We’re checking out three releases that might have escaped your radar this past week, as we look at new DLC content for GreedFall, co-op puzzle adventure Mina & Michi and the dark sci-fi resource management title Despotism 3K.
GreedFall – The De Vespe Conspiracy DLC launches with Gold Edition
We reviewed GreedFall back in 2019, but Spiders’ action RPG was just re-released as a Gold Edition that features next gen enhancements as well as a brand new DLC chapter – the De Vespe Conspiracy. If you originally bought the base game or got the game for free through PlayStation Plus, you can also buy the new content separately.
Most of the next gen enhancements are the usual 4K upgrades to the visuals alongside faster load times and higher frame rates, so for most players the new content will be the biggest draw here. It’s been integrated into the main game, so you’ll have to have progressed a bit before you can access it – unless of course you have an existing save game you can go back to.
If not, then you’ll have to reach the quests “Searching for Constantin” and “On the high king’s trail” during your campaign first. At that point, you can head into any camp and there should be a letter to interact with, which kicks off the new story. The De Vespe Conspiracy is integrated into the base game, so it expands on the game world and story, letting you head into a new region called Teer Fradee to try and uncover a dangerous conspiracy.
With new enemies as well as new weapons and costumes, this is a content-heavy expansion. The narrative is also interesting, but you’ll uncover everything this conspiracy has to offer in about three to four hours – so it’s definitely not the longest DLC chapter ever released. If you enjoyed Greedfall, however, then this is a solid expansion that doesn’t break the bank but gives you a good few more hours of gameplay.
Mina & Michi review (PS4)
Another indie release from Eastasiasoft, Mina & Michi is a conversion of a game that was originally released on Steam last year. Designed for cooperative play but also playable as a solo game, this is a puzzle adventure that’s now made it to consoles.
Mina and Michi are best friends who stick together as they solve puzzles and defeat enemies, which means that in a solo game you’re controlling both characters at once. Because Michi is actually invulnerable this is quite doable, but the game is much more fun when players work together – which is where Michi’s invulnerability becomes a big plus when playing together with a younger and/or less experienced player.
There are other minor differences between Mina and Michi, but you’ll find that the majority of the gameplay is all about sliding block puzzles and carefully timing your movements to avoid traps. There are (goo-like) enemies to fight as well, but Michi’s invulnerability makes combat mostly forgettable – perhaps with the exception of boss fights. This one’s very accessible, and contains an easy trophy list to match.
Visually, Mina & Michi gave me a strong flashback to Milo’s Quest, which was released on consoles not too long ago and features very similar graphics. There’s a pleasant soundtrack to support the retro-style 8/16-bit graphics, which is perfectly functional for a puzzle game with mild action elements. And with a cheap price tag, this is a good choice if you enjoy games that offer a diversion for about an hour or two – with local co-op as a big plus.
Despotism 3k review (PS4)
This one arrived on our digital doorstep as a bit of a surprise, as Despotism 3K was originally released by Konfa Games way back in 2018. It’s recently been ported to consoles by publisher OverGamez though, giving new players access to a game we didn’t think was console-bound for a long time.
Despotism 3K is a resource management game set against a backdrop of humankind having been overrun by an AI – which is you! Humans are now resources, and are your key to expanding your dominion over the planet. You’ll still have to take care of them to make sure they stay healthy (enough) to work for you if you don’t want to recycle them instead – and yes, that can definitely mean recycling in the Soylent Green sense.
There’s a kind of dark silliness to everything in Despotism 3D, with a strange sense of humor that can suddenly throw Lovecraft’s Cthulhu at you or show you suggestive imagery of humans in a breeding chamber. There are also plenty of pop culture references in the game, ranging from the Marvel universe to popular literature – welcome nods in what can otherwise feel a bit grindlike thanks to the roguelike nature of the game.
Despotism 3K is challenging, and its mechanics can be a bit of a mystery at times, as you learn about what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. There’s always a human uprising just around the corner it seems, so life as an evil AI overlord can be frustrating and repetitive. For that reason all the subtle and not-so-subtle nods and humor are definitely welcome. This is a game that’s hard to stick with for hours on end, but each individual run is made fun by how silly and original the developers are approaching the rogue AI angle.