I'm about 14 hours into The Outer Worlds now, just started exploring Monarch, and I'm still really enjoying it but I think the cracks are starting to show. The biggest one is that the game is just absurdly easy, to the point of feeling totally unbalanced. The whole idea of RPGing is about strengths and weaknesses, right? If you put all your points into schmoozing you aren't going to last long in an open fight, right? If you slam everything into combat skills you aren't going to be the best e-mail reader, right? You make your choice and you live with the consequences... right?
Except I've put all my points into speech and hacking skills, nothing into combat, and I am just crushing every combat sequence in the game without any trouble on Normal difficulty. Like, to the point where I'll sometimes get into a surprise fight, and before I can even work out which gun I'd like to kill some guys with my two companions will have annihilated everyone in there. I talk my way out of combat when I can, but I can just as easily kill every single person in my way with just the default combat skills if I need to. I have basically infinite ammo for every weapon just from my standard RPG kleptomaniac playstyle, enough money that I could probably clean out every vendor I meet, an inventory full of great weapons and armour... it just feels like I've totally broken the game by playing it the same way I played Fallout 3 or Mass Effect.
I know people complained about how bad Alpha Protocol's shooting was if you didn't put any points into it, and I know it must be really hard to find the right way of depicting a video game character who doesn't know how to shoot very well without making the game a chore to play... but this ain't it. My shots go exactly where I point them, I have bullet time from the start of the game; I honestly don't even know what funneling another hundred stat points into my gun stat would actually do if I'm this capable from the jump.
I also feel like the game needs some kind of extra systems for skill checks. The way speech checks work, for example, is if your stat is high enough, you just pass. That's it. Same thing with lockpicking and hacking; there's no minigame, just if your stat is high enough you do it perfectly. I've just been effortlessly picking every lock, hacking every terminal, nailing every speech check, and it feels kind of inconsequential. And since the basic shooting controls are so easy, it's not like I'm paying any penalty for having pumped my hacking/lockpicking/speech stats so high. I don't feel like I have to worry about min/max-ing; I'm just awesome at everything. I have well over a hundred healing items because I never need to use them
So, that's about where I am right now. I'm still having a lot of fun, and I really appreciate the game's relatively small scope. Areas are nice and small, quests are few enough that they're all pretty dialogue-rich and memorable, and it'll be interesting to replay the game as a completely different character to see the way everything can change. But I do think it's probably worth playing the game on Hard if you really want to get anything out of the RPG systems.