The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: RPG
 
Rating: MA
 
Release Date: Available Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
5 total ratings

 

Positives


- Interesting murder mystery to investigate
- Plenty of characters to meet and interact with
- Much bigger and more interesting location to investigate than in Peril on Gorgon
- Skills are used often in conversations

Negatives


- Super easy, even if underlevelled
- Conversation options don’t feel all that impactful


Posted April 4, 2021 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds was easily one of my favourite RPGs of the last few years. The game’s megacorp Sci-Fi setting lured me in, while the darkly humorous story, fantastic characters and amount of mechanical freedom kept me enamoured. After just about 18 months, my journey with The Outer Worlds is finally coming to a close with its final DLC Murder on Eridanos. With its detective-bent, investigation led story, it brings something new to table and feels like a fitting conclusion to the game.

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos begins after the biggest aetherwave star in the galaxy, Halcyon Helen, is suddenly murdered. Once again being confused for the real Alex Hawthorne (or perhaps actually recognised for your own deeds at this point) you’re contacted by the Administrator of Rizzo’s distillery in investigate the murder. You see, Rizzo’s was just about to launch their latest product and Halcyon Helen was attached to promote the hell out of it. With her death likely to be linked to the product in the media, it’s up to you to find her killer and allow Spectrum Brown to launch without any unsolved mysteries attached to it. It’s an interesting story, not without its twists, that follows on from the great writing of the original game and has a mostlysatisfying conclusion unlike Peril on Gorgon.

That’s right, in true The Outer Worlds form, the motivating factor behind your investigation isn’t the death of an innocent, but instead the corporate interest behind it. With an investigation to take place, you’re in dire need of the appropriate tools, and so you’re given the Discrepancy Amplifier. The Discrepancy Amplifier allows you to search for clues during your investigation, while also providing some dry wit to your investigation at points. You’ll be stopping often to whip it out and search for clues, lending a slower pace to this DLC when compared to Peril on Gorgon and helping to vary the pace between combat and story.

Where the story of Murder on Eridanos starts to really shine is with its characters, both past and present. Unlike Peril on Gorgon, which had a somewhat smaller NPC count, this DLC is filled with characters to talk to and learn about. There’s the mysterious Prophet of Profit, a weird productivity preaching cult leader, the violent leader of SLUG Sedrick Kincannon, and best of all, Halcyon Helen herself. As your investigation deepens, you begin to delve further into the minds of the characters and their motivating factors behind their lives, instead of taking them at face value. Most of them still stay fairly one-dimensional, but they’re nevertheless interesting to learn more about and a great motivating factor.

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos takes place on, you guessed it, the planet of Eridanos. Unlike Peril on Gorgon, which had to flitting between the smallish new planets of Gorgon and existing location, Murder on Eridanos takes place entirely on its titular planet. This means it’s much larger than Gorgon, settling somewhere between Monarch and Edgewater on size. Being a resort for the rich and famous, Eridanos is also somewhat more lush and pretty than many other Outer Worlds locations, making it much easier on the eyes compared to some of the drab wastelands of the past. Made up of different zones connected by slim bridges, Eridanos isn’t quite the wide open space we got used to in other locations, but that helps make it feel a bit more fresh as well.

While Murder on Eridanos suggests you have a player level of 30 before beginning, that really isn’t necessary unless you’re playing on the higher difficulties. Playing on Normal, I was able to saunter in at level 26 and progress without any issues at all as the level of xp you gain early on is massive. By the time I finished the few hours it took to play the DLC, I was at level 36 and wading through bodies without a care. In fact, that’s my biggest criticism with this DLC; It’s simply too easy. Once again, the game fails to introduce anything resembling a challenge throughout its story. In particular, on the final boss, I literally stood in place for 20-ish seconds and held down the trigger of my Light Machine Gun Mk3 to win. You’ll absolutely need to play at high difficulty settings if you want anything resembling a challenge here, even if you enter the DLC under levelled.

Mechanically, not much has really changed here when compared to the base game. With that said, it’s great to see that dialogue and other technical skills are utilised often during the story. There were plenty of times where I was able to use my Science, Lie and Intimidate skills to unlock additional dialogue options and progress the story. With that said, very few of these options actually felt like the affected the story outcomes.

On a technical front, The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is an interesting case, specifically given I played the game using backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X. This meant the game ran at a pretty much flawless 60fps, making combat feel much more responsive, other than the odd bit of stuttering I faced when crossing bridges to the bigger additional areas on Eridanos. Seemingly, this was linked to streaming and loading of the next large landmass. There was also still plenty of pop-in as I reached those larger areas, although it was less noticeable once I was on land. The biggest benefit came from the super-fast load times. The 30+ second load times were one of the real enjoyment killers of the original game, but they’ve been cut down to a few seconds on average here. Obviously not everyone will have the luxury of playing this on a next-gen console, but if you do there’s a clear benefit here.

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is an excellent murder mystery that held my attention from beginning to end. There’s still the odd bit of guff that drags it down, such as skills not feeling quite as consequential and the requirement of playing on higher difficulties for even a passing challenge, but these are mild annoyances. This DLC is well worth the price of admission and something all players of The Outer Worlds should look to get in on.

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos was reviewed on Xbox Series X with a review copy provided by the publisher. The base game is available now on PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One, and Murder on Eridanos is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One as an individual purchase or as a bundle with Peril on Gorgon. For more information, check the official website.


Andrew Cathie

 
Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.