Murder mysteries aren’t usually my cup of tea, but The Outer Worlds’ latest DLC, Murder on Eridanos, has me hooked. In fact, I’m so invested in my own murder investigation that I can’t even think about writing this review without the game’s unique soundtrack burrowing into my brain. This is the first time I’ve seen a game effectively use music to both play on a player’s emotions and advance the plot. Murder on Eridanos’ music is so well integrated that I found myself replaying scenes just to hear the soundtrack again. It’s just that good.
A murder mystery? In the Outer Worlds? Well, yes and no! The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is a murder mystery, but it’s not the kind you’re used to. For starters, your character doesn’t have a name, not even a gender. You’re a faceless employee onboard a spaceship, sent to explore the planet Eridanos in the Outer Worlds. (The Outer Worlds is an upcoming RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Private Division.)
You’d think that a mystery game that takes its name from the Roman god of plenty would be a lighthearted jaunt. Not so with The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos, a mystery game that delves into dark themes and shocking twists. The Outer Worlds is the latest from Obsidian Entertainment, the team behind some of the best RPGs of the last decade. If you’re a fan of franchises like Fallout or Baldur’s Gate, you’ll find a lot to love in The Outer Worlds.
The Outer Worlds continues to impress with its DLC. Peril on Gorgon, which came out in December, placed you in the role of the detective and played with all the film noir stylistic figures. It was a charming and fun game that was quite different from the vanilla game. Murder on Eridanosuses a similar trick – it’s still a whodunit, but it makes a compelling argument for returning to this corporate-dominated universe.
Beyond this world: ReviewThe murder of Eridanos – a twisted mystery
Murder of Eridanosbegins, of course, with the murder of actor and Rizzo representative Halcyon Helen. You and your team have been invited to the planet Eridanos to stay at the posh Grand Colonial Hotel and investigate this corporate sabotage. One of the constant jokes in the DLC is that you’re investigating the murder of someone named Ruth Bellamy, but everyone you meet calls her Helen. It’s a small observation that really hints at the cynical megacorporate atmosphere present in Outer Worlds: the idea that the only reason anyone cares about Bellamy is because she adds value to Rizzo’s company as a representative. Of course, along the way, you’ll come across a frightening number of people who seem like suitable suspects. Deceived lovers, jealous rivals, greedy directors; a fairly standard list of possible killers begins to fill out the composition of your investigation. The plot ofMurder of Eridanos is quite good, and manages to be quite different fromDeath of the Gorgon. While the first DLC fits into the noir detective genre, Eridanos is more of a police procedural. As you explore the planet, you will interrogate suspects and use your various skills to persuade, intimidate and extract information from them. They hack computers, bypass celebrities and steal trade secrets. Instead of dignified monologues revealing aspects of the plot, Murder of Eridanos makes you feel like an investigator; there’s even a Pepe Silvia board you fill out when you discover something, with pictures of suspects on a cork board tied together with bits of string. This is confirmed by the fact that the new planet you explore is a little different than anything we’ve seen so far inThe Outer Worlds. Eridanos itself is an uninhabitable gas giant, but the Rizzos have built a small island complex that is kept afloat by huge rocket engines. Floating in the planet’s atmosphere, these islands are connected by long suspension bridges. At Rizzo’s there are also huge orchards full of fantastic fruit. You walk through an incredibly colorful world floating above a giant brown gas planet. It’s weird in every sense of the word. As the details of the mystery become clearer,Killing on Eridanos loses some of its interest and begins to slip into the standard shooting of waves of enemies. But even when things get a bit more formal,The Outer Worlds is still a solid shooter with lots of different ways to play, and the moment when you can assign a hitman is extremely satisfying. There are several new weapons and armor in the game, including some new scientific weapons with strange abilities. One of them is the only real flaw I found in the Eridanos kill: a mismatch enhancer. It is actually a seeker, and there are many of those in the Eridanos world. The weapon alerts you in a monotone voice when a clue is nearby, then forces you to look through the viewer at a glowing blue cloud, walk towards it and press the explore button. The process gets incredibly tedious with all the clues scattered around, and while some of the analysis of the mismatch amplifier is fun, it usually repeats the same sentence over and over.
Beyond this world: Murder on Eridanos DLC – Summary
- A strong story with interesting characters
- The surroundings are fascinating
- Reproduces the best aspects ofOuter worlds
- The inconsistent amp could have been a little more convincing.
- There’s not much new to add toOutside Worlds.
General,Outside: Murder of Eridanosis probably my favorite quest in all of The Outer Worlds. A compelling story and interesting setting are supported by a cast of memorable characters, and with the exception of an unfortunate inconsistency booster, the game presents Obsidian’s space RPG in the best possible light. While it doesn’t reinvent the core of the game or add too many new systems or mechanics,Murder on Eridanos is a good reason to return to The Outer Worlds. [Note: Obsidian has made available a copy of The Outer Worlds: Murder of Eridanos used for this research].
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