Last week, the second and final expansion to Obsidian’s space-faring RPG launched. As its name suggests, The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos revolves around a murder; that of Ruth Bellamy, well-known celebrity in the colony for portraying Halcyon Helen in the show Terror on Monarch. As much as the authorities are concerned about the case, they are equally concerned about how Ruth’s untimely demise affects the launch of Rizzo's upcoming Spectrum Brown Vodka for which she was the spokeswoman.
Due to professional and personal differences among those very authorities, they prefer to enlist a third-party freelancer as yourself to try to solve the case. So off you go, newly-minted Inspector, to the Eridanos Atmospheric complex, a series of floating islands interconnected by bridges, to investigate the crime.
To start Murder on Eridanos, you will, of course, need the base game and the DLC triggers once you have cleared Stellar Bay on Monarch. To proceed with this expansion, it is recommended to have reached a player level of at least 30 as the local fauna and occasional baddies will prove challenging to get past at lower levels.
Once landed, you will encounter quite a number of peculiar characters worthy of The Outer Worlds’ cast: there’s Deputy Wine Taster 306-B who takes the role of acting constable and is not shy of asking for a “nominal, compulsory bribe” when being consulted for information; an underground dealer selling vitamins (the real deal!); a clumsy Tossball mascot who broke into your hotel room; to name just a few of the charismatic and memorable NPCs you’ll come across while on Eridanos.
What you will also come across are signs that there is more going on in the Eridanos complex than first meets the eye. From missing persons through damaged crops to suspiciously happy workers with new protruding body parts, you will have a fair share of side quests that will send you on other mystery-solving cases. Are they happening at random or are they somehow connected to Ruth Bellamy’s case? That will be up to you to elucidate.
The detective approach in Murder on Eridanos’ main and side quests fits pretty well in The Outer Worlds’ overall gameplay, especially if you like to indulge in exploring new and varied environments, talking to NPCs and hack into email logs to flesh out the plot. To help you better don your detective hat, this DLC introduces a new device: the Discrepancy Amplifier. Equipped with a talkative A.I. assistant, it helps you uncover clues in places where the A.I. detects and notify you of “timeline discrepancies”. Upon receiving such notifications, you’ll have to aim with the Amplifier to scout and analyse your surroundings for helpful signs such as footprints or discarded objects. These will provide leads regarding where you can turn to next.
The Discrepancy Amplifier and the investigative nature of the quests adds a new mechanic of sorts to the game, although not revolutionary per se. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome addition that shakes things a little bit, even if only a little bit. New mechanics were rather lacking in the first DLC, Peril on Gorgon, but Obsidian seems to have picked up on what was missing and somewhat made up for it in their new DLC.
While Peril on Gorgon expanded on the The Outer Worlds' lore, Murder on Eridanos does little to none in this sense as it focuses almost entirely on the characters involved, their backstories and the case at hand. The characters themselves are well-written with unique and memorable personalities of their own, as is the main plot which unfolds to reveal a surprising twist.
Given the open-ended nature of the game, you can follow any leads you might find in any order you wish. This results in different possible playthroughs that lead to multiple endings, as you might have expected. Who should you accuse? Was it Ruth’s co-star who might be holding a grudge? Or Ruth's boyfriend who has a notoriously bad temper? Do you have enough evidence against them or pursue all leads? This aspect makes progressing through this expansion rather exciting.
However, what you should not expect is a grand finale to The Outer Worlds saga. This is rather disappointing given that Murder on Eridanos marks the end of The Outer Worlds. It’s a standalone quest that doesn’t really tie in with the overarching narrative of The Outer Worlds which could welcome some more fleshing out itself in some areas.
Playing though the main quest and a couple of side ones while exploring and chatting with the inhabitants of Eridanos lasted for around 10 hours but the DLC offers replayability thanks its branching narrative, multiple endings and side quests. I played it on PC with the Arkade Blaster which I find to personally enhance the experience. The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos doesn’t offer much new gameplay elements other than the Discrepancy Amplifier, new locations and a few new enemy types.
Overall, Murder on Eridanos is a nice little whodunnit set in The Outer Worlds; nothing more, nothing less. It plays out well as a whodunnit but don't expect more out of it. But you could still pick it up if you are looking for a short narrative-driven experience with a fresh story and cast featuring The Outer Worlds' iconic satirical humor and snide capitalism critique.
To know what to expect of the main game and the first DLC, be sure to check our reviews linked below!
The Outer Worlds Nintendo Switch Review
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon GBAtemp Review