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The DLC has a structure, a coherent tone, and it presents the game’s corporations in a more believable but still wacky way. It has side quests connected to the main story, it has opportunities to go out of your way to learn more about what’s going on, and it has some memorable characters.
Admittedly, at one point it sends you on a wild goose chase, has some minor plot inconsistencies, and is still hampered by the game’s basic mechanics, but the content on average is good enough to overlook those.
It’s simply bizarre that the same people who made the base game also made this DLC. They’re clearly capable of producing decent content. But then they put it in a DLC that most people won’t see because they’ve already given up on the game.
Now, Murder on Eridanos, the game’s second and final bit of extra content, is also way better than the core The Outer Worlds. And while I don’t think it’s quite as good as Peril on Gorgon, it still has its share of great moments, memorable characters, and fun interactions.
It also has an entirely new system that allows you to play detective and uncover clues surrounding a nefarious murder with the help of a wise-cracking gadget. You know, the sort of thing you’d expect from a humorous sci-fi adventure.
Ray guns, vodka Gatlings, killer wasps, and brain slugs. And all of that in vibrant color, with upbeat music playing in the background. I just wish the rest of the game could’ve been like this.
In the past, Obsidian had a reputation for great stories and terrible QA. The Outer Worlds flips that formula around. For all the nonsense the game throws at you, it works perfectly fine, runs without any noticeable slowdowns or crashes, and is generally quick to save and load. During my playthrough, I haven’t noticed any bugs, and that must be a first for an Obsidian title.
Visually, the game looks gorgeous outside and boring inside, while its characters all look like some dye festival gone wrong in a clone factory. The audio does its job but isn't something you'd write home about.
Unfortunately, the game’s menus seem to have been designed with a controller in mind, which makes navigating them a bit of a chore, but it’s not too bad.
Otherwise, the game’s controls are a bit weird in that for some reason, you can’t rebind certain buttons, like say J for Journal. This also extends to the game’s dodge move that’s forever tied to double-tapping Space, which makes dodging essentially unusable. Thankfully, you don’t really need it if you’re playing with ranged weapons.
In the end, The Outer Worlds can be seen as a case of shooting for the moon but ending up face-down in a pile of dirt. The game’s basic premise could have been great, but its weak writing, lacking exploration, and bland character design make it very hard to care about anything.
Pair that with a subpar roleplaying system, and the only thing The Outer Worlds has going for it are its pretty decent DLC. But with how incoherent it is as a complete package, it can easily be crowned as The Room of RPGs. Play it only if you're desperate for a hub-based title that's somewhat similar to New Vegas. Otherwise, I advise you give it a wide berth.
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