It is not too often that a hero’s journey is filled with literal blood, sweat, tears, but the path to saving the rat kingdom from the scourge of the frogs for our hero Redgi in Tails of Iron made for some engaging storytelling and excellent combat that transcended its sometimes whimsical visuals. No surprise then, that the free Bloody Whiskers DLC for Tails of Iron has an overt emphasis on the game’s fighting.
Not to say that Bloody Whiskers bring nothing to the narrative front, but the whole package will bring more meaning to those that have already seen Redgi’s narrative to the end thus far. Even after proving his worth fighting to frog hell and back, his leadership still requires the examination of ancient traditions.
This culminates in a short but deadly tournament designed to solidify his right to rule, and thrusts players back into the fold against some dangerous enemies after the original story’s conclusion.
Just like some of the tournament battles that players have experienced before, Bloody Whiskers ups the ante in Tails of Iron with more variation on what to expect in combat. The likes of Captain Black Tail, Grey Ears of White Whiskers, Redgi’s brother Denis, and Avor Warden of the Northern Wastes bring their own sets of tricks that are meant to test your mettle as a warrior.
The game’s strong foundation in combat gets to shine once more, as you dodge, block, parry, and attack, taking advantage of open windows to deal some hurt in a deadly ballet. The fights come quite close to the hardest foes that the main game throws at you, so certain death is definitely part of players’ future.
Out of the tournament opponents, Avor and his companion, the young Arlo, provide the most distinct resistance, requiring you to focus on the swifter combatant first while trying to avoid the damaging blows of the warden. Needless to say, every time you step into the arena, you best be prepared for anything to happen.
Equipment continues to be instrumental to survival as well, with finding the right balance between defence, attack, and speed the key to coming out on top. A double-handed weapon might do heavy damage, but is the trade-off with your dodging speed worth it? The questions remain, and your answers will matter plenty.
While this tournament continues to emphasise a strong point of Tails of Iron, Bloody Whiskers also adds in a huge teaser of what could be coming in more DLC or even a sequel.
For players who have wondered what lies beyond the locked door in the castle, suffice to say, the truth is going to shock you to the core. King Rattus sure has some secrets to hide. (If you want to learn more, watch our gameplay video!)
Developers Odd Bug Studio have also included in Bloody Whiskers six new weapon skins, as well as five more armour sets, growing Redgi’s dangerous collection even more. Although seasoned veterans will likely not see these additions, new players will have more to look forward to, not to mention the addition of two new difficulty modes.
For players that are more interested to experience the wonderful story of Tails of Iron, the new Fairy Tail difficulty will be right up your alley. Players will be able to immerse themselves fully in the rich world created by the developers, without necessarily worrying about mastering the combat system.
On the other hand, if you are looking to relive Redgi’s path to the throne with even more challenge, the eponymous Bloody Whiskers difficulty brings a much more difficult experience. Enemies become deadlier, death is always a hair’s breadth away, but your satisfaction will only become sweeter if you are able to see it through.
In an age where AAA games struggle to deliver paid and meaningful DLC, the idea of a free update to a game like Tails of Iron still feels surreal. Sure, Bloody Whiskers may not be a substantial add-on, but it serves to accentuate what made the original game so appealing in the first place with a teasing narrative payoff.
For those that have already played the game, this is more content for you to enjoy the combat. And for those that have not yet tasted the bug juice that is Tails of Iron, then the Bloody Whiskers DLC is one more reason to give it a shot. The time to become the hero of this fairy tale and get those whiskers bloody is now.
Tails of Iron – Bloody Whiskers DLC is available on 24 November as a free add-on for the game.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
An excellent add-on that is not just free, but brings even more surprises to an already impressive package.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 9/10
Value - 9/10