The beloved Halcyon Helen has been slain! Who could have possibly murdered such a well-loved spokesperson for the delicious line of drinks from Rizzo’s? The star of Terror on Monarch?! That’s up to you to find out with the second – and final – DLC for The Outer Worlds with Murder on Eridanos.
Earlier this month, we were given the opportunity to play through the latest expansion ahead of its reveal and while it was a drastic pivot from Peril on Gorgon, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish. Even if it did get really, really weird.
Where Peril of Gorgon went super dark thematically, Murder on Eridanos takes an entirely different tone. Harkening back to the morbid humor that the base game offers players, Murder on Eridanos takes players on a wild ride with a pulp noir-inspired murder mystery. Halcyon Helen has been murdered and in an effort to solve this unthinkable crime, we had to travel to the world of Eridanos to meet new faces, undertake new quests, and find all-new ways to be thoroughly creeped out by corporate shenanigans.
Eridanos is deceptively perfect. With an opulent hotel teeming with beautiful gardens and employees with smiles on their faces, the introduction into this new area has a juxtaposition that had me cringing just as much as it had me excited to learn more. As we learned in the base game, nothing is as it seems when corporations have hands in everything, even down to who lives and who dies. Beneath the loud world of extravagance and escape hides a dark secret that is connected to the murder that led us here.
What makes this DLC so special was how different it was to everything thus far while simultaneously taking players back to the root of The Outer Worlds. This expansion also does a wonderful job at picking up where the base game lacked some when it came to companion interactions. If you want the full experience? Bring Parvati and Felix often, because their character interventions and banter bring the entire experience to an entirely different level.
The writing of Murder on Eridanos is perfect. The dialogue that happens while unraveling the mystery behind the employees encountered is beyond comparison regarding previous content. There were so many moments (without spoiling anything) where I was so creeped out by a conversation I was having, only to be sad when the dialogue was over. This expansion made me want to talk to everyone I could possibly talk to, and often. This drive made the experience all of the more enriching, because talking to everyone furthered conversational options that become available.
The conversations with NPCs and companions alike flow naturally where the base game stuttered from time to time. There is a connection created with each character that made the time spent solving this mystery incredibly satisfying. For being the final DLC, that connection was important, and I feel like the creative writing and narrative design of Murder on Eridanos will leave a lasting impression on players long after the end credits roll. And really? That’s the best way to say goodbye to players: give them an experience they won’t forget.
In addition to the new area and new faces to meet, Murder on Eridanos also introduced a shiny new toy to play with. The Discrepancy Amplifyer is a sassy tool that plays several roles: this device is your tour guide while traversing the stunning orchards of Eridanos, your key to solving crimes by analyzing clues, and it’s a weapon at the same time. While not particularly a good weapon, it is useful in being a guiding companion in its own right while helping analyze crime scenes.
Fun fact, when we sat down with narrative designer Nitai Poddar, he told us that everyone who plays this DLC should do a “dumb” run at least once. “Everyone needs to play this expansion with low intelligence even once. We even tell players in the beginning that if they don’t have high intelligence, certain interactions get really weird.” Even the sounds that the Discrepancy Amplifyer makes are changed, instead becoming a garbled mumble that you can’t understand because you’re not smart enough to. I’m doing this run now, and let me tell you: I’ve never been more excited and entertained by people telling me I’m stupid. It’s great.
From the character designs to the final chapter of Obsidian’s latest story, Murder on Eridanos filled in some of the gaps that the base game had. It was a mystery through and through, keeping true to the aesthetic theme of The Outer Worlds and providing a new tale that makes the end of the road for this title bittersweet.
To learn more about The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos, check out our previous coverage here. You can also check out our full The Outer Worlds review, in case you’re on the fence about Obsidian’s latest adventure.