For years, role-playing games have been built upon the hopes and dreams of those who play them. Desires to be someone important in a massive world, or to rank among god-like deities color the adventures and promises of countless RPGs.

But in Outward, it seems like the role-playing game is will be headed in a much more humble direction.

Outward may look like any number of open-world RPGs, but every element of the game is being designed to create a compelling, human experience. By blending elements of survival games with the exploration and combat systems that are RPG standards, Outward will attempt to make players genuinely think about their choices on a smaller scale. Within the game, players will ponder the little things in an hero’s life, like whether or not they should loot every single item in their path and how an overstuffed bag will affect their ability to traverse high plains or swing a sword.

The game’s newly released trailer is an inspiring ode to human ingenuity and determination. Questions of determinism and success dance around scenes of fantastic locations and hard-won battles. Outward may look like familiar, but it surely doesn’t seem to aspire towards the status quo.

Outward will contain a constant auto-save system that serves as an arbiter or action. When everything you do is irreversible, each choice you make ripples outward. Things as simple as your choice in armor and notoriety will matter in Outward, because it’s a game about being a human in dangerous world.

Outward might be a ways off, but everything about it speaks to an interesting design philosophy. For role-players sick of open-worlds and faux consequences, perhaps Outward will be worth the journey.


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Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray’s eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.