"Labyrinth of Yomi isn't perfect and really is only enjoyable to those who already like the base game, but it rewards fans who want extra challenges and a more concrete conclusion."
Labyrinth of Yomi is a post-game, time-consuming affair that tests fans of God Wars: Future Past by having them partake in several harrowing SRPG battles in order to achieve the game's true ending and even open up more challenges. But is it worth the price of admission? If you're a fan of the original game and want to sink more hours into it, then the short answer is yes. However, much like the base game, you should expect a few hiccups along the way.
Technically, Labyrinth of Yomi is the third piece of story DLC for God Wars, which is why it is referred to as "EX Chapter 3." There are two prior EX chapters that can be bought separately, and each features story battles focusing on characters such as Sakuya, Urashima, Kintaro, and Aome. They're shorter episodes that offer their own satisfying conclusions, and I would recommend fans look into purchasing them if they have the money and are interested in Labyrinth of Yomi because their plots connect. There is also a DLC character named Orihime you can recruit; I found her weak for post-game play given her low level when she joins the party, but she does have some very useful skills if you're starting a new game. Fans will probably be interested in all of this DLC, but for this review, I'll focus specifically on the extensive Labyrinth of Yomi.
Labyrinth of Yomi's plot follows Kaguya and her two sisters, Iwanaga and Sakuya, as they traverse the titular labyrinth's afterlife trials in order to see their mother again. They're joined by allies such as Ookuninushi and newcomer Momotaro, the King of Hyuga, along with his retinue. Momotaro and Iwanaga are haunted by a past connection to the labyrinth, one that they will have to face the further into the dungeon the party ventures. The story starts off strong, is complimented by some truly gorgeous visual novel-style art screens, and serves as great motivation for fighting through the early stages of this lengthy DLC.
I've mentioned length quite a bit when describing Labyrinth of Yomi. That is because it is truly a long event to get through! The sheer scope of the content is staggering, especially when compared to the previous EX Chapters. It is highly plausible to sink several hours into Labyrinth of Yomi to get God Wars' true ending.
The Labyrinth of Yomi is an area comprised of stages. Each stage contains battles that must be cleared in order to open up the next stage. There are twenty-five stages in the first level of the labyrinth, and there are also two "deeper" levels comprised of even stronger fights to unlock called Encounter and Fate. Both Encounter and Fate have higher-level variations of battles from the first section of the labyrinth, though Fate branches off into new ground once a certain boss has been dealt with. However, that only happens if you collect all the Yomi Weapons scattered about the labyrinth beforehand. Another level, known as the Deep Level, will open up once you beat the final boss of the regular Fate portion and see the ending for the labyrinth, offering some truly challenging battles for those hoping to overcome even more trials. Make no mistake: there's quite a bit of content to enjoy in the Labyrinth of Yomi if you're a fan of the base game.
Labyrinth of Yomi introduces some quality of life improvements over the base game that make playing the DLC even more interesting and fun. The level cap has been increased from 99 to 200 to account for the added difficulty of the Yomi fights, and several job skills have also been upgraded. Momotaro and his retinue are welcome additions to the party with some truly powerful moves, and the battle party size itself has been increased to eight, which I greatly appreciated as one of my biggest complaints with the original God Wars was the smaller party size. These changes help tweak an already enjoyable SRPG battle system.
However, Labyrinth of Yomi isn't a problem-free DLC, and the biggest issue is probably figuring out how to progress through the labyrinth itself. The game never tells you exactly how to accomplish this, and I ended up having to repeat fights on a trial and error basis to finally unlock the Encounter and Fate portions of the labyrinth. My advice to players attempting the DLC would be to open all the chests you come across. The Encounter section and several areas of the Fate section are also just high-level repeat battles of fights from the initial Labyrinth of Yomi level, which causes the middle portion of the DLC to drag on more than necessary since you encounter so much of the same content. You could theoretically avoid the Encounter section entirely, though that might make your party levels unbalanced for the Fate venture. There are also certain fights that will require players to field characters they might not have been using before, such as one battle where only non-human party members can participate. Specific criteria like this might force you to spend extra time leveling characters who aren't part of your main party.
Despite all this, I found that once I surpassed these roadblocks and got back into seeing new story scenes, I was more invested in the fights and the newer challenges that awaited me. While I feel it could have been a bit longer, God Wars' true ending is fitting for the characters it focuses on and their respective journeys. Overall, this DLC starts off strong, has a weaker middle, but ultimately brings itself back around to a satisfying conclusion. I also have to give composer Takashi Nitta credit for his work on Labyrinth of Yomi's battle tracks, as I thought they had excellent atmospheric intensity and really helped to keep me invested in the fights.
I enjoyed my time with this particular God Wars DLC. Labyrinth of Yomi isn't perfect and really is only enjoyable to those who already like the base game, but it rewards fans who want extra challenges and a more concrete conclusion. If you haven't yet picked up God Wars: Future Past for either PS4 or Vita and happen to own a Switch or a moderately capable PC, I would wholeheartedly recommend trying out God Wars: The Complete Legend instead since it already has all of this content without the extra DLC pricing. Ultimately, as someone who enjoyed their time with God Wars despite its flaws, I ended up feeling quite satisfied with my journey through the Labyrinth of Yomi.