Release roundup: Siege Survival – Gloria Victis, Borderlands 3 & Tools Up! DLC

We’re looking at three new and upcoming titles today, from the upcoming Siege Survival: Gloria Victis to Borderland 3’s latest update all the way to brand new DLC for Tools Up!

Siege Survival: Gloria Victis

Not being a big fan of MMO games, I hadn’t played Gloria Victis before trying a recent build of Siege Survival: Gloria Victis, a spin-off game designed as a single player experience set within the same game universe. Having heard good things about the franchise from MMO fans, this seemed like a good opportunity to dive in and take a look for myself.

In Siege Survival, a small group of people is trapped inside a city that’s under siege, and although you’re not directly in charge of the city’s defenses you do play a crucial part in the city’s survival. Gathering resources, crafting supplies and supporting the troops is your way of surviving through the night and into another day. You’re not out of harm’s way yourself either, since the incoming barrages of arrows can also hit your band of support workers, so protecting them is crucial.

Resources are limited in a city that’s under siege, so the stakes always feel high and like you don’t have a moment to lose. You’ll also have to venture into enemy-controlled sections of the map for the same reason – although that can also be used as a way to recruit new allies to your cause.

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A few narrative choices help shape your playthrough by essentially balancing the experience by prioritizing certain groups over others, which should make for some extra replayability. And although you essentially play as a supporting character in this game, there’s a sense that you have a great deal of control over the outcome because decisions and actions feel like they directly and/or indirectly impact the gameplay.

Resource gathering happens mostly under the cover of night, while actively supporting and feeding the troops (as well as your own people) happens during the day. That may sound like a trivial difference, but the gameplay is radically different between the two modes. At night, stealth is your friend, as is secrecy while you’re out recruiting. Get noticed, and more patrols will be out the next night. Secret underground passages can help you make better time and stay hidden, but accessing them will require some crafting, and that’s a choice you have to make during the day and it means not spending those resources on the war effort.

If you’d like to sample Siege Survival: Gloria Victis yourself, then there’s a demo available on Steam that offers a slightly shorter take on the game than the one I got to play. Go ahead – I’m sure you’ll agree this is one to look out for.

Borderlands 3 – Director’s Cut

Borderlands 3 is one of those games that has gotten consistently better in the months (and now years) following its initial release. When it launched for the PS5 not too long ago it was met with much more acclaim than it was back in 2019, and much of that was due to the rebalancing and new content that were added to the experience. Now, the second (and possibly last?) DLC season for the game has wrapped up with the release of the Director’s Cut after the Designer’s Cut that came out about half a year ago.

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The Director’s Cut adds a new raid boss to game, as well as new story-driven missions that involve a murder mystery and new behind-the-scenes content, which is great for those interested in getting to know more about the creative and technical processes behind the game. In addition, the Director’s Cut update also adds three Vault Cards that are doorways to daily and weekly challenges and the progression trees and rewards that come with completing them, including Diamond Keys. These Diamond Keys will unlock an armory on Sanctuary III, giving you access to even more gear than before.

Playing Borderlands 3 again after recently playing Outriders made us realize why Gearbox’ looter shooter is such a benchmark in the industry. Although we primarily play Borderlands 3 for its single player content and story, and enjoyed the new story missions, this is a game that – especially in the post-launch phase – is primarily geared towards multiplayer gamers, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been coming back all this time. With such refined mechanics, even us as single player gaming enthusiasts couldn’t help getting sucked in.

Tools Up! gets Garden Party DLC

In a bit of a surprise announcement, new DLC for Tools Up! has just arrived! We reviewed the game back in the winter of 2019 and discussed it being a nice local/couch co-op title, not yet knowing that months later we’d all be quarantined. Almost eighteen months later and we’re finally seeing new couch co-op opportunities on the horizon, and All In! Games and The Knights of Unity are launching a set of DLC packs to help us rediscover Tools Up!. The Garden Party DLC pack will ultimately consist of three DLC releases, the first of which is out now with a second and third release planned for the summer and fall.

tools up

As the name suggests, Garden Party takes the action outdoors, and the first episode is called The Tree House, which is spring-themed. It features 15 brand new levels, all with unique challenges as well as a new adversary: a raccoon who will steal your tools if you’re not careful. And this wouldn’t be a garden-themed expansion if it didn’t include chores like mowing the lawn and watering the vegetation to make sure everything is a nice lush shade of green.

While new tools and locations offer a fresh take on the gameplay in Tools Up!, the core gameplay doesn’t change much. This DLC pack won’t convince anyone who didn’t like the base game, but if you – like us – had a good time with it, it’s a good reason to boot the game back up and perhaps invite a few fellow renovators over once it’s permitted again.

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