Wizardry: The Red Shadow of the Sister
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: July 20th, 2011
As those reading are most likely aware, Red Shadow of the Sister is the first expansion to Japanese developer Acquire’s Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, an appropriately named “renaissance”Â to the golden age of dungeon crawling, which is presented under the banner of one of the very first game series’ to mold the experience into the standard it’s known for today. There are no whirlwind romances or dialogue heavy plots to pad the experience of what a traditional Wizardry game proudly offers: dark dungeons and lots of monsters. Those who have traversed the similar mazes of recent games like Etrian Odyssey or Class of Heroes will have a good idea as to what to expect with Wizardry collectively, but questionable tweaks to the old school formula that were incorporated into those games have not found their way into the dungeons of Wizardy:LoLS, nor into its DLC. In actuality, Red Shadow of the Sister exists to provide even more dungeon brutality than even the deepest levels of the core product it’s associated with. Basically, this DLC is calling you out, and if you’ve managed to assemble what you believe to be the most bad ass band of adventurers in the realm, then chances are you’ve already paid your $7.99 admission fee, because it had to be done.
Red Shadow of the Sister introduces “The Deep Levels”Â to the dungeon locales you can send your party into. Much like the tomb of some sleeping Lovecraftian nightmare, these additional basements are discovered by hapless miners who are renovating the levels above thanks to the adventurers who’ve made it safe for them to do so. The quest board lights up with opportunities to explore these mysterious new floors, and the guild master is quick to warn about early reports of the extreme danger to be found on them.
Collectively, The Deep Levels are considerably more confusing and open ended than most in the core game. Traps are plentiful, as is the need to operate switches, pick locks, and climb to higher and lower platforms. Adventurers under level twelve will most likely turn to dust at the hands of the beasts found within the entrance corridor, but save for some of the boss illustrations, the majority of the “new”Â enemies are mere palette exchanges with illustrations already seen previously. Red Shadow does offer some interesting new story narratives while exploring its six floors of turn based death, though, including a mysterious new NPC, and a subplot involving a character your party has most likely become friends with on the surface being cast into some potentially bad light. As mentioned earlier, there are a considerable amount of new quests to undertake, as well as some rare equipment to be earned that is exclusive to The Deep Levels.
If you’ve survived the dungeons offered in the core product and still want more, Red Shadow is positively a no-brainer. The beasts found within the deepest parts of The Deep Levels are only for the adventuring elite, and if you plan on grinding your party out to Level fifty or its vicinity, you’re going to need their hides to bury your sword in. While not bustling with new things to see, the $7.99 asking price is more than fair for six additional harder-than-hardcore dungeons. Combined with the $14.99 price of the core product, and the $1 level cap breaker, the complete Wizardry renaissance experience, thus far, isn’t even going to put potential adventurers out 30 gold… I mean, bucks, and it’s well worth the asking price.
FINAL SCORE: GREAT GAME!
Short Attention Span Summary:
If you’ve conquered the core product and are itching for more hardcore dungeon crawling, Red Shadow of the Sister is a must buy. Those who’ve lived to tell tales of the previous dungeons will definitely tell you that six floors is a considerable amount of content for a game of this particular genre, and they will certainly challenge your party of adventurers to their maximum potential. Some new enemy illustrations would have been great, but the more free-form and expansive dungeon designs are more than enough to push the fact that you’re in unknown territory.