The first big Outer Worlds DLC has heavy BioShock vibes

(Image credit: Obsidian)
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It all starts with a severed arm. A mysterious package arrives on your ship containing the violently detached limb of the unfortunately named Lucky Montoya. In an accompanying audio recording he describes an abandoned facility on an asteroid called Gorgon, and a woman willing to pay a fortune to find out what happened there. And so begins Peril on Gorgon, the first big DLC for Obsidian's charmingly serviceable sci-fi RPG.

It's a great opening, nicely setting the wheels of the mystery in motion—but it's a little misleading. The first hour of the DLC has the feel of a film noir. You visit the lavish space-mansion of a mysterious, sultry woman called Minnie Ambrose, whose mother ran the Gorgon facility. She wants to know the truth about what happened, clear her disgraced family name, and rejoin high society in Byzantium—and she's willing to give you a slice of her fortune if you help. Naturally, however, there are several outcomes to the quest, and you can screw Minnie over if you so desire. This is The Outer Worlds after all.

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The grand, dusty mansion—abandoned for years and populated entirely by robot servants—is a moody, evocative setting. Montoya's voice recording is delivered in the style of a hard-boiled detective. The vibe is dark and downbeat. But once you leave the mansion and land on Gorgon itself, the noir stuff is dumped for a more familiar Outer Worlds tale of corporate greed, corruption, and cover-ups. In fact, it's a little too similar to some of the main game. I know 'corporations are bad' is the game's whole shtick, but I'd like to see another side of this universe.

At this point, Peril on Gorgon gets notably less interesting. But it's still a solid 5-6 hour quest, with some nice new locations, a pretty big (and, admittedly, a little half-baked) revelation about the larger Outer Worlds universe, and some enjoyably eccentric characters. Gorgon is made up of a network of deep canyons with a few points of interest, including the half-buried skeleton of some giant, long-extinct space-beast, a crashed starship, and a dingy little dive bar called the Sprat Shack, which is where your investigation begins proper.

Shame Gorgon is pretty dull to look at, being mostly rocks and the odd sprinkle of phosphorescent blue grass. But things get more visually exciting when you venture into one of the many spooky abandoned buildings dotted around the place. It's in these marauder-infested corridors where the mystery of the facility's sudden abandonment is revealed. There's some really nice environment design here, with corpse-strewn art deco hallways that recall the leaky tunnels of Rapture, and all manner of elaborate, over-engineered sci-fi machinery.

(Image credit: Obsidian)

BioShock seems to be a big influence here. A place once beautiful and ornate, now left in ruins. Blood splatters and bodies in the corridors. Test subjects driven wild and violent by failed science experiments. Powerful people exploiting their workforce in pursuit of some morally dubious higher goal. Just don't buy Peril on Gorgon expecting BioShock in space: the similarities are ultimately pretty superficial. But they're there.

Getting to Minnie's mother's diary, which she promises will blow the whole thing wide open, isn't simple. The facility is in lockdown and you need to find a way to lift it. There are nine main quests in Peril on Gorgon, some of which involve leaving the asteroid and flying to new locations—including my favourite, a space station orbiting an immense gas giant. And there are some dangers along the way, such as a group of tossball-obsessed pirates who try to board your ship, and a mysterious silhouetted figure who warns you to stop digging into the Gorgon incident. Which, of course, just makes you want to dig deeper.

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Peril on Gorgon is a good quest chain, if a little conservative. If you've played The Outer Worlds, you'll know exactly what to expect. Shooting, looting, accessing terminals, and occasionally talking (or bribing) your way out of trouble. I enjoyed it overall, but I wish the tone was more consistent. It has elements of film noir, horror, and adventure serials, but it never really leans that hard into any of them. If you've finished The Outer Worlds and want more of the same, you're in for a treat. But if you bounced off the base game, this DLC won't be enough to change your mind. And honestly, that's exactly what I expected.

Andy Kelly

If it’s set in space, Andy will probably write about it. He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story.