By Jason Quinn / July 25th, 2018
|Title||Way of the Passive Fist
Household Games Inc.
|Publisher||Household Games Inc.|
|Release Date||March 6th, 2018|
|Genre||Beat ’em up|
|Platform||PC, PS4, Xbox One|
|Age Rating||T for Teen|
This is a re-review of Way of the Passive Fist, focusing mainly on the new content that was added in the recent New Dawn update. If you want to read the original review, you can find it here. This update not only adds a few modes to the game, it also adds a few things to the story mode, and re-balances the game a bit. The additions to this don’t seem to be anything extreme, just some minor tweaks here and there. One thing of note though is the addition of new “shadow” enemies. These enemies have an aura around them, and their attacks are unblockable. The way to beat them is by clearing out the other enemies, and then they’ll lose their shadow aura. If you want to see the patch notes for a full list of the changes, you can find it here.
The first major addition is the aptly named New Dawn Mode. This is essentially another story that takes place after the main story. The difficulty is also ramped up quite a bit, with new enemy variations and even boss variations. The bosses in this mode are basically just sped up versions of their normal version. The reviewer that wrote the original review for this game had some troubles with the third boss in the main story, and likewise, I had similar troubles. That boss was annoying enough, but now that he’s sped up, I honestly have a hard time calling it fun. Rather than having a checkpoint system, this has a lives system for increased challenge.
Overall, I didn’t find this mode particularly interesting. The lives system in particular I don’t think gels with the nature of the game. Levels in this game are long, and enemy encounters are generally pretty slow. Having to play through entire levels over again kinda sucks due to this. I get that it’s supposed to be a tougher challenge, but I feel like the faster bosses and trickier enemies were enough. If you really, really love a tough challenge, this will probably be up your alley though.
The other mode is a roguelike mode called Passiverse. You start out at level one, with no upgrades, and you’ll have to seek them out. You can pick what enemy encounter you want to fight out of a random selection of three, and after a couple of those, you fight a boss. Much like roguelikes, you get one life and that’s it. My two major complaints with the main story mode were the slow pacing, and not much replayability. This mode feels like an answer to that. Enemy encounters are short and sweet, and you can beat the whole mode in about an hour. Difficulty is also all the way up in this mode, so I hope you’re good at perfect parries.
Considering the mentality the game had about letting players customize the difficulty to suit what they personally wanted, I find the decision to force the highest difficulty on the Passiverse mode a bit odd. Granted, this mode does handle things a bit different. Enemy encounters are smaller by default, and health items aren’t too sparse. So the only things affected are how much damage you take, and the requirement to always get perfect parries to build your combo meter. I guess it’s just to make it more challenging, but I don’t think this mode would’ve suffered too much if you could tweak the difficulty.
This update is totally free, so I can’t complain. It’s more of something that’s already good, though I feel like a couple tweaks could’ve made them better. If you didn’t like the game, these modes probably aren’t gonna turn you around on it. Also, this update completely erases your story progress. I kinda question the need for doing this. The re-balances to the story aren’t significant, and it would suck to be excited about these new modes, only to find out you had to play through the story again.
If you’re craving for more challenges from this game, this update will certainly be up your alley. The main story of the game is about five hours, and the new stuff adds a couple more. If you don’t have the game, it’ll cost you $15, which is a pretty fair price for a unique beat ’em up. If you’ve already had your fun with the game, and don’t want to play through the story again, maybe save it for a rainy day.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
beat-’em-upDLCHousehold Games Inc.New DawnPCPS4Way of the Passive FistXbox One