No one could accuse Obsidian Entertainment of rushing out the DLC for their cracking outer space RPG, The Outer Worlds. When I reviewed this game way back in October 2019, I was blown away by the scope and vision, enamoured by the excellent writing that brought the companions and even lowly, humble NPCs to life, and loved the mix of all its diverse elements into one big gooey mess of awesomeness. Well, now, almost a year later, the first DLC pack has arrived, and I guess the question on everyone’s lips is: “Does it live up to the source material?”.
First off, it had been nearly a year since I finished my playthrough of The Outer Worlds, and as the gaming life of a reviewer doesn’t leave much time for playing games for “fun” (I know, it’s a hard old life, eh?) I had, to my immense shame, forgotten how to play the game. Luckily for me, what this meant was a complete new runthrough, and all the joy that that brought.
Now, a word or two about how to access the DLC when it is downloaded. What Obsidian have done is slip the DLC missions into about the middle of the game. Minor spoilers ahead if you haven’t played the game, but you must have completed the “Radio Free Monarch” story mission, and not have reached the point of no return at the end of the game. Assuming your character meets these requirements, once the DLC is downloaded, merely fly to a destination – I chose Groundbreaker. ADA will then tell you you have a package, and it’s from here that the story of the expansion branches off. Another word of caution: the enemies are quite high level, so you will want to be around level 20-25 to give yourself a fighting chance.
The story of the expansion, Peril on Gorgon, revolves somewhat unsurprisingly around an asteroid called Gorgon. Many years ago, Spacer’s Choice were trying to develop a new drug called Adreno-Time, and despite it having a number of unexpected side effects, it was given to unsuspecting workers in an attempt to stop them from having to have to rest. Well, things went wrong, as they so often do, and the whole facility was abandoned and locked down. The woman in charge, Olivia Ambrose, was killed in the shut down, and now we have been contacted by her daughter, who is desperate to get her mother’s journal. Only trouble is, this journal is in the office where it was left, in the heart of the abandoned Spacer’s Choice Facility. Still, it’s nothing some heavy weaponry and light diplomacy can’t fix, right?
Now, I’m not going to talk any further about the story, as it is a cracking narrative and the chance of spoiling it for you guys is too high. Despite the obvious climax that can be seen coming a mile away, the story writing on display here is equal to the main game, and that is high praise indeed. It’s no word of a lie to say that Peril on Gorgon gripped me to the end, and in typical Obsidian fashion, the story can be brought to a close in a couple of different ways, so replay value is there as well. The way the story slides into the main overarching story arc has also been expertly managed, and makes playing The Outer Worlds again a real pleasure.
So, apart from a hefty helping of story and some new locations, what else does the DLC bring to the table? Well, the big news is an increase in the level cap, with my girl reaching Level 31 during the last part of the DLC. It also gives us the chance to try and get our various skills up to even higher levels, and at the moment I’m the proud owner of a lockpick skill of above 100. Of course, in places there are chests that require a lockpick skill of 150, so I’ve still got some way to go.
New perks and flaws have also been added, but the big news comes in the form of new weapons. New “MK III” weapons are now available with truly ridiculous power, and these weapons do make the rest of the game a bit easier, to be honest. With damage outputs topping 2000, tinkering and modding these can make them almost too powerful (there’s no such thing, really, but my MKIII Light Machine Gun with electric elemental power was pretty much killing automechanicals in the time it took my companions to unholster their weapons). There are also new Science weapons added this time around, and new armour to find as well; your pockets are soon going to be bulging with all the goodies you find.
So, is The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon on Xbox One worth getting? If you liked The Outer Worlds, the answer is an unequivocal yes. In fact, it’s a “YES”! More of the great writing and acting, more weapons, more levels, more and more and more – it’s all great. With my super-critical head on, the story is a tad cliched, and the twist isn’t a shock to anyone who’s been paying attention, but as an expansion to an already stunning game, I can overlook those things. The Gorgon map is a mess, and trying to navigate can be a pain, but these small niggles aside I think Peril on Gorgon is more than good enough to slot neatly into the rest of the game.