High on Life: High on Knife DLCby Josh Morgan
High on Knife is the first DLC story expansion for developer Squanch Games' cult classic game High on Life, released during the barren wasteland of Xbox exclusives in late 2022. I adored the game back then, and you can read my expertly crafted review HERE. It released right into Xbox GamePass and it still is on the service, but this expansion is not included and will cost you $15 USD.
Right off the bat you'll notice the departure of Justin Roiland from the studio due to his controversy, because the main gun in the base game (voiced by Roiland) was dropped and lost during one of the bounty missions that happen off screen during our time away. The new gun, named Harper, plays exactly like Kenny, but instead it is voiced by SNL actress Sarah Sherman. Other than the quick mention of Kenny's absence, he's never mentioned again in the game.
High on Knife takes place two years after the base game ends, and as you arrive from another bounty completed, your deranged companion Knifey gets a package that leads you on a roughly two hour adventure to the planet Peroxis. Peroxis is made up of a couple towns to visit and inhabited by a slug race that is always coughing and sick, but won't admit that the salt that the planet is made of is what is killing them. Hmmm... sounds familiar... but that's another conversation entirely. During this 2-hour adventure you'll meet lots of new characters, fight a decent variety of enemies, and fight one major boss, but just as quick as it started, the credits roll.
Enough about the story, let's talk about what else is new in the expansion. A huge focus of the first game was your talking guns called Gatlins, and other than Kenny, the rest of your favorites are present and available to use in the expansion. New to the crew is B.A.L.L. which stands for... well... I don't remember (and neither do the characters) and its little blue naked dudes that load pinballs into the gun to fire. BALL is awesome to fire, but the gun lacks the charm and personality that the other Gatlins have due to the gibberish language the little guys speak. I would have preferred some of the classic Squanch dialog here that made me love the game in the first place.
The guns abilities are where it shines, you shoot pinballs and can drop bumpers on the ground. As the pinballs bounce off enemies, environments, and the bumpers, it builds up energy that eventually explodes causing bonus damage. It is a blast (pun intended) to use and it quickly became my 'go to' gun to use in the game. But like I said, using this gun makes me miss out on dialog that could be happening with other guns. Luckily Knifey is always there to add his disgusting commentary. Other than the one new gun and Knifey's new chainsaw attachment, there isn't much upgraded here in the expansion. I would have liked to see a couple guns and abilities added here.
With the additional story and gun, you also get 12 new achievements to unlock with a total of 195 gamerscore. There is a decent variety of achievements here that include story related, collectible related, and interaction related achievements that require you to perform certain tasks that are not part of the story. I would advise opening the spoiler content on the achievement page to find out these requirements, thankfully there are no real story spoilers in there so it's safe for achievement hunters to track. I was able to complete all the achievements of the DLC except one, and it took me an additional two or so hours to do and the planet of Peroxis opens up after you complete the story to mop up any straggling achievements. Just make sure you spend some extra time at Cheeks. It's worth it, there's an achievement to stay until closing time and the dialog through this whole sequence is really funny.
I had a lot of fun exploring Peroxis, and if you're a fan of High on Life you will enjoy the story and the collectibles. Really, any chance to dive into this world is welcome in my book but the asking price for this DLC is way too steep if you've already completed the base game and everything High on Life has to offer. If you are new to High on Life and have a chance to snag this DLC with the game at a good price, I can recommend it. But at $15 USD ($13.50 with Gamepass) it's way too pricey to stand on its own when it comes to additional content. This would be better priced as a $5 to $7 upgrade and I recommend waiting for a big sale.