Yeah, I felt this as I got on. Strong start but the longer you play, the more it showed its faults. The only companions worth anything were Parvati and Vicar Max. ESPECIALLY Vicar Max. Dude was the best companion I've ever encountered in these types of games. Great character arc, and legit lol @ everything that came out of his mouth.
Other than that, loot variety was super lacking which killed exploration. Enemy variety was nonexistent. Speech checks only ever amounted to some extra XP and rarely impacted the mission. Same with science/engineering/medical checks. The few times it did impact a mission, it was pointless because you could find the key to the electronic lock a foot away or it only ended up getting you out of an easy combat encounter or something. A lot of the "choice" was super surface level.
Like you said, perks were trash and didn't impact much.
Story was boring. It's a space opera. They should have gone full sci-fi and brought in different alien civilizations and whatnot. The actual struggle/big point of the game was beyond boring. The antagonist was also really unforgettable (a single member of the corporate board I heard so much about all damn game?), and didn't even show up until near the end.
This definitely was not New Vegas. I get it's not a triple A entry from them, but that doesn't excuse it's RPG faults. Hopefully the sequel is better since they'll have that Microsoft funding.
Speech checks are a joke. I enjoy games that allow you to go through encounters using persuasion or speech skills. I always felt Fallout/Skyrim did it well.
But they become meaningless when every conversation allows you to use them. And due to the how skill are done, you have 50 skill level in all three categories so at every single conversation, I have the ability to finish the quest easily.
Also, I understand peoples complaints about lock picking and hacking minigames being removed but I miss them. Why have lock picking when it's so easy to find lock picks and 90% of the containers are around level 25 requirements. But I realized loot is god awful so who cares! Oh, I get more ammo..which increases my ammo from 2090 to 3000!
There is no immersion at all. Areas feel like a map. It's all the same. Same enemy types wearing the same looking armour. The same 3 alien animals.....each building has the same textures and look and layout. It has the same looking desk, door and toilet. It's filled with way too many consumable that are useless...because the game is easy and you receive way too many health packs. Do enemies have levels? At least in Fallout, if you wander into a deathclaw camp, you get destroyed...or go through 90 stimpaks.
And the biggest problem.....Fallout is filled with cool little moments. It's hard to explain but I still remember some of the things I ran into while playing Fallout 3. Or Fallout 4. I forget what has happened in this game because it's carbon copy.
For instance, Fallout 3 had a neat area with two families that were cannibals/incest and it was great. It was intriguing.
The Outer Worlds copies this but it's just one family and so obvious they were cannibals. And to defeat the quest, I just hacked the door and I was done. It was lame.
Disappointing game and I really don't understand praise it is getting. Yes, the conversations choices are good but nothing else stands above anything Bioware or Bethesda has done.