This game was such a marvel. For the studio that made it to have never done anything like this, and build everything about this game straight up from scratch, from the combat to the visuals to the world, it is a masterpiece of the medium. It loses out to my favorite game of this year by the slimmest margin you can imagine. I love it. And to all the feminists who say that we don’t like games with female protagonists, suck on Aloy’s non-existent balls! She is badass and doesn’t need you losers to defend her. When I heard that they were making DLC for this game, I was skeptical at first, but I am so glad that I didn’t let that stop me from making the jump. This DLC is everything that DLC is supposed to be. It’s what I look for in it. For $20, I got so much more than my money’s worth. The ONLY detraction I have is that this is the only DLC this game is getting, so far as I know, and that kind of pisses me off now that I’ve seen what potential there is. Let’s talk about it.
When you buy this DLC, it can be a little weird. You wouldn’t know it was added on to the game unless you look at the map and see a mission marking. A new area has been unlocked. A banuk territory call The Cut. And you are able to go in there and look around. Take it from me, do NOT go into this place unless you have reached the end of the game. Challenge is the word, but we’ll get there when we do. Aloy reaches The Cut and realizes that not all is well. There is a different demon in this place, and it is up to her to find out the problem and set things right.
Where do I begin in talking about this DLC? First, let me say that this place opens up a whole new stomping ground. And it is awesome! My biggest problem with the actual game is that there are all these tribes and all of them have this neat cultural perspective, but we don’t get to see much of them. We still haven’t gotten to see Ban Ur, or the Claim, or much of anything from this weird jungle tribe that you hear about but never see. I want to! You’ve shown all the potential for creating narratives and building culture just with environmental story-telling, so show me more! I wanna see more!
In addition to have a ton of area to explore and a plethora of side-quests to do in addition to a fascinating main quest, you have a vast array of characters to meet and get to know as well. It offers perspective on virtually every tribe. But the banuk are the center, and I am glad of it. Seeing so much about their culture is fascinating. And the voice acting is phenomenal across the board. Ashly Burch is quickly rising the ranks of my favorite voice actresses, and her role as Aloy is awesome. Even for the smaller roles, no matter how briefly we get to know them, they are memorable. It makes the fact that we never really get to follow up with characters later that much more frustrating. That is one thing this game needed. It got the action and RPG elements done well, but some of the world-building and character interaction could have been improved. But that’s just splitting hairs.
We also get some new weapons to play with! Each one is focused on an element, and that’s just super. I legit cannot wait to put them to work on some of the monsters I’ve fought in New Game Plus. A fantastic addition in an update, though I am kind of annoyed that the face paint is something you have to unlock. I was hoping we’d get that as something you can buy and play around with.
The missions are all unique as well. This game seemed to know that it was telling a 100% banuk story, and all of the story missions help you learn about their culture in some way or another. I dig that. Sure, there are a lot of hunting missions, but there was one mission where you get to track down killers and learn about crime and punishment that was fun. The Witcher 3 had a lot of gamers seeing side-quests in a new way, and this game ran with that very well. They are hinting at a sequel, so they better not lose sight of that. This studio has proven themselves beyond anything I expected, so let’s see more!
Oh, and there are new monsters as well. That was something I was also annoyed at in the original game. The machine variety got pretty stale, pretty quick. That’s not to say that it’s bad, I just really wanted to see more. This game seems to realize that, and gives me what I want. We have two new machine varieties that are tough as nails and fun to fight. We also have legit boss battles! Your first foray into The Cut has you fighting a boss that is a brand new machine variety. It shows you that this DLC isn’t fucking around. These things are tough, and are not messing around. You either bring your A-game to the fight, or you are going to die. A lot.
Which does bring me to being sad that this seems to be the only story DLC for this game. Come on! You’ve shown you can do this kind of narrative to show us a whole new section of the game’s world. Let’s see more! Show us some of the Claim! Let’s take a look at how the osram live. Or what about this mysterious jungle tribe? When you talk about new enemy variety, that has potential in spades! How about a snake machine! Or insect machines! Lets fuck with my arachnophobia and make a giant spider machine! There’s an idea! There is so much potential in this world, and I am loving this DLC so much. It was a fantastic foray back into this world, and my genuine sadness is that it may be the only one before the sequel.
All-in-all, this is a masterpiece of a DLC. It does everything good DLC should do, and I loved every minute of it. If you loved this game and haven’t downloaded this, you are doing yourself a disservice. Check it out, and fall in love all over again.
10 out of 10