The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos Review on PS4
There are no shortage of DLC expansions that have sounded great on paper, but failed to fully realize their potential. The Outer Worlds‘ latest expansion, Murder on Eridanos, is one such example of this, offering some interesting and engaging concepts that don’t maintain their momentum through the duration of the experience.
This is a shame, because the DLC has a novel enough concept: After the murder of prominent starlet Halcyon Helen is reported, the player is contacted by the administrator of the company she was working for. Eager to clean up the scandal as fast as possible, he hires the player to investigate the murder, find its true culprit and put them behind bars.
To that end, the player travels to the Planet of Eridanos. Once there, they are given the Discrepancy Amplifier – a new gun which can help them find clues scattered throughout the world – as well as a slew of different suspects to question and stories to uncover.
What order the player investigates each of the suspects in, and whether they use the clues they find when preparing their accusation, is entirely up to them.
Not only that, but the player has the freedom to approach the investigation in a number of different ways. One could diligently gather every clue and question each suspect, piecing together how each of them was tied to the murder.
Likewise, they can play multiple sides in order to gain the favor of every party involved in the investigation, coming away with as many rewards for their endeavors as possible.
The player can even charge in guns blazing, doing away with anyone who might impede the outcome they most want to see occur.
It’s all good fun, and carries over the sense of self-expression and choice-driven gameplay that made The Outer Worlds so fun to play in the first place.
This is only bolstered by the excellent characters present in Murder on Eridanos. From a burnt-out and heartbroken Toss Ball player to a guru offering masochistic enlightenment to company executives, there’s no shortage of excellent additions to The Outer Worlds’ roster of oddballs.
Each character is written fairly well too, with their dialogue straddling a fine line between sincerity and tongue-in-cheek satire.
Unfortunately, the investigation-based gameplay only lasts so long, wrapping up after 75 percent of the DLC has been completed. From there, the player’s choices and actions during the majority of the DLC are rendered moot, with them being funneled toward a big reveal and a good or bad ending which they must choose between.
This twist isn’t terrible writing-wise, and does make sense for players who approached the investigation a certain way. However, it also makes the rest of the expansion and its choices feel superficial and even pointless. This drags down the DLC overall, and serves to make the full experience feel less worthwhile by its end as a result.
Murder on Eridanos is similarly mixed in terms of its performance and presentation. Like with The Outer Worlds proper, the expansion looks good graphically and has music that lends itself well to the gameplay.
Once the player reaches the last quarter of the DLC though, this is no longer the case. As they make their way to some of the larger areas or buildings, the game will frequently stop dead in its tracks to load textures, NPCs and pieces of the environment.
This occurs without fail each and every time the player approaches said areas and buildings too. The only real way around it is to play the game on next-gen consoles, though this isn’t really an ideal workaround when the DLC is being released on last-gen platforms.
It’s really unfortunate, because it ensures most players will spend a substantial amount of time waiting for the game to get itself together and break them out of any immersion they’ve built.
The Outer Worlds’ Murder on Eridanos DLC is the epitome of a mixed bag. For all of its high points, there are flaws and missteps which keep it from reaching the heights it otherwise could have. There’s still fun to be had with it, but any who go into the expansion should be ready for some headaches in equal measure.
- Open-ended gameplay during Investigation sequence.
- Well-written characters and dialogue.
- Interesting theme.
- The story’s twist makes the rest of the DLC pointless.
- Choices are shallow,
- Technical performance issues.
March 17, 2021
Take-Two Interactive, Private Division
PS4, Xbox One, PC
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