait, we need to expand on that.


Obsidian Entertainment

Let the bodies hit the Flaws

One of the most intriguing details to drop so far is the Flaws system, which tracks your interactions, tendencies and errors in-game. Essentially, these work in opposition to Fallout's Perks, the stat boosts in that series that endow your character with special bonuses. In The Outer Worlds, it's more like a Stranger Things-esque upside-down version of Perks. 

Flaws are stat debuffs for your character. For instance, you might lock in a Flaw such as claustrophobia, which'll make it more challenging for you to enter small areas. Another flaw, as sister site GameSpot discussed, is "robophobia," which is exactly what it sounds like: a fear of robots. This Flaw makes it harder to deal with automatons, so it may make it harder to lock one in as your companion.

There are currently two dozen Flaws for your character to pick up, but during any one play-through you can grab only three (this scales with the difficulty setting, however, and the hardest difficulty setting, known as Supernova, allows five). Flaws will put an alternative spin on a play-through -- you don't have to accept a Flaw -- but if you do, it'll stay with you throughout the entire length of your character's arc.

First trailer

The first trailer for The Outer Worlds appeared at the Game Awards on Dec. 6. There's a ton of color and a whole lot of humor wrapped up in two minutes of a universe full of alien beasts, alien planets and... mostly human faces. Throw in Iggy Pop's "The Passenger" and you have a rollicking good trailer. You can watch it below:

Release date

This year, 2019. That's all we've got right now. There's a sneaky chance we get more information at E3 , and we'd hazard a guess that the holiday period toward the end of the year is as good a time as any to drop this one -- but we'll have to wait and see. Importantly, it'll be releasing, for PC, only in the Epic Game Store and Windows 10 Store, before being unlocked on other digital platforms 12 months later. It'll also release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


Well, not too much extra at this stage. It's well worth digging through GameSpot's treasure trove of information, including interviews with the development team and hands-on previews of the game in action. We're expecting more at E3 this year, so sit tight, that's just around the corner.

The 31 best games on Xbox One

See all photos

This story is constantly updated with new announcements! Check back for more.