WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Big action-adventure games with broad, winding storylines and quirky character interaction can be fun. And right out of the gate, Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds checks a lot of those entertaining boxes.

The game is set sometime in an alternate future. It’s a world in which the big cheeses on Earth decide it’s high time that mankind started to colonize other planets in the great spacey beyond. And, of course, they offer many blissful visions of happy days to those brave souls who venture forth.

But as is sometimes wont to happen, once some leaders get a taste of the new frontier out in space, they get a bit greedy and power hungry.

A Star Trek kind of future, this is not.

Welcome to Your Halcyon Days

One of the furthest colonies from Earth is in the star system of Halcyon. And your character is heading there. (In classic RPG style, you design a male or female avatar with a look you love and specific, hand-chosen skillsets.) But your giant ship filled with hundreds of thousands of colonists is left to drift after the faster-than-light skip drive breaks down en route.

The predicted 10-year trip in suspended hibernation ends up being 60 years before a rebel scientist named Phineas Wells finds your ship and revives one particular individual from the many dozing unaware: you, of course. And since the government is corrupt, and Wells is a wild and crazy science guy whom people want dead, you have to become his hands and feet in an effort to save your fellow colonists.

What ensues is a sci-fi romp that involves gaining a ship and a crew, then zipping around the solar system on a quest for glory. The planet-hopping narrative, quirky characters, razor-sharp humor, creative character upgrades and scores of decision-focused quests unfold from there. And it all feels like something of a simplified but well-crafted Fallout game blended with the smirking interplay of an old Fox TV series called Firefly. (Of course, that’s not a huge surprise since many of the original Fallout creators were in the gamemaking mix here.)

As you fly between planets and deal with their corporate government factions, you’re faced with more than just step-and-fetch missions. You also find yourself in the middle of morally gray conflicts that force you to choose a side.

The conversational options are huge and sometimes expand even further depending on the skills you choose and the strengths of your supporting crew mates. And that becomes part of the fun. Do you want to be a criminal or a hero? Can you find the hidden conversation clues and apply the right brainpower to a problem? Is there a pathway to benefitting those on both sides of an argument? Or does everything have to devolve into you and your crewmates grabbing a gun?

Draw, Space Cadet

Even if you are a hard-working, diplomatic sort, however, you can’t avoid the messy gun-battle side of things in The Outer Worlds. Gameplay doesn’t feel quite as heavy as the aforementioned Fallout, but it can still involve a lot of trigger-pulling. Even if you try to sneak by human foes, there are wild beasts, robotic nemeses and, well, human foes ready and waiting to attack without asking questions. The game is designed that way, offering scores and scores of exotic weapons to discover, tinker with and upgrade.

Machine guns, plasma weapons, lasers and blasters unleash powerful attacks that can be visually slowed down with a special time-slowing control. Though the blood splash is relatively light, you can still, quite literally, blow an enemy to pieces and leave the corpse decapitated and limbless. And, if you’re so inclined, you can also aim and mow down innocent citizens. (The game penalizes players in those cases, but it’s still possible.)

On the language front, this game takes on a slight space-cowboy air. And that can be a good thing. In many cases, the various characters you meet will choose creative ways to make their anger or displeasure known and substitute local colloquialisms for typical cuss words. But that’s not always the case: F- and s-words occasionally pop up along with other lighter crudities.

As mom used to say, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out.” And though this setting’s a bit different, the idea applies here, too. The Outer Worlds has a lot going for it. Still, it plays a little too rough at times.

And nobody likes it when mom is frowning like that.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC

Publisher

Obsidian Entertainment

Released

October 25, 2019

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!