The Outer Worlds is like Mass Effect and Borderlands and Fallout 4 all had a bastard child together and that child grew up to be decent and not repeat the same mistakes as their parents.
This is to say, it's derivative in its gameplay sure, I wont argue against that.
But the gameplay is polished to a shine and the plot beats take on stories that that it's predecessors either wouldn't touch or fumbled in absolutely baffling ways
The Outer Worlds plot points
Remember that time when Jack, the Overtly Lesbian coded character in Mass Effect 2 could only be romanced by a male player character
In The Outer Worlds, you instead guide an asexual Disaster Lesbian through her nerves about starting a relationship with another ship's captain with big arms
The Outer Worlds plot points
Remember how fallout 4 opened with the player character being the lone survivor of a failed cryogenics experiment, and the trauma of that lasted about as long as it took you to get out of the vault?
In The Outer Worlds, the major driving quest for the player is finding a way to "unfridge" the colonists that were frozen and left adrift, because human life is an immeasurably vital resource despite what corporations will tell you to avoid hurting their bottom line
The Outer Worlds plot points cw: health care, MI, addiction and their depictions in games
You know how borderlands and fallout have raiders and psycho MOBs your player character kills for bounties and EXP grinding?
TOW says "yeah, these folks are the outcasts who are either ill folks our corporate healthcare won't treat, fanatics who railed against our exploitive cultures, or addicts who got hooked on the drugs pharmaceutical companies keep pumping into our towns. Here's your cash by the way"
The Outer Worlds has a tonal atmosphere that emphasizes how broken the Halcyon colony is, yet still leaves room for joy and prosperity.
It walks this line successfully in a way that makes it doesn't seem like a silly game trying too hard to be serious (like fucking borderlands 2) and isnt a serious game with rare relieving moments of silliness (fallout 4)
TOW is a post-apocalypse full of life and vibrancy with folks actively working for liberation and independence from regressive systems
It is derivative, certainly.
The politics are also heavy handed.
But I think we'd do far better to have more games that retread and polish familiar gameplay mechanics and overt political messaging in the way The Outer Worlds does, with hope and critical scrutiny, rather than the way the Battlefield and the Modern Warfare games do each development cycle, which keep striving for "apolitical" atmospheres that end up inadvertently bolstering US imperialism or deminishing Naziism
Also you can build a cleaning robot that shoots acid at your enemies, and give it a perk where people let you get away with murder as long as you have your fun robotic sidekick with you
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.