Peril on Gorgon 1

Review: The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

Coming back to The Outer Worlds for its Peril on Gorgon DLC felt a bit alien. Stepping back into a game’s world long after its initial release, there’s a certain amount of rust that needs to be shaken off. In the case of The Outer Worlds, it’s been nearly a year since I explored the Halcyon system as the captain of the Unreliable.

11 months ago, Obsidian released The Outer Worlds and it immediately filled the void Fallout: New Vegas sized hole in my life. While an unprecedented amount of time had elapsed, I couldn’t shake the urge to return to Obsidian’s game for another sci-fi romp.

Taking a step back into any game, there’s always a period of acclimation. In a game such as The Outer Worlds, I had to wrap my mind around who my character was once again. Exploring my inventory and learning which weapon stats were most relevant was an initial struggle. Though, presented as a small hurdle for what the Peril on Gorgon DLC offered, it was all worth it.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon is a self-contained narrative expansion. While I myself had already completed the roughly 35-hour campaign, Peril on Gorgon can be started after completing the core game’s ‘Radio Free Monarch’ quest. While this DLC isn’t overtly ambitious in any way, it does provide a solid five to eight hours of content and adds new locations to the Halcyon system.

Peril on Gorgon, as indicated by the name, takes place on an asteroid named Gorgon. Upon receiving a message, your created character is called to continue a job a fellow Freelancer started. You’re then directed to the creepy Ambrose mansion estate, where a woman named Minni Ambrose hires you and your crew to recover a journal belonging to Gorgon’s lead scientist.

peril on gorgon 3

To recover it, you’re sent along a string of quests to solve the mystery of what happened on Gorgon. As the major pharmaceutical facility has fallen, you’ll uncover truths, deceptions, and of course, marauders. The core map of Gorgon is reasonably sized with a township settlement to explore. There are also marauder encampments and abandoned facility hubs to ransack.

As with the core experience of The Outer Worlds, interacting which characters and parsing through dialogue options are always a highlight. The writing of the Peril on Gorgon DLC is chock-full of quippy one-liners and sarcasm. Whereas the core game heavily used corporate greed and capitalism, Peril on Gorgon skates around topics such as “Big Pharma”. The narrative threads make for some compelling content, as shadowy corporations manufacture harmful drugs for the Halycon market.

Peril on Gorgon is held back by how safe this piece of DLC is treated. The shrouds of mystery initially instilled in the story are aired out quite quickly. Within an hour or so I had a feeling of what the conclusion might be and unfortunately, those feelings were correct. As many questlines in the core game are held as morally gray, Peril on Gorgon didn’t give me the same sentiment. There are very clear black and white decisions to be made.

Much of the integral backstory and context are found through reading message logs on terminals. It’s a bit of a shame that some of the most interesting facets of Peril on Gorgon’s narrative are hidden behind terminals that can be overlooked. I can’t help but urge players to take the time and invest in reading through incoming and outgoing messages to get a deeper understanding of the story.

peril on gorgon 2

The enemy types are ones commonly found in the base game. Peril on Gorgon does add a very new named science weapons to scout out. One, in particular, is tied to one of the few side quests the DLC offers. Another, which can be obtained by defeating a unique enemy quickly became my favourite of the entire game. The level cap is also raised to Level 33, which allows you to invest more points in your character’s skills and traits.

What stood out to me the most was the environments. Peril on Gorgon once again showcases Obsidian’s ability to craft outstanding visuals from the exterior environments. Gorgon and its horizon are as visually vibrant as you’d expect. The skyline is distracting but in the best way possible. It’s hard not to step out of the Unreliable and be mesmerized by the distance stars in view.

Verdict

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon isn’t necessarily a required play. That said, anyone who is itching for more of what the Obsidian offered in the core game will likely be pleased with this piece of DLC. It doesn’t overstay its welcome but it also fails to deliver any substantial updates to gameplay. To frame Peril on Gorgon as “more of the same” isn’t inherently negative. The Outer Worlds is merely expanded by the DLC’s inclusion. It sits comfortably well with the base game.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]