You can complete Obsidian’s forthcoming open-world RPG, The Outer Worlds, by killing literally everyone. This includes quest-givers and potential companions, NPCs; somehow, the game will get you to an ending screen despite the death of characters which other such games – coughSkyrimcough – would designate as story-critical.
That’s according to Brian Heins, senior designer at developer Obsidian. “One of our producers on the game, his gameplay style is he doesn’t talk to anybody. He just shoots them,” Heins tells us. “Everyone who could be coming up as a companion, he kills, before they can do anything. Every quest giver, he kills, and you can complete the game entirely that way, but it is defintely a much more challenging experience.”
Presumably the challenge comes from locking off quests that would otherwise grant XP, skill points, gear, and other things which are traditionally important to success in RPGs. Heins also notes the game is much more lonely if you attempt it this way, depopulating towns and killing off potential companions and whatnot.
This is just the latest anecdote to illustrate Obsidian’s commitment to the kind of freeform gameplay that so many players enjoy in these games. Others include a build system that adapts to your actions as well as your choices and two main endings that can accommodate “quite a lot of variations” – including, presumably, everyone being dead. Sadly, though, it seems you won’t be able to ‘romance’ – WINK – your companions.
You can also check out our The Outer Worlds gameplay preview if you’d like to learn how these big ideas are coming together so far.