I have never really been one to go for downloadable content in games. I tend to not find much pull or excitement from the game that made me feel like I needed to buy its DLC. Nothing screamed that my enjoyment would be multiplied if I were to download its content. Castlestorm is set to change that.
With the recent release of two new DLC packs, “From Outcast to Savior,” and, “The Warrior Queen,” Zen Studios have added a slew of new missions, weapons, characters and clever humour to their already brilliantly entertaining genre-mixing romp. Both with their own delights and charms about them.
The first lot of DLC missions, “From Outcast to Savior,” follows the story of Sir Gavin, the son of Sir Gareth from the original story, picking up where the previous game left off. Sir Gareth has mysteriously disappeared, and has been branded a traitor by the King and Lord Rufus. Hence, Sir Gavin has taken it upon himself to serve the King and restore his family and his father’s name.
Much like the original game, the story takes a well versed tale that has been retold numerous times, and never takes itself too seriously. Humour is at the forefront here, with funny one liners, plenty of funny dialogue, and heaps of references to just about anything. The characters themselves were probably my favourite element in and outside the story. Just as pleasantly drawn as ever, they are bursting with charm and hard not to like. Even the troops you command deliver some perfectly entertaining quip’s, ranging from the standard, “You have my sword,” cheesy line, to a ground troop complaining he has to fight. With a bit more variety in their lines it would have certainly helped spice up their personalities more, but I still found it to be incredibly endearing despite the repetition.
On the presentation front, not much has changed. The game is still wonderfully drawn, and beautifully colourful in its design. With the addition of more areas for you to wage war against your adversaries, ranging from snowy ice caps, to dark monstrous vistas, it is still an absolute treat to the eyes. And, just as before, a delight on the ears, with the soundtrack being as energy fuelled and battle ready as ever. Again, a little bit more variety would have helped, but it certainly does not disappoint.
In relation to the gameplay, Sir Gavin handles much in the same vain as his father, and the ballista controls are the same. However plenty of new weapons have been thrown into the mix to add some flavour to the formula, with many of them being very useful and incredibly fun to fire at the opposing force, such as the cannonball triple shot, which can easily send a castle toppling with ease.
One thing that is certainly apparent with this iteration is the sudden difficulty spike of missions. While the first couple are much easier, as it introduces you to any new element added, once the game has you permanently comfortable, missions immediately ramp up the pace, with exceeding amounts of enemies flying your way, as well as an onslaught of projectiles from your rival’s castle.
This is by no means a bad thing, and is in fact perfectly welcomed. It challenges you to put your skills to the test, using your wit to strategize a way of toppling the foes towers, or stealing their flag while managing to protect your own loft. In its most heated moments, the game is both brain meltingly infuriating, as well as uncomprisingly and ingeniously enjoyable. Nothing beats the satisfying and rewarding feeling of watching as your opponent’s castle tumbles and falls before your eyes, as well the devastation of the same happening to you. Castlestorm stands unopposed in providing such a wonderful, genre blending experience thus far.
The second DLC pack, “The Warrior Queen,” is given the same amount of loving attention as the first, with the major difference here being the story and protagonist. You play as Freia, and follow her on her journey of leading the Vikings to victory, and ending the reign of the evil King Ramhorn once and for all. Much like the rest of the game it is a light hearted and fun romp all throughout, with plenty of surprises and characters showing up to aid in her quest. Thankfully, there is plenty of new beautifully destructive weapons to differentiate it from the others, and the Warrior Queen herself handles distinctively different to the Knights before her. Being in control of a Viking Queen, we are entrusted to a new style of play, with variations of armaments making it unique enough to still be fresh, and yet, still maintaining the quality and feel of the original.
With both DLC packs available for the excellently low price of €3 each, that includes the PS Vita version, I whole heartedly urge you to purchase them, whether separately or together. Providing plenty of extra hours of fun, from an already thoroughly enjoyable experience, both are easily worth the money for one of the most unique and entertaining games of 2013.