With Victor Vran coming to consoles imminently, this release also marks the launch of the two major pieces of DLC for all platforms that have long been in development, either separately on PC or as part of the Overkill Edition. One of these is themed around the band Motörhead. While this may sound like it’s one for the fans, and it is to some extent, the DLC on offer does indeed provide more Victor Vran – a game that was well received. However one expansion is tons better than the other.
Fractured Worlds is possibly the best name for the first DLC expansion. The idea is that you play on a daily basis to collect parts of the artefact, as well as venture into the endless dungeon called The Fracture. While on paper this could potentially mean that you’re getting a meaningful experience, the reality is that aside from a few new enemy classes – scorpions being the main ones – the gameplay is nearly identical to the original game.
At the very least, you need to be around level 20 to get the most out of this DLC. Perhaps the most important addition that Fractured Worlds offers is the ability to create and equip Talismans. Provided you have the right items from a recipe you’ve gathered, you can transmute them into an equipable item that grants perks that are activated under certain conditions.
If I had a major criticism with Fractured Worlds, it’s that when there’s tons of enemies and details on screen, the game’s performance tanks hard on PC – we didn’t test on console. Normally I’m able to run the game at a smooth 60 frames per second, as governed by the maximum refresh rate of my monitor, but when there’s lots of enemies it dives down to 30 and it’s really obvious when this happens.
There can also occasionally be graphical issues when showing attacks and even enemies disappearing from the screen, yet still being active. From what I can tell, the issues seem unique to that mode as both the base game and the other major piece of DLC seem fine. Overall Fractured Worlds does have some good additions, but the core hook will have limited appeal and the performance issues unique to it badly need ironing out.
Motörhead: Through the Ages, on the other hand, looks as if it’s had more care and attention put into it. It has a plot surrounding the legend of a thing called the Snaggletooth, a god-like being that was created by the late and great Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister. This is far from where the only Motörhead influence in the expansion, as there are little touches both big and small that are nods to the band’s work. As a fan of the band and having been lucky enough to see them in a small, intimate gig in UEA Norwich less than a decade ago, the touches are appreciated.
It’s not a very long expansion, but it does enough to not outstay its welcome. You navigate through three dungeons that even for a level 30 character are fairly tough. With all the DLC enemies from Fractured Worlds also comes a new type of weapon: the guitar. It’s essentially a ranged weapon that fires a spread-shot, as well a couple of useful abilities. The guitar I got halfway through the game had plenty of power and even made enemies head-bang as I strummed away.
Each of the three zones have certain themes, though the enemies on screen rarely take inspiration beyond skeletons wearing helmets and costumes, and they culminate in bosses which are somewhat more involved than what I remember of Victor Vran’s bosses in my initial playthrough. There are also challenge areas that include monuments that spawn hordes of monsters, which grant you gold, weapons, items, and even unlockable extras featuring the band if you defeat them.
It’s worth noting that while the DLC is about the band overall, the focus is predominantly on Lemmy. Though it was announced when he was still with us, Through the Ages is a great homage to him and the history of the band with moments of brilliance through this. Lemmy’s departure brought sadness of a true rock legend leaving us and Victor Vran’s DLC ends on a bittersweet note with a fitting tribute to the great man, including the words “Born to lose, lived to win”- the motto of the band and the only way to conclude the DLC.
Version tested: PC