When I reviewed the base game of Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark on Xbox One, way back in May 2019, I really enjoyed it. Now, more than a year later, the developers over at 6Eyes Studio have been beavering away on new content, and it’s finally been unleashed. So, this Missions and Monsters DLC – does it add to the base game, or is it a case of too little, too late, and everyone has moved onto their next strategy game fix?
The first thing to say about this DLC is that it isn’t the usual run-of-the-mill expansion. No, rather than add in an end game area or high level quests, the developers have integrated this expansion into the base game from beginning to end. What this means is that to get the full effect and benefit of this expansion pack, the best thing to do is start a new game. Yep, you read that right, a whole new game; a brand new playthrough. The reason for this is that the way the extra bits of the DLC have been added in threads its way through from the early game, and the best way to take advantage of the new features is to begin afresh. So, with this unorthodox approach, does this DLC hit the spot?
Well, the short answer is yes, and the longer answer is hell yes!
There are several new features that are introduced in this expansion. The first is the ability to upgrade the guild that you are a member of. Now, in the base game, the guild was pretty much just a place to find new members for your team, and indeed this function is still possible. However, it has now also had a revamp, allowing you to upgrade it. Each guild outpost can be upgraded by adding various different buildings, such as watchtowers, armouries and libraries. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. You can build on a 3 x 3 square grid, with each building taking up one square. Looking at the descriptions will help you, as certain buildings either get a boost, or provide a boost to a structure that borders them. Each building adds a boost to the party in some way, and some of the most useful tie into the second new addition to the guilds, that of missions.
You know how when you are playing the main game, you recruit a load of people but always end up using the same six characters all the time? It’s not just me, right? Anyway, now you can send the excess characters on missions in their spare time, hoping that they come back with not only EXP points for the participants, but also with special items and new characters. These missions continue even when the game isn’t being played, so sending everyone off just before you switch off after a long session ensures a nice surprise in the morning when you fire up the game again. This is a great way to get new stuff and make your guys stronger.
So these are two of the new features, and as you can imagine, the impact of both of those will be much greater on new characters. Another new addition that comes about via Missions and Monsters is the ability to – as the name suggests – recruit monsters to your side, unlocking a whole new range of possibilities.
The beasts follow the rest of your characters, in that they can have new classes given to them, and this can again change the way they fight. Do you want all out offence or maybe a smidge of healing in their arsenal? There are many choices in Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark – Missions and Monsters. Add to this the ability to have your human characters learn three new classes – Samurai, Beastmaster and Wrangler – and there is a lot of scope for this expansion to expand the makeup of your team. Of course, the opponents you are going up against haven’t been idle, and you will have to face these new characters on the enemy teams as well.
There are more things to get to grips with via this expansion though, and the biggest change is the introduction of large scale battles. In a normal battle, you can choose six comrades to utilise, and the large scale battles bump that up to nine. As I’m sure you can imagine, these quickly devolve into a massive ruck around the middle of the levels, and are a lot of fun. Large patrols can be undertaken in some of the new areas too, with similar properties, and these certainly up the difficulty a great deal, but it also greatly increases the fun that comes with it. And further to that, there have been powerful new enemies added; enemies that can be hunted as well, but these are very powerful indeed. Just be sure to know that these guys are extremely tricky to take on. Last but not least, new crafting recipes have been added in to enable you to construct even better gear, and with the addition of the obligatory achievements, Missions and Monsters has everything you could want from an expansion.
In fact, Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mask – Missions and Monsters on Xbox One is most certainly an expansion pack done right. It isn’t just a bolt-on high level dungeon either… the whole game has been reworked to allow you to integrate the new features into a playthrough. Even if you choose not to start a new playthrough, the guild upgrades and missions will allow you to expand your options, while the high level fights can be enjoyed immediately. In all honesty it’s highly impressive how the new features have been woven in to the base game of Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark, and it even goes to ensure that the game is even better than before.