Some may argue that DLC has gone too far, that developers carve huge chunks out of their game’s to sell separately, or spend development time on crafting overpriced equine ephemera. Well, if you think DLC has gone too far then DLC Quest will show you what it would be like if DLC really did go off the deep end.
It may be pertinent at this point to note that the game is a satirical parody of DLC and the modern game industry’s use of it. The game does not actually have any DLC, in the game you collect in-game coins which you spend on DLC. Available to you are a wide range of potent payment packs including such in-game bonuses as ‘The Ability To Turn Left’ and ‘The Pause Menu’.
The game’s mechanics are solid, if relatively unimportant. The real strong point of the game and the reason to play it is the humour, and that the mechanics feel good enough that you don’t have to think about them and can get on with your laughing fit is certainly a success. The game is, in essence, an action platformer, somewhere in the vein of a metroidvania style game.
Most of the jokes are either references to other game, tropes, or the game industry. As such, the more you are submerged in the murky, rainbow-filled depths that are the gaming community, the more you will get out of this game. The jokes are well written, and are partially expressed through mechanics, including examples of the ridiculous type of things that appear in games more and more in the current market.
One of the problems with the game is its length. I was able to complete both campaigns in about 45 minutes, although some people may have up to two hours of gameplay from one run-through of the game. This may seem like a problem, however I feel that if it went on for much longer, the humour would wear very thin, very quickly. In essence the game is based on one main joke – what if we take downloadable content to the extreme.
Graphically it is a simple look, with a retro style, the animations are reasonable (once you buy the DLC, of course). All in all there are a few visual gags and it looks good enough that it isn’t a turn off, and it portrays the the style well enough.
The music selection is quite good, and the tracks chosen fit the game very well, without becoming too repetitive. They are nice in that they sort of fade into the background if you aren’t concentrating on them, which is a good thing for this type of game. Not much is distinct or memorable about the music, the same goes for the sound assets. The best you could say is that they fulfill their purpose adequately, and really that is all you need.
And now we come to the most important aspect of the game: The Writing. All of the other aspects of the game only need to be there as structural support for the writing, the sponge padding holding the metaphorical treacle tart. The writing in this game is nothing short of excellent, whilst not exiting nor natural it does fit the style of the game very well, delivering story in the feel of past games you may have played where the NPCs talk bluntly at you with porcelain grins painted on their faces. This style of contact with the other characters really creates a startling contrast with your character speaking normally, as if he was the actual player.
The game has some interesting twists and turns in terms of the plot and some it of if quite meta, which would be expected of a title called DLC Quest. Suffice it to say that you should watch the credits scroll fully. At some points you find quite serious metaphors for game publishers and retailers behind the thick veneer of satire, which are highlighted at some of the turning points in the game’s plot. Combining that with decent gameplay, good assets and biting witty writing I found myself enthralled throughout the experience. It is also very strange when having the ability to do one thing in one campaign, then suddenly being unable to use it hand having to use an alternative in the second, in this I died many times. On the other hand, this did contribute to the game staying fresh, such that I had to concentrate on completing the platforming sections when I was not focused on chortling at the dialogue.
All in all, it is an extremely enjoyable experience taking up only about an hour of your time. At the time of writing, it costs two pounds on steam, whilst not on sale, and I would say the amount of humour packed into the time is well worth your money.