CastleStorm DLC: From Outcast to Savior

For the original CastleStorm review, click here.

I liked CastleStorm a lot, despite some glaring flaws in its online setup.  It’s one of those rare games where you have to get your money’s worth in single player, despite the multiplayer experience being theoretically better.  Not that it’s a bummer of a concession.  The campaigns features a nice variety of stages bumpered by a fairly entertaining, if completely batshit insane story.  The main download of CastleStorm has two of these.  If you’re clamoring for more, a third one just hit in the form of DLC.  Though this is the weakest of the three.  I guess it’s a good thing that it’s an optional purchase.

Just so we're clear, the game still looks fucking amazing in 3D. The best any console game has ever looked in the format.

Just so we’re clear, the game still looks fucking amazing in 3D. The best any console game has ever looked in the format.

The new download, which will set you back $3, is about a third-shorter than the previous two campaigns.  It adds some nifty new weapons that actively made me question whether or not balance was given any consideration.  I again dove into multiplayer, first with my cue-ball friend Bryce.  He absolutely cleaned my clock on account of having talent for building a custom castle.  Well, actually he didn’t.  He got direction from Brian, who helped him but not me.  And no, citing “bros before hoes” doesn’t make it perfectly legal, Brian.  Random match-making is still an exercise in futility.  Whenever I got paired up with anyone, they always out ranked me twenty times over, giving me about as much fighting chance as a fly has against a swatter.

So what did I think of the new campaign?  Well, I really didn’t like it.  From Outcast to Savior has perhaps the most interesting story CastleStorm has told thus far, but the level designs are more of the same from the first time around.  Only now, there’s much more emphasis on using the hero for the stripped down, button-mashy brawler stuff.  Having just played two games in a row that at least attempted to evolve this concept, going back to a three-attack, single-planed hack and slasher was like volunteering for a lobotomy so that you can repeat Kindergarten.  The hero stuff was almost always the most dull activity.  I don’t know anyone who says otherwise.  Why shine the spotlight on it?  Zen Studios attempted to legitimize it by adding a couple of boss fights to make it feel climatic, but with such limited options for attacking, they wear thin quickly as well.  The hero stuff isn’t the only problem either.  One stage requires you to fend off an attack that lasts ten minutes.  I might have been able to put up with such an event when the game was still fresh.  Now?  Ten minutes for a single stage that’s just a glorified wave-shooter is tedious.

Pictured: Jonathan Crane attending a Renaissance Fair.

Pictured: Jonathan Crane attending a Renaissance Fair.

If more of the same is what you wanted from CastleStorm, you’ll get that here.  I always like DLC that takes wild risks with the formula, and From Outcast to Savoir doesn’t do that.  Maybe I’m in the minority, but I was totally satisfied with the campaign stuff in the main download and felt there was no need to have more added in.  I would have been fine with it, if it tried something radically different, but it doesn’t.  In a way, it almost seems like Zen Studios ran out of ideas halfway through completing it themselves.  Three of the spells now involve summoning a different form of the hero onto the battlefield.  That really says it all.  If you’re burned out on CastleStorm, you can safely skip this.  If you’re salivating for more, give this a go.  Unless you dislike stuff involving the hero.  And if you’re a fan of the hero mechanics, would you mind letting me snap a picture of you holding a copy of today’s newspaper?  Skeptical Inquirer is offering money for proof of your existence.

boxartlgCastleStorm: From Outcast to Savior was developed by Zen Studios

240 Microsoft Points think Zen Studios got the order of the final two bosses wrong.  The portly barbarian that’s barely mobile should have gone first.  The giant fucking dragon should go last.  How could you screw that up in the making of this review?

A review copy of From Outcast to Savior was provided by Zen Studios to Indie Gamer Chick.  The copy I played I paid for with my own money. The review copy was given to a friend to help me test online play.  That friend had no feedback in this review.  For more on this policy, consult my FAQ.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

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