Reckoning: The Legend of Dead Kel DLC Review (PS3)

The newest DLC for Reckoning, The Legend of Dead Kel, presents itself as a completely new area occupying a huge chunk of space on the world map. The content is also as big as the area on the map. This DLC requires you to be on at least level 10 before you can attempt it, as the new area is full of strong and deadly enemies. The goal of this side story is to uncover the legend of the undead pirate Dead Kel and find out why he spends his undead years haunting the seas of Faeland, driving ship after ship to the bottom of the waters.

Before you play this DLC, you must be prepared to stay on this island world for a period of time, as you won’t be able to leave until you advance to a certain point of the side story. So if you are not ready to give up all your unfinished quests on the continent, I suggest that you start this content later.

The world of Dead Kel, though haunted, was beautifully crafted. The island is  full of unique flora and fauna. Every area has its own distinctive beauty, be it a shipwreck ridden beach or a cliff overseeing the coastlines. It is not only the nature and wild life that received a make over however. Residents on the island are more interesting than those I met in the main game, which is a good thing. Initially you will still, at times, find yourself skipping through some laborious dialogue, but as the story is so focused and tightly woven together you may want to spend the time absorbing it. The main quest of this DLC is smartly tied together with all the side quests, making them a lot less random as compared to the main game. You will not feel like you have drifted too far from the storyline as you pursue the numerous side quests on offer.

38 Studios and Big Huge Games seem to have listened to the feedback from their players, as this DLC fixed quite a number of issues that I had with the main game, one of them being the inventory limit. In Legend of Dead Kel you can build your own base once you have finished certain side quests, and this gives you access to a treasure box where you can deposit some rare items that could become ‘white elephants’ for the rest of the game. This immediately frees up your own inventory space and allows you to build up your stock without going to the inventory screen every two seconds. Also at your base you can now train pets. Different pets give you different stat boosts. If you feed them continuously to keep them happy, you can further boost your stats to your heart’s content. As your base grows, you will have more people moving in from the run-down village to join you, unlocking more gameplay possibilities for you. Of course building up your base requires you to complete different quests, but you may be compelled to do so because I constantly found myself in wonder at what could be next.

The island of Dead Kel is now far more populated. This means running across the land is now more enjoyable. You have more enemies to fight and gain experience and loot. You can also pick up more new quests from different people scattered on the island for rewards and experience. All of this make playing this DLC a lot more fulfilling as you are constantly “doing something” as compared to running around for the sake of just getting to the next destination in the main game.

Playing The Legend of Dead Kel is a very satisfying experience. Not only does it add a huge chunk of content to the game (about 6 hours), but also fixes a lot of issues in the original game – it is a great example of DLC done well.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

About the Author

Level up freak. Level 99 is a norm not a goal. Love my JRPGs and RPGs in general. Also love my platformers and puzzle games. Was addicted to Zoo Keeper, Magnetica, Animal Crossing, Disgaea DS, Dragon Quest IX and White Knight Chronicles. Prefer to spend my time away from gaming as an actor although do have a full time job that keeps my mortgage going. But generally love anything creative. And if anyone tells you gaming is a waste of time, tell them you have great eye, hand and brain coordinations that they will never have!