Surprising news to all who adore Mimimi Games’ work: the studio is closing down. I had initially thought Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew’s full release was the finale, but here we are, graced with two DLCs: Yuki’s Wish and Zagan’s Ritual. Each DLC boasts six new missions, one new island, and one new character. Given Mimimi’s track record, the DLC are sure to sate those who want more at a minimum, but do they go above and beyond?
If the name “Yuki” sounds familiar, it should. Yuki’s a core character from Mimimi’s breakout game, Shadow Tactics. The two universes collide as Yuki joins the undead crew in search of a dragon MacGuffin that will grant her one wish after completing a ritual. Of course, grabbing a good and getting said wish is a little more involved, but in the interim, we get to enjoy her wonderful voice acting and cheeky demeanor as she collaborates with Afia and the Red Marley.
Zagan’s an entirely new affair. He is a prognosticator turncoat whose sole obsession is to finish his research by any means necessary; in the context of Shadow Gambit, that means changing allegiances because this is the most effective means to get what he needs to fulfill his scientific endeavors. While getting a chance to play as a baddie is nothing new in the world of gaming, I always enjoy getting a taste of the enemy’s abilities.
Although each DLC is technically separate, they are designed and flow almost identically; as I mentioned earlier, we get six missions, one character, and one new island. Both islands are competently realized in a way that you’d expect from Mimimi’s work historically, and while most of the new missions take place on the old islands, revisiting them with new characters and their powers is refreshing, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve played.
Within the confines of the game’s core design, Yuki and Zagan play using essentially the same ruleset. Yuki can lure enemies away into a wire trap, while Zagan can use his life force to execute enemies long range through walls and hold enemies in place indefinitely for his crewmates. Yuki’s outstanding passive skill is that enemies she kills turn into logs, so players never have to worry about hiding bodies. Zagan’s fun because he breaks so many rules without having to worry about walls, height, or timers. The one downside to Zagan is that he uses his health for long-range kills but can replenish it with a delayed melee kill.
While both characters bring something new to the table, they don’t innovate enough to necessarily make the game feel fresh. If all you want is more well-designed stealth tactics gameplay, you might as well sign up right now, but if you found Mimimi’s formula growing a bit stale, this Shadow Gambit DLC may put you on the fence. I will say that taking a few months’ break from the game rekindled my enjoyment, but I was ready to move on once again by the end of the DLC. Got my fill.
In terms of the story, don’t expect a grand reunion with the crew. As stated earlier, Afia and the Red Marley do the bulk of the talking with our new crewmates, and while the premises are competent, they’re by no means revolutionary. Expect a more light-hearted, jokey flow, which Shadow Gambit boasted in the main story. The voice actors do a fine job, and hearing Yuki all over again is a joy, as I absolutely loved Shadow Tactics, its world, and the characters.
Whether or not you dive right into the two DLCs is a matter of how much you loved the core game. It’s a mission pack, essentially, with more of the same. If you were hungry for more abilities for your toolkit so that you can go after the remaining achievements, this could be the incentive you need. Although it pains me to say it, I wish the formula was turned on its head a bit. I love Mimimi, and their games will remain close to my heart as they sail into the night. Here’s to hoping for a dramatic return sooner rather than later after a much-deserved rest.