Considering how much fun I had with Guacamelee when it originally came out, I was definitely happy to have some new content for it in the form of the recently released level pack, El Diablo’s Domain. Mainly providing a new set of challenges to conquer and some new costumes to unlock via a medal-based ranking system for its trials, the pack will definitely please those who are looking for a good challenge involving the game’s fighting and platforming components.
A word of warning for those new to Guacamelee is that this DLC won’t be available to play until you’ve progressed through most of the game, as it is initially blocked by a barrier that requires a move learned in the main campaign’s later portions. I can understand the reasoning for this after playing through each challenge, though, as this design enabled the developers to get more variety out of the requirements and layouts, since they know players will have the full gamut of abilities available at that point.
The 17 trials that make up the DLC are all housed within a new environment, that being an office building located in the fiery underworld of the titular El Diablo, who plays a supporting role in the main story. Those looking for a lot more of the witty dialog that was found within the main campaign will get a few quips from the denizens of the area, but plot is hardly the focus of this pack.
The challenges have a good amount of both variety and difficulty, gradually becoming more complex and harder as you go through each one. Generally, each challenge revolves either around fighting waves of enemies or getting to the end of a hazard-filled level. The fight-based challenges also tend to have additional goal requirements to them, such as reaching a certain combo number or being able to only take one hit before dying.
The game rewards you with various types of medals for finishing each challenge. You will typically always be able to obtain a bronze medal simply for finishing a challenge, while silver and gold medals require faster completion times or higher combo counts, depending on each room. Some of the later levels will give you a gold simply for surviving to the end, due to their increased difficulty.
And make no mistake – this isn’t made with new players in mind. You’ll need to be used to the main game’s fighting and platforming mechanics to do well. Something that I viewed as both a positive and negative, though, is a lack of new enemy types. While fighting familiar drones can give you a slight advantage, it does make you feel like things are a bit recycled.
Completionists will find their efforts rewarded, as obtaining medals can unlock seven Trophies and three new costumes. The pack as a whole won’t take too long to finish as far as getting bronze medals, but since it will definitely take some repeated efforts to get every gold medal, those who are willing to put the necessary time in will get their money’s worth.
El Diablo’s Domain is better suited for those who want a straight-up challenge instead of more substantial story and exploration-based content. It’s not for everyone as a result, but for what it is, it’s good fun, and is fairly cheap as far as DLC goes. If you’re craving more of Guacamelee‘s clever gameplay, it should get the job done.
This review is based on a copy of the PlayStation 3 game DLC that was provided to us.
El Diablo's Domain can feel overly familiar in some ways, but the challenges and unlockables provided offer a good enough reason to play it all the way through.