I would like to be as plain and as blunt as possible here. This DLC campaign for Raiders of the Broken Planet could have been a wonderful addition to a better game. Simply put, the systems and restrictions provided by the base game handicap this expansion to no end. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. For anyone that doesn’t know, this campaign add-on is the second of four planned to release over the coming months. Each contain five unique missions, new characters, and new weapons. This is where the first problems arise.
Five missions, new characters, and new weapons sound like the standard affair when it comes to DLC for a shooter. Although, from my experience, the weapons all cost absurd amounts, only one character is given for free, and the five missions are nearly impossible to play start to finish without a full premade group. That last point is by far the most deplorable because the missions are not designed to be played solo and cannot support the game’s Antagonist system at all without four players. In fact, I spent over two hours waiting to connect to a match on the very first mission. When I finally did, I was met with a completely forgettable story that looks great but doesn’t provide any worthwhile lore.
Mechanically, these story missions perform about as well as the original campaign did, offering up semi-varied objectives that usually focus around collecting and using Aleph. By itself, this isn’t much of an issue, but when only a handful of characters are really any good at acquiring Aleph, it becomes increasingly frustrating to play the heroes that aren’t as good at melee combat. This is amplified by the seemingly unfair rock-paper-scissors melee (more on this in my review of the core game). None of my complaints about how useless dodge is or how difficult it can be to even land a strike or grapple on the AI have been addressed and I often found myself cursing as I watch some hulked up soldier tear me a new one.
Beyond my issues with the unfulfilling story and the obnoxious close-quarters combat mechanics, there’s still the issue of how useless playing solo is. Since the player only earns Gold once from each difficulty on each mission, there’s no reason to replay missions unless you can do it with others. Character Points, Faction Points, and weapons are all locked behind end-of-mission rewards that are only available when completed in multiplayer. So if you’d like to use that new weapon, you’ll have to convince your friends to not only buy the Wardog Fury DLC, but actually play it until you get what you want. I mean, that or… hope that the random team you joined doesn’t snatch that weapon from you when you finally finish the mission.
As I said before, I waited over two hours to find a match with some random players on the first mission. What I didn’t mention was that I found a match for the second within fifteen minutes, even though the Antagonist that accompanied us completely destroyed our ragtag group. After that, I could not find a match for another hour and failed to complete the mission on my own several times due to how much it relied on melee.
If the actual content of the missions were in a different game with better systems, I’m sure I’d have enjoyed it far more. Unfortunately, Raiders of the Broken Planet simply feels like a cash-grab that does not give a damn about individual player care. To Raiders, if you don’t have a full group to play with, you can #@%! off (the excessive swearing is still prevalent, by the way). I have never felt more like I’m fighting against a game simply by playing it and this additional content doesn’t change anything. It feels impossible to actually enjoy this content.
Spacelords (Reviewed on Xbox One X)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
A disappointing romp through an underwhelming narrative from an unpleasant game. Overall, just a poor time. Has the potential to be decent, but is ultimately bogged down by the plethora of issues the base game forces upon it.