Title: The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Private Division
From the base game, I’ve felt that The Outer Worlds was Obsidian really delivering something that RPG fans needed at the time. The game’s science fiction meets western themes that resonated so well with me when I didn’t feel any real connection to western RPGs. Now, with the game’s final expansion, Murder on Eridanos, we see them sending off this journey in what I feel is a clever play on their humor narrative by giving us a totally unexpected new mission.
In The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos, players will be treated by Ada, who informs us that a new mystery is about to begin. A murder has just taken place on Eridanos, and the crew has been hired to investigate. The freelancer was chosen based on word of mouth, but it’s all pretty hilarious that these individuals put so much trust in your judgment.
Well, that would have been the case if there was a new tool for the player to use called the Discrepancy Amplifier. By equipping this weapon, players can get a closer look at objects of interest and make assumptions about their findings. Even though the DLC can be played at level 25, much of the DLC requires high skills such as perception, intimidation, and even gun knowledge. It includes more of these skill checks than any other portion of the game and doesn’t solely rely on lockpicking and hacking.
Throughout the narrative, players can make their way across a handful of floating islands as they investigate the crime scene and interrogate witnesses. There isn’t much to go off of at first, but your list slowly grows. I will say that if you’re someone who likes to just skip over text, you’ll be missing a few clews needed to find the actual culprit. The writers have pulled out all the stops here and have given players who take their time exploring and reading dialogue the most insight to cracking the case, and I loved it.
When it comes to the new Discrepancy Amplifier, I must say that I did enjoy its clever retorts and insights into objects. While players are required to do a lot of the leg work, the item will generally sound off when you’re close enough to an object of interest. This made it unnecessary to have it equipped as your main weapon at all times. Skill checks will mostly be found in these areas, so make sure you’re using one of your more cunning character files.
The developer has gone all-in when it comes to environmental design and given players multiple areas to explore to their heart’s content. When compared to the dark environments of Peril on Gorgon, this expansion is the complete opposite. Players will mostly make their way around the well let areas and meet a handful of characters from all walks of life.
The suspects in the game are each interesting, and this perhaps where the writing becomes a little too cliche. Those who know their way around a whodunit experience will quickly spot the false positives of leads that linger during dialogue. There are likable and unlikable characters who are each suspect, but the range doesn’t extend too far past these black and white parameters. Regardless though, it doesn’t make cracking this case any easier, but those who take their time will come to a proper conclusion. Trust me, there are a few curveballs.
Action in the expansion is kept to a minimum with a few short bursts of enemy rushes. This is mainly story-based, but you can expect some underground labs to explore along with breaking into restricted areas. There aren’t any moments where you’ll be tested on your gunplay, which was probably why there are a lot fewer ammunition drops here and more codecs and lore items. This does create a nice balance between the two expansions, which made it feel like the proper direction to take.
The character interactions and environmental design really show off how much the developers loved this project. They refused to send it off on a low note. Everything makes a return here for the most part, and fans are catered to in many ways. I should note that this DLC made me appreciate the previous DLC’s high action, so playing them together will provide a better experience overall.
Throughout the expansion, players who do go off the beaten path can pick up a few different side quests and discover some secrets that tie into some of the narratives. It all flows so naturally, though, that it’s possible just to follow the marker and get a lot of it. However, trying to experience everything could easily change this 5-hour expansion into an 11-hour gameplay session if you take your time.
The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos has everything that fans loved with a little extra to make it the proper send-off for this title. The whodunit direction was a smart way to focus on the amazing writing this game offers while causing the player to break down the possible suspects and solve this mystery. This expansion is Obsidian at their best and compliments this entire experience so well. It’s just sad that there won’t be more.
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