Castlestorm DLC Review – From Outcast to Savior
CastleStorm: From Outcast to Savior is the first DLC to be released by Zen Studios for its surprise hit CastleStorm. CastleStorm, which I reviewed earlier this year (that review can be found here), is one of those unique games that defies you to lump it into a traditional genre. It’s equal parts hack n’ slash, tower defense, and Angry Birds style gameplay. Zen Studios nailed the formula with the initial game release; the question is, with new DLC, does that formula offer up the same level of enjoyment or was it a one hit wonder?
My first reaction upon starting From Outcast to Savior was a giant smile. Everything that I had come to enjoy from the original game was present in the DLC as well. From the quirky whimsical humor to the signature soundtrack, everything was just how I left it. It felt like putting on an old pair of shoes that you found in the back of your closet. There was a definite air of familiarity with the controls, music, graphics and overall feel.
My concerns about From Outcast to Savior not staying true to what made CastleStorm a fantastic game and catching lightning in a bottle a second time were all unfounded. Although the main character is not the same from the original, you will see several returning faces. I’ll be completely honest here, starting the DLC as a mysterious knight in the king’s tournament with a bag over your head is pretty amusing.
One area that really surprised me in the original game was the soundtrack. I was once again pleased to hear the familiar tone and general vibe. Graphically, CastleStorm is gorgeous. The classic red versus blue color scheme holds true and makes it easy to differentiate friend versus foe when the battlefield is full of troops.
If I was pushed to come up with anything negative about Outcast to Savior, I’d have to say it would be the difficulty spike from the base game. There are some levels that even on normal can be vexing and frustrating. There is also a fairly large fluctuation between levels as well. I would have preferred a more even experience across all levels rather than what felt like more of an uneven approach. Don’t get me wrong, at times I enjoyed the challenge and a bigger emphasis on strategy, it just didn’t feel continuous and that’s what was frustrating to me.
- Fluid gameplay
- Whimsical humor
- The difficulty jump was at times frustrating.
The original CastleStorm was one of the few games that legitimately surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Zen Studios forged their name by making fantastic pinball tables, yet they’ve found surprising success in this new genre as well. CastleStorm is proof of that, as is their upcoming game, KickBeat. Also, Zen Studios has always been very fair with their pricing for their games. From Outcast to Savior is only 240 Microsoft Points, in terms of value it’s spot on and gave me yet another reason to come back and fight off hordes of Vikings. This is one of those games that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but offers enough variety to keep you coming back. If you have CastleStorm already, this DLC is a no-brainer, if not, give the demo a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Written by Andy Gray