Releasing its second DLC, The Outer Worlds has a new and final addition to its story with Murder on Eridanos. Adding in a murder mystery to a game full of quests of discovery or investigations, MoE fits in snuggly amongst the countless battlefields and crafting sessions of the base game. With delays from production, most likely due to Covid, this DLC comes a staggering 500 days after its initial release, a time frame that many may find too long to get back into the game.
Like the previous DLC, you are suggested to be around level 30 before beginning this piece of content, though due to its heavier focus on investigation and conversations you can easily tackle it in the 20s. You need to have past Monarch to gain access to the DLC, though again if you don’t have a save file around that area you may need to do another replay up to that point to even start the DLC. The same issue found with the previous release.
Set on yet another new planet, just like the base game and previous DLC, the gameplay and story are all situated within the confines of a place far from the main story. Playing amongst a set of floating islands far above the planet’s surface, with bridges keeping every aloft with rocket engines galore. Settling in within the Grand Colonial Hotel that looks like a particular monument of our own world, we are quickly thrust into the DLCs main meat, the murder of the actress who plays Halcyon Helen.
Promoting a new spirit, the actress becomes her own spirit in death, though not literally. Since corporations play a major role in the world-building of TOW, they hire you to clear up this mess and find out what happened within the hotel, Cluedo style. Picking from a vast cast, including the actress’ boyfriend, you must work out who did the deed. Pulling out from the immersive experience is still those pesky green markers to tell you who to talk to and where to go.
Thankfully, the dialogues still carry along with them the requirements of your abilities and skills, giving more importance to builds that aren’t just bang-bang-shooty-face. Your companions will also aid in what they grant you with their bonuses, an annoyance that might be increased due to having you do a rerun to get to this point. Though you will need to return to your personal room to change your companions, making it a lengthy process to get the proper team for the current situation.
This DLC can run you around 5 to 6 hours of playtime, though depending on your thoroughness and deliberation over who is the murderer can bring it up a few hours. There is a bit of replayability, following along with your actions and choices, though the murderer is the same each time so once you know, it’s a quick affair to complete it again. Doing everything on Eridanos will take you upwards of 10 hours.
With an investigation storyline, combat takes a back seat with a few sparse quick combat scenarios. There aren’t too many new enemies to face except the local wildlife or droids, alongside infected employees who have gone insane. Since there is little in the way of combat, depending on your choices, the level 30 requirement is a bit high though is probably just conservative so that you’re not overwhelmed.
Other mechanics at play aren’t really utilized, a lot of design work going to dialogue and investigation. Lock-picking isn’t too involved, with computer hacking only providing minor background info for the majority. It is also hard to divert from the eventual end, with many choices feeling unimportant, which the original game featured aside from 5 or so major choices.
The design of the new world is beautiful, with a mix of bright colours. Some noir nods with the actress’s work, and the chunky buildings. Firefights with this backdrop look amazing, against some of the more space station or building interiors of other buildings.
Featuring a drastic change in roleplay, moving from murderhobo, mechanic, or saviour of the galaxy, you are put into the shoes of a PI or inspector. It feels like a breath of fresh air being able to do something other than finding parts for your ship or the long trail the crazy scientist puts you on across the planets. The comedic stylings continue into the DLC, Eridanos holding its own take on the jokes or gags of the original game.
Like the main game and its first DLC, MoE focuses too heavily on one part of the gameplay for its planet and lets other mechanics fall apart at the wayside. The main game tried to do so many different things but split them up between planets whereas the first DLC focused more on combat alongside investigation. MoE beelines into dialogue and investigations if you ignore most of the side-quests on offer, making a few builds ill-equipped to get the endings they want.
The side-quests are a mixed bag of quality, from ones that need you to just find a robot a few feet away or solving a simple puzzle to fix a pool, to longer and more involved quests like pools, mazes and other murders.
Overall, Murder on Eridanos gets an 8/10. It adds a similar amount of content as the previous DLC but instead puts a lot of development into the story, investigations, and dialogues. It keeps some mystery elements like in Perils on Gorgan but removes a lot of the challenge or exciting equipment. As an RPG, the ability to fit a new roleplay is a great path to take the DLC in, though it can lose its lustre for any replays. MoE doesn’t reshape the game much aside from a new investigation tool, so if you’re wanting a grand overhaul or improvement to other mechanics like lock-picking, hacking, or customisation you may be left wanting.
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive
Developers: Obsidian Entertainment, Virtuos
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
This review is based on the PC version of the game which can be purchased here for £11.99.
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