The Outer Worlds quickly became my GOTY by the end of October 2019. During my review playthrough, I managed to do just about everything there was to do and after 40 hours or so I completed the game with what I thought was the best ending possible and I was left satisfied but hopeful for more. Just over a month away from its one-year anniversary and we final have the first of two promised DLC story content for the game and I was extremely eager to jump back on board the Unreliable and reunite with my crew, and ADA the ships AI. But having completed the story, which if you have completed the game (no story spoilers) but the story does have an ending which completes the game so completely that you do not return to the game after the credits. So how would this DLC fit in to the game, and what is the Peril on Gorgon?
Triggering this new DLC does require players to be quite a way into the game itself as you will need to have fully completed the Free Radio Monarch questline which puts your character around the level 20 mark. If like me, you have completed the main story campaign, you will be required to load an earlier save which hopefully you still have. Fortunately I still had my “Beyond this point” forced save from just before you go on the very final campaign mission to use but this meant having a character without armour and weapons I had used for the final mission but one quick jump to another planet and the DLC is triggered when ADA gets a mysterious message with the Captain of the Unreliable name on it.
A strange package is then delivered to the cargo hold of the Unreliable with a message and severed hand, from a former friend of the Unreliable original Captain Hawthorne. The message has a lucrative job offer but the severed had suggest it will be a risky one. But off to Gorgon we go to see what rewards this sudden job will offer and how much money it can make us! Now I must admit, I was expecting more of a full expansion than what ‘Peril on Gorgon’ ultimately really offers. This DLC perfectly slides into the main campaign and feels more like a side questline than something you feel is DLC unless you have only recently purchased The Outer Worlds or discovered it via Xbox Game Pass. I put this down to the fact that the ending to the game fully wraps up the story so any new DLC and storylines will have to be positioned before the final mission of the game which is always going to fee strange if you are returning to the game after finishing it.
That does not mean that Peril on Gorgon is not fun to play because it very much is, in fact overall this new content honestly is a nice snapshot of everything that I love about The Outer Worlds. The writing and dialogue with the new characters is superb, the new action in the areas you explore is still fun and player choice plays a factor in how the story unfolds. Having not played the game for around 10 months, I did have to relearn how the systems work especially having had to start from a far earlier place in the game with a save very different from the moment I completed it originally. But it did fall flat in some areas just because I was hoping and expecting something bigger and there are sections that take you back to previous places for a short hop to do an objective then returning to Gorgon.
Peril on Gorgon can be finished in 6-8 hours so its not that long really to do everything but this is where the player choice that The Outer Worlds does so well comes into play as you are given choices which impact how the story will unfold. It is a fun murder mystery and you delve into the secret operation by Spacer’s Choice, as they tried to create a new drug called Adrena-Time and the impact it had on all of Halcyon colony. I loved all the lore that is buried on computer terminal logs and messages as you investigate so I fully recommend reading everything you can to really get the full picture of what happened on Gorgon. It is also very well written that if you were playing The Outer Worlds for the very first time, this DLC story slots very nicely and smoothly into the main campaign story without feeling tagged on, the new characters are fun to talk to as you uncover their motives and histories. The narrative pacing does sadly mean that about half way through, if you have been paying attention, that you can pretty quickly work out the surprise that the ending wants to keep as a big reveal but the payoff fails to really deliver that.
Peril on Gorgon is a great way to bring players back to The Outer Worlds if they have finished it and not gone back for some time and if you are new to the game, it offers even more fun stuff to enjoy as well as some new weapons and armour which raises the character level cap from 30 to 33, those three extra levels are easily earned just from this DLC. I was left wanted to replay the game itself after completing this DLC but the sensation that I wanted this DLC to be bigger than a short 8 hour run time lingered even longer so I am hoping that the second expansion ‘Murder on Eridanos’ can deliver that for me and fans.
But this DLC has all the elements that makes The Outer Worlds so fun to play and serves as a good reason to return to it if you had put it down and enhances it for those playing it for the first time. Though it doesn’t hit that must play level, it is certainly worth picking up if you have enjoyed the main game and have an itch to return.
Peril on Gorgon is satisfying though short and to capitalise on this, I hope the second DLC is released pretty soon into 2021 and not a long wait for it.