The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon DLC Review — Better Than Nature
The first DLC for The Outer Worlds is a pretty impressive one. Peril on Gorgon emphasizes all the strengths of the original game (of which there were many) while also deftly avoiding most of the original game's pitfalls. It weaves a fun yarn and really allows the game's impressive writing to shine.
It's a great addition to the base game that probably adds about eight or nine hours of additional exploration and story. If you were already enamored with The Outer Worlds and want a good excuse to dive back in, or you were always interested but let it slip off your radar, Peril on Gorgon is a great way second adventure or gateway.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon DLC Review — Better Than Nature
It begins like any good noir — with murder.
As a quick refresher, The Outer Worlds is a single-player, first-person RPG with a snarky sense of humor. It's developed by Obsidian Entertainment, and it has a lot in common with their 2010 release, Fallout: New Vegas. It features large areas to explore (though not a true open world), plenty of gear and stat upgrades to grind, and an extremely fun script.
Humor and style can often get off track, but The Outer Worlds almost always lands it. The "corporations taking over civilization" plot may not be the most original in the world, but it has no problem going all-in with its absurdity.
Peril on Gorgon really leans into the compelling writing first seen in the base game, pulling you in with its wild detective story. It begins like any good noir — with murder.
While flying your ship, the Unreliable, a delivery service drops off a package. Inside is a severed arm clutching an audio log. There seems that there's trouble on Gorgon, an asteroid colonized by the Spacer's Choice corporation.
The adventure is a roller coaster ride from there, mining all those hard-boiled detective stories as you pull back layers upon layers of what happened on Gorgon.
A mysterious mansion full of robot butlers, a massive corporate office where disaster struck, and the origin of the marauders are just some of what you'll uncover as you explore.
Aim to Misbehave
Peril On Gorgon works really well because of how masterfully it fits into The Outer Worlds without feeling tacked on. The package containing the arm arrives on your ship after you've completed the "Radio Free Monarch" quest in the main game, which happens fairly early on.
It recommends your characters have reached at least Level 25 before tackling it, something that shouldn't be much of a problem if you've gotten that far and accomplished some of the side quests you've uncovered.
Once you've started the questline, you'll be able to explore the entirety of Gorgon, and it will also send you blasting back and forth between previously explored areas. The DLC quests have a little icon next to them in your journal, so you can keep track of what's new, but otherwise, you would just see it as part of the game.
What Peril on Gorgon doesn't add is much new outside of story and NPCs. Gorgon itself is a different place, but it doesn't feel particularly noteworthy compared to the other worlds you explore in the game. There are a few new items, enemies, and science weapons to find, but The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon is essentially just making the original game a bit bigger.
Honestly, that's perfectly fine. In a single-player RPG, having more is always welcome. Especially because the story in Peril on Gorgon is so darn fun.
Smoke and Shadows
If you loved pawing through terminals in The Outer Worlds, piecing together the backstory of corporate greed run rampant, there is so much to enjoy in Peril on Gorgon. There are tons of jokes tucked away all over this rock (which is said to be about as big as Monarch, the largest area in the original game) that you'll love to set off the beaten path to find it all.
All your companions get to shine in their own special ways, and everyone is excited that the story they're getting involved with is "just like a detective serial"!
Felix, Parvati, Vicar Max... they all love playing detective in their own special way. All the old characters are great, and the new ones also get a chance to make their mark.
Minnie Ambrose, the rich benefactor who originally put the severed arm on the case, is a particularly fun standout, and the severed arm's owner also gets to shine through with all the audio logs you find. It helps add to the flavor of "detective noir" with this gruff narration playing in the background as you explore.
The biggest issue with Peril on Gorgon is also one of the biggest issues with The Outer Worlds in general: it's nothing new. This is a game that draws from so many others, and Peril on Gorgon is not trying to reinvent that in any way.
You'll find some new equipment but, if you've progressed through the regular campaign, you'll probably already have better stuff. Fights still boil down the same way, and the "joke a minute" style of writing is still firmly in place.
Peril on Gorgon is DLC for people who loved The Outer Worlds when it came out and want more, or people who never played it and want a bigger game right from the start. It won't do a thing to change your mind about whether The Outer Worlds is up your alley.
That said, the story on Peril on Gorgon is one of my favorites that the game threw at me. Like any good detective story, you'll probably figure out the basics on your own. There are quite a few curveballs and details that you probably won't see coming, however.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon DLC Review — The Bottom Line
- Great writing and interesting story
- Audio logs help sell the film noir style of the adventure
- Fun NPCs and mystery, plus your old favorites have some great reactions
- Nothing new gameplay-wise
Peril on Gorgon is a great addition to The Outer Worlds, even if it doesn't particularly change it or make it better. It's just more, and more of a good thing is usually a pretty good bet.
It's the first of two planned DLC expansions for the game, with Murder on Eridanos scheduled to release sometime in 2021. Peril on Gorgon will run you $15, whereas the season pass (which contains both) costs $25.
For my money, I would recommend going with the season pass and maybe waiting until the second DLC releases to dive back in. The Outer Worlds is great but right as I was starting to get back into the swing of things, Peril on Gorgon's content was finished.
If you could group it together with Murder on Eridanos, that might help you get through a doldrum of releases should we get one in 2021.
[A copy of The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon was provided by Private Division for the purposes of this review.]