Welcome back to The Outer Worlds, one of the best RPGs of 2019. The game’s first DLC pack, Peril on Gorgon, is more of a good thing: a new planet, three new science weapons, and a ton of characters that the player can indiscriminately murder.
Peril on Gorgon is fully integrated with the main campaign. This isn’t a quarantined zone where the DLC content is neatly separated from the main game; the crew of disaster companions the player picked up on the Unreliable are coming along for the ride, along with new dialogue, interactions, and reactions to the events on Gorgon. This includes big players from the original campaign, like Felix, and the smaller members of the crew. Cheerful ship robot SAM, in particular, gets a little more attention.
In short, this DLC pack is like adding another course to a delicious meal, as opposed to preparing another entree altogether. It’s more of a good thing, which is welcome after the brisk pace and complex narrative of the base Outer Worlds experience. There are no major changes to the formula, but it is a good excuse to go back and try a new run through the Halcyon Colony.
The entirety of the Peril on Gorgon DLC will last about as long as the Monarch hub in the base game, which was about 6-8 hours long. It’s a “substantial” chunk of gameplay, but the player won’t spend all of their time on Gorgon. They’ll have to return to previous hubs and check out old zones, as well as delve into dungeons.
Welcome to Gorgon
Gorgon’s overworld is a canyon with a Spacer’s Choice facility built into the cliffs and slopes, so the players will have to traverse up and down. The entire planet has a noir vibe — think detectives entering a world of marauders and underworld crime. Unlike planets like Sweetwater and Monarch, Gorgon is a pulp adventure with a big mystery to solve. Since this is The Outer Worlds, there’ll also be choices to make.
“We’re really pushing some of the revelations and some of the bigger narrative feeds where you’re learning about the stuff that has really influenced life [in the solar system of] Halcyon … and [your companions] definitely have feelings about it,” says Carrie Patel, game director and senior narrative designer, speaking with Polygon.
It’s up to the player how delicate they want to be while navigating this mystery. The team has plotted a puzzle that could be solved, even if all the suspects were murdered by the player. A “kill everyone” run was a major headache to manage in the main game, but Obsidian wanted to ensure that this was a well-rounded narrative, with plenty of leads and ways to solve the primary conflict.
“There’s one particular possible murder that — as weird as it sounds to say — I’m really proud of the team for. I don’t want to spoil it, but when you try it, you’ll know it when you find it,” Patel adds.
“It’s really fun having to design around the implication of knowing that the player can show up, kill the primary quest-giver for the first time, before you even get to talk to her, and then having to design interesting, engaging fallbacks for that inevitability. Because it is an inevitability. Everyone will take any opportunity they can to make our lives a little harder with that stuff,” says Matt Hansen, project art director.
Patel notes that there are no “mustache-twirling evil-doers,” but Obsidian offers characters with strong points of view, and asks the player to decide which party will be more successful. It’s less about purity of intent, and more about navigating the complicated system of Halcyon.
A few fun additions
The intention is that players will head to Gorgon in the later stages of the game, before everything is locked in for the final run through the endgame. But the perks and flaws that players can unlock on Gorgon have advantages outside of Gorgon itself. Some of them are designed to be powerful bonuses that make combat “pretty silly.”
“If you’re one of those masochistic players that loves to tackle high level content at a much earlier level, you’ll get access to that stuff much earlier.” says Hansen.
There’ll also be three new science weapons. So far, we only have details on one. The Pest Extermination Tool is a melee weapon that pulls enemies in, which is great for dealing with runners.
Peril on Gorgon will release on Sept. 9, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $14.99. Players can grab an expansion pass for $24.99 which includes Peril on Gorgon and the next The Outer Worlds DLC. The expansion will release on the Switch at “a later date,” according to an Obsidian Entertainment representative.