- Challenge rooms are fun and diverse
- Three new costumes. all very different
- Well priced
- You can transform into a football
- Very short
- You can abuse Pollo Power in some rooms if you have all of the Orbs from the main game
Last month, Guacamelee! received its first add-on in the form of the Costume Pack. It was dirt cheap and had a couple of vaguely amusing outfits, but in our review we said that it wasn’t exactly essential due to the fact it had no new content as far as new areas go. Well thankfully the second pack, El Diablo’s Domain, is much more substantial, adding seventeen challenge levels plus three new unlockable costumes to the Mexican-flavoured brawler.
The content is based in an all-new area called “El Infierno”, formerly the home of the game’s main villain, Carlos Calaca, who’s abandoned the underworld and taken a trip to the surface. With the antagonist’s office building left in disarray, you come across a chicken who’s wanting to use the elevator to collect some stuff he left in his old office. This chicken is of course former ruler El Diablo, now a feathered fiend as a result of Calaca transforming him into the clucking mess that he is now.
To give El Diablo the much needed lift that he needs, you need to secure medals from seventeen different challenge rooms. Strictly speaking you only need ten gold medals to “complete” the mission as such, but that wouldn’t be much fun would it? Each torture room provides something slightly different, and the difficulty can range from a walk in the park to finger-blisteringly difficult.
The variety of challenges on offer is enough to keep things fresh and interesting. I’ll admit that going into El Infierno, I wasn’t expecting much more than a bunch of combat rooms that needed to be cleared of enemies as fast as possible. This isn’t the case at all, with a good mixture of different situations designed to test both your combat and platforming skills.
The combat situations aren’t your everyday fare. They’re more often than not judged on the combos that you put together than how much/how fast you kill, so a degree of tact is required to challenge for the Gold medals. As you progress, more stipulations come into play as well; one challenge dictates that you can’t use any throws, and another effectively bans the use of any special moves. In fact, one of the later rooms is a one-hit kill challenge; a single touch and you die. Each one ensures that mindless button bashing isn’t a favourable strategy.
The platforming sections are solid too. Pinpoint precision is needed in platform hopping, and you’re required to make use of all of your Goat-based powers in successive combos to navigate most of the courses. The only issues I found with these stages are that the respawn points are a bit odd sometimes. Falling onto a spike kills you, but where you come back to life sometimes feel like a lottery. I once died in exactly the same place twice, only to find that one of the times I was whisked back to the start of the level rather than the closest invisible checkpoint.
DrinkBox also forgot one key factor; completing the main game and collecting all Orbs grants your chicken-based form unlimited flight. Therefore with a quick tap of L1 and a hammering of X, you can simply fly from start to finish, bypassing all obstacles along the way. It would’ve been better if there was some kind of anti-fly curse shoe-horned into the story for the purpose of the DLC.
The Costumes are all very easy to unlock (10 Gold medals will get you the lot), and are a nice varied bunch. In fact, they’re actually better than the outfits in the Costume-focused DLC. The Bronze medal prize, El Portero, is based on a football player and has an ultra-long throwing ability. More importantly he can morph into an actual football while Pollo Power is activated, allowing you to roll around at your leisure. The second, Alebrije, is a demon that boasts lethal attack power and disastrous defence, while Diablo’s Suit offers a shortened life bar, but the ability to sap life and a slightly bigger stamina bar. All in all, they’re an interesting bunch and are ideal for beating some of the challenges. Alebrije in particular rips through enemies in seconds, while El Portero’s weaker attacks make him a perfect fit for racking up bigger combos without killing enemies too quickly.
At such a good price, it’s hard to not recommend El Diablo’s Domain if you’re a fan of Guacamelee!. It’s not got a lot of content, about an hour’s worth without going for all the Golds, but at the bargain price of £1.99 it seems like a no-brainer. The combat challenges are a step beyond simple button-bashing, and the platforming elements are rewarding if you steer clear of abusing the end-game upgrade. I’d still like to see a bigger chunk of DLC, even if the price was doubled, but this fills a hole quite nicely.