I have to be honest, if you had told me back at the beginning of 2022 that one of my favourite games to be released in the next twelve months would be a minimalist, retro looking cross between a shoot ‘em up and a roguelite, I’d have laughed in your face. This is the year that gave us Elden Ring, and Persona 5 Royal. What could a tiny game from a tiny studio bring to the table that would possibly be able to compete?
Well, the game in question is Vampire Survivors, and it is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the best games of 2022. In fact, the gameplay has captivated me so much that as soon as I fire it up, pretty much everything else takes a backseat for the day. It is that good, that addictive.
But Vampire Survivors has now expanded with the release of the Legacy of the Moonspell content. It means it’s time to dust off the old garlic and head back into that world once more.
We’ll start with the story and it seems as if the Moonspell clan has fallen, before being overrun by vicious oni and yokai which have torn through the lands. It’s here, in a haven of the living dead in which the Survivors have caught wind that a vampire is on the loose.
The oni and yokai aren’t the only thing that can be vicious however, as a group of new Survivors have also entered the fray, armed to the (pointy?) teeth with new weapons and evolutions that will help you to cut all evil down. What this means is that staying alive seems to cover the bases you need and while Vampire Survivors and Legacy of the Moonspell won’t win any prizes for narrative flow, the game is none the worse for it. Stay alive, make the evil creatures dead.
The same can be said of the visuals and in a move that I very much approve of, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it – since Vampire Survivors worked perfectly well before, all the developers have done is added more stuff in. And I think we can all get behind that, can’t we?
So, what does this new content drop actually get us? Well, in the days of a cost of living crisis, the first thing of note is the price of this DLC pack. There’s no easy way to say this, but it is £1.59. Which anyway you cut it is insane value for money. That means, for less than two of your English pounds (Or American Dollars or whatever), you’ll find access to a total of thirteen new weapons, eight new characters, six new music tracks and one new map (and possibly a partridge in a pear tree as well).
Now, one map doesn’t sound like much, to be fair, but this map does have a trick up its sleeve – it is a massive twenty-five times bigger than any previous map. Mount Moonspell also features other new features, including buildings that have solid walls, making us explore to find the way around them, and also paths that are quite narrow, between cliff faces for instance. If you can get a decent build going, these are great areas to absolutely shred the bad guys as it focuses the fire of your weapons beautifully.
The new characters included in Moonspell aren’t just given to us either, you have to go and find them by exploring the new map. There are a total of four that we are given the details of as we begin, and they all seem to be members of the Moonspell clan. Miang, Menya and Syuuto Moonspell all have joined the fight, as has a character called Babi-Onna, and her back story says that she has returned from the dead to battle evil and mortals alike. Hmm, odd choice for a hero! Discovering the characters is a big part of the draw of this DLC, following the same gameplay loop as before, with exploration rewarded; almost mandatory.
There are weapons that are new as well, with thirteen mentioned including evolutions, to be clear. Still, with an arsenal behind you like Silver Wind and the Night Sword to find and enjoy, there is no such thing as too much choice when it comes to tools for destroying the evil that we face.
It really does mean that, all in all, the content included in Vampire Survivors: Legacy of the Moonspell feels amazing value for money, especially when you include the low asking price of the base game. I honestly cannot think of another game that I have had so much fun with, for such a long time, for so little money.
In place of a conclusion, I’m going to make a plea. Please, please give Vampire Survivors a shot, if only to see what all the fuss is about. It is so much fun, so utterly undemanding and yet so absorbing that it is truly unlike any other game currently available.
Vampire Survivors: Legacy of the Moonspell is on the Xbox Store