REVIEW: DLC Quest Live Freemium or Die

As a satire on the current console cycle and its ubiquitous downloadable content, the DLC Quest series to date has enjoyed a steady amount of success, thanks to its mix of carefree platforming as a means to an end and charming wit carrying you to that end. And from in-game ads to broken game design, Minecraft to Mass Effect, nothing in the game industry is safe from DLC Quest: Live Freemium or Die (80 MSP) and its pinpoint-accurate lampooning.

From a gameplay perspective, Live Freemium or Die is alarmingly basic. Run and jump, collect coins, walk to the next zone, repeat. Spikes will occasionally take your life if you don’t look before you leap, but checkpoints are generous, once purchased (…you’ll see). Combat… what combat? You’re given a sword you almost never use, save to carve a path through vines, a pickaxe to break apart rocks. There are the ‘Metroidvania’ moments, where a specific skill or item is needed, but you’re largely free from any challenge or shackles.

Put that all aside, though. DLC Quest is about the journey rather than the ride. The coins you run across (and there will be coins) are merely that ticket to ride, the environments functioning purely as a vehicle that segues from one excellent dialogue bubble to next. DLC and its pitfalls are the star, and you’ll need to buy plenty of it (fictionally, of course, your wallet is safe) in order to both advance the plot and (optionally) inject lethal doses of humor into the game world. From terrible load times to missing content, fetch quests and trivial NPCs, most of the things gamers love to hate on will get their comeuppance.

It’s the sharp writing and legitimate laughs (I LOL’ed for a good five minutes straight at the double-joke regarding season passes) that see you through, not the coin collecting and backtracking, which threatens to get stale but is all done for the sake of a laugh. I could spout off plenty of other moments that had me chuckling over the course of the hour+ it’ll take you to finish, but I don’t want to ruin the fun. Why subvert a great comedian’s punchlines? Most of the game’s simple joys come in the form of discovery. As such, you’ll want to come into it fresh.

DLC Quest 2 - Screen

Funny as hell, but the truth hurts, doesn’t it, Game Industry?

DLC Quest: Live Freemium or Die ends on a nearly-profound note where everyone is in on the joke. Afterward, you’re allowed to return and collect anything you might’ve missed, but the show’s been seen by then, more or less. Not that replayability matters as much when it’s next to such relevant material. It turns a lovingly-critical eye on the nickel-and-diming practices of today’s games, says a few one-liners, and makes a point. You’re expected, nay, required, to pay attention. If you’ve ever spent real money on digital weapon skins or on-disc content and wondered aloud if there had to be a better (read: funnier) way, this is for you.

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Review on Indie Gamer Chick

Review on The Indie Mine

Review on Clearance Bin Review

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10 thoughts on “REVIEW: DLC Quest Live Freemium or Die”

  1. Lol, it’s eerily creepy how similar our analyses of this game are. I do feel justified now in my weighing the comedy over the simplicity of the game. Had a weensy bit of trouble getting used to platforming on a PC, but I imagine the Xbox controls were easier to get the hang of.

    1. Yeah, agreed. Generally though, I think you and I end up seeing games the same way. Creepy, in a way, as there’s no prior conversation or agreement on how our respective articles will read. 🙂 I do think the game is so highly specialized with its audience that there’s really no other way to ‘review’ it other than based on the comedy.

      I have to use a controller, though. Others will swear by their PC setup (and I aim to get a more powerful system at some point), but I was born in the womb with a controller in my hand; no other way to play.

    1. LOL time was suppose to be Tim….I guess something went awry yesterday and not just my You Tube XBLIG “haul” announcement.

    2. I figured that’s what you meant. I was actually going to correct it to ‘timely’, as the game was only a day old as of yesterday. Call me anything you like, even Time itself. 🙂

      Haul vidoes with XBLIGs would be a welcome change. You’d have to do it in the same style that the would-be fashionistas do, which would be hard, since there’s no physical product to hold up to the camera. Also have a really feminine, really excited voice the whole time. Commitment. All or nothing. 🙂

    3. I just realized that when I set up my Gravatar that I set up my nickname incorrectly.

      Must have been out of “time” 😛

  2. Love the 1st one and can’t wait to get my hands on this one too. It will be part of my next XBLIG “haul”. Maybe I’ll post it on YouTube as an XBLIG haul and become the star of my own world.

    Naahhh would rather spend that time actually playing the games then pimping my good looks out for free.

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