Steelrising - Cagliostro's Secret DLC Review

by Adam Dileva

SteelrisingI quite enjoyed my time with Steelrising (which you can read my full review HERE), which was impressive, as I’m not usually a fan of Soulslike games at all. They made a conscious effort to make it much more accessible, so someone like myself that gets frustrated easily from dying multiple times, was still able to enjoy it.


Since its release back a few months ago, developer Spiders has added some major features and fixes to make the game much better overall, including New Game+, new items, new enemies and some balancing, as well as adding more challenge for those that want it. Now the time has come for Steelrising’s first paid DLC to drop, titled Cagliostro’s Secrets, adding a new quest and area for Aegis to explore. The question remains, is it worth getting and is there enough content within the DLC to make the purchase worth it? Let’s find out.

Given that this DLC is essentially a side quest, it won’t last you very long, so I also don’t want to spoil much of the story. There’s a dark theme that surrounds slaves, the evil Comte de Cagliostro as he retreats to a new area, and Hoptial Saint Louis area. Cagliostro has some tricks up his sleeve to stop Aegis, so you’ll need to deal with some new types of Automatons. What I did enjoy from the narrative was that there was some more backstory about what powers all the enemies, which turns out to be quite dark, but with such a short experience it’s hard to make it have much weight to the overall narrative. Essentially you’re tasked with finding and stopping the bad guy while rescuing others, standard fare stuff.


So what’s new in the Cagliostro’s Secrets DLC exactly? Well you get a new level to explore, new enemy variants, a new Titan boss to defeat, new weapons, armor and of course the side mission that guides you to where you need to go. It should be noted that you actually can’t start the DLC until very late in the game. You need to have completed the ‘Bastille’ mission of the core game, which is basically right at the end. This wouldn’t have been an issue, as I completed the game for the base review back at launch, but I didn’t have a backup of a non-New Game+ mode game save, so I had to rush through the game all again until basically the end so I could play through the DLC.


Once you’ve completed ‘Bastille’, you head back to your main headquarters, Cordeliers Convent, in Luxembourg and need to speak with Abbe Gregoire. Here you will be given the breadcrumb trail of where to look, having you go to a familiar area or two before you find out you need to go to the new area, Hopital Saint Louis.

This new area is essentially more of the same of what you’ve seen up to this point since you’ve had to have completed the majority of the game to even access the DLC. It has some open outdoor areas, but there’s lot of indoor corridors and some underground sections that feel familiar from previous missions. It did feel a little more confined and linear, but I appreciated this, as there were a few missions in the base game that was confusing as to where to go.


The new enemy variants you fight are essentially more of the same, but you’ll only find them in this new area. Of note, the main new enemy is essentially a necromancer type that can resurrect fallen Automatons and even heal themselves once ‘defeated’ the first time. This adds a little careful planning and thought of which enemy to defeat first. You can of course also expect a slew of small annoying enemies and the larger heavy hitters as well around basically every corner to try and stop Aegis.


The highlight though was the Titan boss at the end of the DLC. This new Titan was unique in design and even added a new mechanic where it can ‘ink’ the screen, blocking your view temporarily much like the squid power-up do in Mario Kart. While nowhere near the hardest boss of the game, it has some interesting moves you’ll need to be wary of given its wheeled design.


There’s a few new weapons that while varied, I found difficult to swap from my already max upgraded ones I’ve been using all the way to that point. Because this mission doesn’t even unlock until end-game, you better have saved a lot of resources to upgrade it right away. The same with the new armor, as I already found a set that works best for my playstyle and stats I like to focus on, and seemed the new threads seemed mediocre at best. I was hoping the new items would have been very compelling to entice me to swap, but I ended up sticking with what I’ve been using until that point.


Sure there’s a few high end materials you’ll gather, but because the DLC is simply one extra quest, you’ll have it completed in two to three hours, depending on how much exploring you want to do in the new area to find all the new items. $18.99 (CAD) seems quite steep for what’s given, and unless you absolutely loved Steelrising and have been looking for an excuse to go back, I’d recommend it once it’s on a half-price sale or so. More of the same, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but doesn’t feel revolutionary or absolutely needed either.

Overall: 6/10

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