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The Outer Worlds 2 Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

When sci-fi RPG "The Outer Worlds" released in late 2019, it received high marks from critics across all platforms. Viewed by many as a spiritual successor to "Fallout: New Vegas," the title's rather brief 25 hour campaign left players wanting more. Given the warm reception, it hardly came as a surprise when developer Obsidian Entertainment revealed planned DLC scant months later, or when a Switch port materialized the following year (though, as evidenced by the reviews, its arrival on Nintendo's handheld hybrid left much to be desired).

With a port and two expansions under its belt, the team behind "The Outer Worlds" finally broke the news fans had long waited for: it has a sequel in the works. The announcement dropped as part of Microsoft's E3 press conference, though both publisher and developer have shared little detail about what to expect. If you loved "The Outer Worlds," here's what we've managed to piece together about its highly-anticipated follow-up.

When will The Outer Worlds 2 release?

While Microsoft and Obsidian confirmed the existence of "The Outer Worlds 2," that's about the extent of the information the companies offered up. The announcement didn't include so much as a launch window and, if the rather tongue-in-cheek narration is to be believed, the developers have completed the game's title and not much else. Thanks to the official Xbox page, we also know that "The Outer Worlds 2" will release for Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10 PCs and that Xbox Game Pass members can play it on day one.

The sequel's console exclusivity represents a marked change from the first entry in the series. Distributed by Take-Two publishing arm Private Division, "The Outer Worlds" launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam before making the jump to Nintendo Switch. The change in tactics hardly comes as a surprise, however, as Microsoft acquired Obsidian Entertainment in 2018. The company has since snapped up other game developers like Ninja Theory and Bethesda Softworks, both of which have Microsoft exclusives on the way, including "Hellblade 2" and "Redfall."

The complications of exclusivity aside (and assuming you have a next-gen Xbox or modern gaming PC), you're likely still wondering when you can actually play "The Outer Worlds 2." The original game released just under a year after its official reveal. Assuming the follow-up has a similar timeline, you shouldn't expect to get your hands on it until 2022, though 2023 seems more likely if it's still in the early stages of production.

Is there a trailer for The Outer Worlds 2?

Yes, Microsoft provided a trailer when it announced "The Outer Worlds 2;" however, it functions more like a comedy skit than a true advertisement for the game.

The Official Announce Trailer basically serves as master class in video game trailer tropes. From a wizened narrator and slow motion sequences to a wealth of lens flares and a silhouette of the main character, all the biggest sins combine to form perhaps one of the most meta moments in the history of game marketing. Commenters have already dubbed it "the most honest trailer ever" and the perfect way to create hype without raising fan expectations to unreasonable levels.

While the trailer includes essentially zero information about "The Outer Worlds 2," at least it's clear that the developers have retained the sense of humor that helped its predecessor capture the hearts of players.

What is the gameplay like in The Outer Worlds 2?

According to a tweet from the official "The Outer Worlds" Twitter account, the sequel features a fresh star system and crew, while maintaining the same feel as the original.

"The Outer Worlds" consists of a single-player, choice-driven experience that drops you in the middle of a space colony on the verge of destruction. Several factions vie for control and your actions can tip the scales of power in a specific direction. As you explore the Halcyon colony, you encounter several individuals (companions) with unique skills, missions, and personalities who you can recruit as part of your crew.

As detailed by PC Gamer, part of the appeal of "The Outer Worlds" is its open-ended progression. You have the freedom to go where you please, when you please, and the scenarios that pop up often have multiple solutions. You can shoot, sneak, or maybe even talk your way through an encounter, and there's a variety of moddable and upgradable weapons on offer if you decide to go the combat route. It's up to you which skill trees to invest in, and you can even take permanent Flaws following certain in-game events to make your character a bit more interesting and well-rounded. Flaws come with drawbacks, but also grant you an extra perk immediately.

Obsidian may not have shown its hand yet, but "The Outer Worlds 2" will no doubt offer a similar emphasis on player choice while walking the line between the silly and morbid aspects of life in space.