Lake: Season's Greetings DLCby Adam Dileva
When I reviewed Lake (which you can read HERE) back in 2021, it was a memorable experience that felt relaxing and cozy, a great game to unwind with after a long day. Here we are two years later, and Lake finally receives some DLC, aptly titled Season’s Greetings, bringing us back to the small cozy town of Providence Oaks. Having been a courier for a number of years as a profession, I enjoyed being a mailman in-game, delivering packages and talking to the locals, not having to worry about the traffic or time constraints the real world job entails. Like coming home to a warm cozy blanket, Lake: Season’s Greetings was once again a relaxing and chill experience, something I quite needed at the moment.
Revisiting the small town of Providence Oaks felt familiar and cozy, as I remembered each of the few streets, recognizing where I delivered to previously in the base game. Taking a one year prior to the main game, Season’s Greetings takes place in 1985 with you taking control of Thomas Weiss. In Lake, you were playing his daughter Meredith, covering for him for two weeks as her parents went on a vacation to Florida. Now taking place that year prior, you get some back story as to Thomas’ day-to-day job and how they decided on going to Florida.
Set in the holiday season just before Christmas, Thomas is a busy mailman trying to deliver mail and packages before the weekend. Thomas has been the mailman in Providence Oaks for decades, so everyone in town knows him by name as they see him almost daily. Season’s Greetings will bring back some familiar faces, like the wacky cat lady that took way too much of Meredith’s time, but also introduced to a handful of new characters, some likeable, and some not so much.
I quite enjoyed seeing some backstory to some of the characters, or having a few things from Lake explained a bit further. Christmas is a busy time, and while the DLC is only a week long in-game, there’s still plenty of people to talk to and mail to deliver. The most interesting of the new characters were the TV crew that have come to Providence Oaks to do a profile on the small quiet little town, of which they’ll ask your opinion.
Taking place during the holidays, the major chance you’ll notice is that the town is now snow covered and the residents sure do enjoy the season, decorating nearly every street and house. The core gameplay is unchanged, tasking Thomas with delivering a set amount of mail and packages before you return to the depot to progress to the next day before a small cutscene reward. Even with snow covered roads, you don’t have to worry about steering your small little curbside van, as snow doesn’t seem to affect your traction thankfully.
Something about Providence Oaks simply seems to pop and shine brighter with snow on the ground and trees. Seeing those festive lights on houses really does remind me of my small town where I grew up, which is probably why it feels so cozy. It’s interesting to see the town before Meredith arrives a year later, setting up her eventual visit that we enjoyed in Lake.
Visually, Season’s Greetings looks aesthetically the exact same as Lake, though with a much brighter tone due to the holiday snow and festive lights strewn about each house and lamppost. There’s plenty of smaller details that just ooze charm, like Thomas putting on his reading glasses to check an address on a package before delivering.
The music from Lake mostly returns, though there seems to be a few new tracks on the radio. With the DLC being roughly half the length as the base game, you will hear some repeated songs, but not as many as before. The voice acting is done wonderfully across the board once again with believable performances, even from the new characters. The main issue though is that in the latter half of the game I started to have audio issues. Voices would cut out, sometimes radio music would just stop, and then voices would randomly come back in, which was a bit disappointing.
Just like the base game, Season’s Greetings is a laid back experience that doesn’t rush you, and even though you can teleport to specific points on the map, take your time and enjoy the views, especially the frozen over lake in the middle. Returning to Providence Oaks was like getting home and putting on your favorite pajamas, having a cup of hot chocolate and just relaxing, a cozy experience that I thoroughly enjoyed returning to.