By Ronald Gordon
Corporate secrets. Every major company has them, and when it comes down to it there’s no way to hide them forever. And it seems like the bigger the corporation, the more devastating its confidences. The Outer World’s new downloadable content demonstrates this with a disastrous secret, one that explains the existence of one of The Outer Worlds enemy types.
Peril on Gorgon is the first of two DLCs to come to The Outer Worlds, an Action RPG game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Private Division. (The main production won The Big Apple Award for Best Game at the 9th Annual New York Game Awards.)
In the downloadable portion, you get to explore a brand new location called Gorgon, an asteroid with myriad mysteries to uncover. After receiving the strange delivery of a severed arm and a voice log belonging to a man named Lucky, who unfortunately fell victim to a wild Canid, you learn that he owed Hawthorne (the former Captain of the ship you stole) a favor, so he repays it in the form of sending him, or in this case You, the details to his mission on Gorgon and the riches he was pursuing by undertaking it.
As a former science outpost for Spacer’s Choice, one of Halcyon’s (the galaxy you explore) most revered companies, there are plenty of things concealed on Gorgon. One concerns the mysterious “death” of Olivia Ambrose, former Spacer’s Choice scientist and mother of Wilhelmina “Minnie” Ambrose, who hires you to discover what really happened to Olivia on Gorgon. After countless years of wondering and waiting, and losing the first investigator she hired, Minnie tasks you with finding her mother’s journal. She already knows that Spacer’s Choice is hiding something, but she needs proof in order to expose them. And she’s sure her mother’s journal will provide the evidence she needs.
However, agreeing to undertake the quest and actually managing to finish the quest are two entirely different things. Gorgon was abandoned by Spacer’s Choice for a reason: it’s filled with Marauders, a common enemy type in The Outer Worlds, and all sorts of other enemy types that you might run into on your journey. Even the inhabitants themselves might be a problem, as you begin to suspect when Minnie tells you to “Trust no one” before sending you off. This turns out to be good advice, seeing as how the first Human establishment you encounter gives you a sanity test to make sure you’re not foaming at the mouth yet. Gorgon is a place where people go mad, and it’s your job to ensure that you and your companions don’t end up insane, or eaten by the many ravenous things around you.
From what I’ve seen, in comparison to the base game, Peril on Gorgon doesn’t change much about The Outer Worlds. It adds the location of Gorgon and the quests that come with it, providing tons to see on this new asteroid. One of the things I enjoyed about Perils on Gorgon was that while it didn’t make the game different, it divided everything into digestible bites, which was great for me, since I’ve never actually played The Outer Worlds. Peril on Gorgon’s storyline doesn’t require you to have beaten The Outer Worlds main story either, so it’s no worries for first time players like me who still want to experience its contents.
The overall design of Gorgon is astonishing. In contrast to the visuals I’m familiar with from the base game, Gorgon has a more somber feel. The colors are darker and everything has a purple hue to it, hinting at the fact that something is off on this asteroid, and whatever it is will be extremely difficult to discover. The music is low and solemn when you’re exploring, but once you’re in action, the music kicks up to fit the tempo.
I’d definitely suggest Peril on Gorgon to both experienced and new players of The Outer Worlds. It doesn’t take long to reach it and its new interesting characters, and it introduces new perks, like Assassin, which boosts damage to silenced weapons, or Improvisation Warrior, which greatly increases the damage dealt by, and resilience of, improvised weapons. You’ll find new weapons, too, and armors that come with the questline. And Peril on Gorgon raises the Level Cap to 33 and adds 150 more skill points to utilize, which makes playing it even more worthwhile and enjoyable. I’m tempted to start a new save for myself so that I have the full experience of the rest of the story, which helps to explain how the inhumane methods that Spacer’s Choice used to develop a certain product may have led to one of the most common problems in all of Halcyon: Bloodthirsty Psychopaths. But for now Peril on Gorgon is just the taste I needed to get me enthralled in a new game.
Ronald Gordon, a Bronx native who attends City Tech College, is a senior intern at the New York Videogame Critics Circle.