We’re looking at two new DLC releases as we head back to Maneater and Tropico 6, while also revisiting Rustler, which recently launched on consoles and PC.
Maneater: Truth Quest DLC review (PS5)
Maneater, where you play as a bloodthirsty and ever-growing shark, felt like it was going to be one of those games to thrive mostly on its curiosity factor, but when we reviewed it we actually really liked its gameplay – a fun open world title that took the shark theme and ran with it in a story full of carnage and humor. The recently released Truth Quest takes that formula, but dials the crazy factor all the way up.
Part of that is that the narrative in Truth Quest revolves largely around crazy conspiracy theories – the kind we’ve seen plenty of over the past two years. Of course these theories aren’t about elections or pandemics, but relate to how your shark has managed to mutate into the monster it eventually became. It’s a narrative that is pretty out there, and at least part of that is due to the way it’s being delivered with excellent voiceover work that REALLY runs with it all.
Truth Quest features brand new missions, but also lets you explore a new area called Port Clovis. The missions themselves, or rather the objectives you need to complete, don’t feel as “new” though – many will feel familiar to those who played through the core campaign, and a few mission types even repeat themselves over the course of the DLC story.
As such, this is a DLC addon that primarily targets those who enjoyed the base game and want to keep going, not those who were hoping for something a bit more evolved than a high level cap to help you tackle slightly more challenging missions in a new environment. Having said that, if you were a fan of Maneater then you’ll likely have a blast with Truth Quest as well – and that’s been our experience too. It may be a bit of a guilty pleasure that doesn’t innovate, but that’s fine by us.
Tropico 6 – Festival DLC review (PC)
As with previous Tropico games, the stream of DLC content for Tropico 6 just keeps coming, and a new festival-themed package was just released. Thematically, the title pretty much sums up what this expansion is all about – you can bring massive parties to the island and host a variety of festivals, which also includes a number of mechanics that deal with the economy that surrounds them and the social impact they have on your island.
Included in the pack are 8 new buildings – the majority of which can be used to spruce up your festivals with things like balloons and/or fireworks. Also new are 4 new musical tracks, 3 new edicts and 2 visual customization options – one for El Presidente and one for the royal palace. The real draw are the festivals though, and through customizations there are about two dozen varieties you can set up for your citizens.
This all comes together in a narrative-driven campaign in which you have to combat an evil called “The Boredom”, but at launch the campaign suffered from a few balancing and pacing issues, with a ton of objectives thrown at you one moment and an inability to move forward the next. We’re assuming this will improve over time with a patch or two, but until then the new mechanics are best enjoyed in the game’s sandbox mode. Here, we couldn’t help but chuckle at the boost in population growth nine months after a successful festival.
Rustler launches on Steam and consoles
At this point in time, the people who remember that Grand Theft Auto was originally an overhead 2D game are probably the minority, as GTA and GTA 2 now over two decades old. But just like the 3D sequels have inspired modern open world games like Saints Row, so too are the first games still leaving their mark. Vblank’s Retro City Rampage and Shakedown: Hawaii were homages, and Rustler takes the formula to medieval times.
We first covered Rustler back when it was a Kickstarter project, and then again with a developer interview. Now, it’s been launched into its 1.0 version on Steam, alongside console releases for all current and last gen consoles. No matter which version you play, the game doesn’t waste much time setting the tone, as Rustler’s developers don’t take their setting too seriously over the course of a campaign that clocks in at just under ten hours.
Full of parodies and jokes, it’s hard to take the narrative seriously when your main character is called “Guy” and you bash people over the head with musical instruments and run into local bards who are beatboxing tunes rather than singing folk songs. Luckily, this is all completely intentional and fits with what the developers set out to do. Ultimately what that results in is a fun old school GTA experience that probably won’t go down in history like the classics that inspired it, but is a great diversion that can be completed over a weekend and has a gentle price point to match.