In today’s roundup, we take a look at new DLC for Obsidian’s The Outer World as well as two new indie titles: Deleveled by the Quantum Astrophysics Guild and Ratalaike’s console port of Golf Zero.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon DLC launched
It’s been a bit of a wait, but almost a year after the release of the excellent base game we can now finally jump into more of The Outer Worlds thanks to its Peril on Gorgon DLC. Expectations were high on our end because Obsidian took their time, so was it worth the wait?
The new DLC takes you away from the areas you’re already familiar with, setting out for new pastures instead. Along the way, an ominous package is delivered to you, containing a severed arm and a message that calls you to Gorgon, an unfamiliar location to you. You travel there, and find out that there’s a bit of turmoil which ultimately launches you into a full length add-on campaign that runs for about seven to nine hours when you’re not rushing through it and get to know Gorgon and the people in it.
Central to Gorgon’s problems is a new drug that’s turning the population into mindless and violent characters called Marauders – which is a problem for your employer, Wilhelmina Ambrose, who was originally looking to inherit the place from her mother. Now that things have gone haywire, the future’s up for grabs, and your role will be to restore or perhaps even shape order.
Peril on Gorgon isn’t a DLC that picks up where the main story left off, nor is it a standalone adventure. You have to have passed Monarch in the core game to be able to access it, yet you can’t be too close to the end game scenario either. If you played the base game already, then you’ll recognize this as being past the moment where you can’t return to the rest of the game world, so if you only used a single save game for your initial playthrough you might be forced to play through the campaign again until you reach Monarch. A bit cumbersome, but if you enjoyed The Outer Worlds’ choice-driven structure then odds are that you’ll have a number of save games already in place and shouldn’t run into that problem.
Being a more or less self-contained DLC package, Peril on Gorgon feels a bit more linear than the base game did – which is understandable because it has a smaller scope in terms of content and length. There are fewer side quests to undertake, but despite a more narrow focus there is still a ton of player choice here that players of The Outer Worlds will recognize and love. The plot quickly thickens, and your options to steer it in subtle ways branch out just as quickly. You ultimately end up back on the same linear track, but there are plenty of ways of getting there.
This is a DLC that offers a decent length campaign at a price point that’s about a third or even fourth of full-price games that offer just as much gameplay, so it’s a steal for fans of the base game even if Peril on Gorgon doesn’t offer anything really new in terms of gameplay mechanics like quest structures or combat. If you enjoyed The Outer Worlds, you’ll no doubt enjoy this.
Deleveled is out now
A surprise release, at least for us, was Deleveled by The Quantum Astrophysics Guild, which came out on September 10th for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam. Blending platforming skill and puzzle solving abilities, this minimalist puzzle adventure with 120 levels combines familiar and new elements.
When we started playing Deleveled, we were reminded of two other titles: The Sun and Moon by Daniel Linssen and Kalimba by Press Play (no, not us, the other Press Play). Using gravity as a core mechanic, you have to navigate little cubes towards the exit points and/or triggers in each level, and this looks and feels a bit like The Sun and Moon in how you use gravity and momentum to reach platforms and overcome obstacles.
The Kalimba element is where the twist lies though, as you control two cubes at once in Deleveled, and they’re on opposite sides of the screen. One’s usually at the top, the other at the bottom – fall off a platform and hit the same piece of floor (from opposite ends) and you’ll bounce off each other, creating the momentum to help you keep going. Hit the floor without your buddy on the other side, and you’ll lose that momentum, falling flat.
This creates interesting physics-based conundrums, where in some cases you can tackle a level in multiple ways although you’ll far more often struggle to just complete the level in the first place. The puzzle mechanics are challenging in and of themselves, but the platforming portion can require some precise movements as well, adding an extra layer of challenge that makes this a less than ideal choice for puzzle purists who prefer the cranial side of the genre. Those who enjoy demanding puzzle platformers have a solid choice for a budget price here though!
Golf Zero – now on consoles!
Originally a popular mobile title, Golf Zero is a game that was co-developed by Colin Lane and Brad Erkkila, whose previous game Castle Pals was also ported to consoles by Ratalaika.
A small 2D pixel art platformer with just over 80 levels that can usually each be completed in less than half a minute, Golf Zero adds a novel mechanic to the genre – you guessed it, golf! Completing a level requires you to put a ball into a hole, but this is much easier said than done.
What initially starts out as something that resembles Worms (aim your shot and release the button) quickly turns into a challenging platformer with puzzle elements with a touch of golf for some novelty. A shot to put the ball can be launched in mid-air, so very often you’ll jump towards your doom only to turn around in mid-air and putt the ball in the hole, which is situated on the platform above or below you. You might not stick the landing, but getting that ball into the hole is all that matters!
Things can get challenging, but unlocking all of the game’s trophies doesn’t require you to beat all of its levels – you can get there by doing just over a third of them. It’s fun to keep going though, because this is a mobile game that – through the use of precise gamepad controls – benefits greatly from the transition to consoles.