Time to fire up the engines, grab your favourite companion and hyperjump back into The Outer Worlds. Obsidian’s Scifi RPG that could is getting ready to release its final narrative DLC on March 17th. Thankfully the good folks over at Obsidian let me kick the tires on their latest narrative offering from their galaxy far, far away. I’ve only been able to spend a little time up to this point in the game but I have some thoughts. So grab that coffee, kick back and check out our preview of The Outer Worlds Murder on Eridanos.
A Tonal Shift
Set after the events on Gorgon, players will receive a call to come and investigate the murder of a high-profile actress and spokesperson. It seemed like an odd request at first, seeing as most of what I’ve been up to at this point in the overarching narrative has been more akin to the events that lead up to murder. None the less after a quick jump, Players find themselves smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation.
The whole quest line starts off with a brilliant cinematic that reminds me a lot of the old detective serials or movies like The Maltese Falcon (if you’ve not seen it, do yourself a favour). Presented in black and white with some wonderfully over-the-top voice work (much in line with the detective series I mentioned), the whole thing was a great tribute to the Film Noir genre. I have to say that it feels like a step up in storytelling from the previous DLC offering.
Once the cutscene is done and you head down to the planet things only begin to get more mysterious. NPC’s seem almost too interested to see to all your needs. Characters seem quick to side rail you from the conversation around the murder and everyone seems almost too eager to have you move along.
After only a few minutes of discussion, you’ll receive the first real new mechanic we’ve seen in Outer Worlds in the form of the Discrepancy Amplifier. This fancy-looking flashlight is actually an inductive-reasoning device used to help point out things that shouldn’t be where they are. It essentially acts as a clue finder as you’re out and about in the world.
Here We Are So Far
From the onset, I have to say that while it’s not really been the focus of the narrative up to this point, the murder investigation plot has actually been pretty interesting. It’s a nice change of pace from the standard fare and has forced me to slow down a bit and take in everything going on around me.
Even in my first hour of play, the narrative has offered up a lot more questions than answers, driving me to explore deeper into the mystery surrounding the victim’s death. Mechanically the only new feature I’ve experienced is the aforementioned Discrepancy Amplifier. At this point, it hasn’t felt much different than having Navi chirping in my ear about points of interest but I’ve really only just begun my journey.
One point of note is that unlike Perils on Gorgon(full review here) which, like the main story, had grand galactic altering narrative beats, Murder on Eridanos (at least to this point) feels like a much more personal story. One that puts aside the galactic saving and trades it in for a more engaging storytelling experience. Again it’s a nice tonal shift and one that I’m enjoying. As fun as it is to save the galaxy, it’s nice every once in a while to slow down and dive into a more personal story arc.
Murder on Eridanos does look promising, with stronger narrative notes and character pieces than Peril on Gorgon had at first glance. The murder plot, film noir style storytelling and some new tools to use all give me hope for what This Outer Worlds DLC has to offer. Stay tuned for my full review in a couple of weeks once I’ve uncovered the killer and saved the day once again.