The new Wargroove DLC provides an incredible amount of content for free – calling back waning fans and introducing their game to a whole new audience.
Wargroove’s base game is pretty exceptional at what it tries to do. It reeks of nostalgia, encapsulates all the best parts from its genre, and is clearly full of detail and affection from its hard-working dev team. As fun as it is, however, there has been some criticism of the difficulty balance when advancing into the core game. For veterans of the genre, it can provide a pretty disappointing difficulty curve at times that glides to a halt halfway through. Fear not though; loyal fans will be rewarded in part with this DLC, as it includes a long list of specific balance changes.
This means that among other things, thrashing non-unit summons will no longer needlessly raise your Groove, and certain units will cost more/less to buy depending on their stats. Taking a particularly old-school stance here, the devs behind Wargroove have committed some serious time to addressing specific criticisms from fans – providing a detailed and generous fix for free.
Alongside simple fixes and edits, the DLC brings a whole new campaign, three new rogue Commanders (and a sneaky boss), and multiplayer options. What they have done here is essentially give away something that other companies would happily line their pockets with, and this genuinely affectionate gesture impacts the game massively.
Each addition to the game is so lovingly crafted and so consistent. There are no cheap gimmicks to be found here. The three new Commanders are gorgeous – fully animated and charmingly designed. Wulfar with his booming Scots accent, can swing his stone hammer and tank his way through pretty much any situation; whereas 10-year-old twins Errol and Orla have a defensive bonus and two Grooves to choose from.
Enter the evil English accent of Vesper – a white-haired, whip-wielding fiend who will kickstart this incredible new campaign with her steep ransom request. She is not to be trifled with and introduces yet another surprisingly complex character into the world of Wargroove. Another exciting addition are the Thief and Riflemen units, both have their own specialities – one weak but able to dart around ransacking gold for your Commander, and the other a powerful guard who can shoot straight ahead.
The idea of including a co-op campaign for a game like this makes perfect sense. The game relies on taking turns, so why not remove as much of that pesky AI as possible and let people battle it out side-by-side? The online element speaks for itself, but what stood out as rare was the inclusion of a couch co-op. Again, an old fashioned way of doing things – but I had a surprisingly raucous afternoon playing this with a friend over the weekend, and I’m sure it’s strengthened our bond already.
You can also now play custom maps online, in private or public servers. This is something fans have been requesting for a long time now, and shows some real attention to messageboard and comment sections regarding their game.
Customising your game just got a whole lot easier as well, with masses of updates to the Editor system. Introducing the lava/volcano biomes is probably the most flashy – but the subtle tweaks to custom tools are sure to turn some heads. Meta-locations can now be set – preventing or enabling defined spawn point repeats, along with unit modifiers to control the strength and resilience of individual units. Players will be able to upload a load more maps than they used to, and can use Gizmos to incorporate levers and chests into their layout. This leaves the potential open to all manner of creative puzzles and team maps – and I can’t wait to see what the community does with it – especially given the new multiplayer lobbies.
I just can’t get over how gorgeous the maps, characters, and animations are in this DLC. Wargroove has truly cemented its own style with this addition, and they deserve to see some real love for that over the coming months. The movements are smooth; the gameplay is layered yet simple – I sure wish I remembered whatever the hell it is that Wargroove makes me nostalgic for, but in the meantime, I’m recruiting some friends for a lengthy campaign.
[Reviewed on PC]
Miri is an English grad with a fascination for sci fi, RPGs, grand strategy and point-and-click games. She also enjoys strong coffees and cats.