Magicka, my favorite magic-mixing sword-slinging light hearted co-op adventure game, recently came out with some DLC, the Marshlands being less expansive than, let's say the Vietnam one, only adding a new challenge match to the game. Is it worth the extra 2 bucks for the new map, especially after getting the Caverns DLC for free? Well that depends on whether or not you will be looking at the environment or the enemies you kill. To start with, there's the new swamp that's featured and it's superbly set up with a choke point at a bridge, a large mausoleum on the upper left, rivers and lots of open space. The choke hold offers an excellent place to make a last stand against the hordes of undead (more on that later) though it proves to be problematic due to the elevation of the bridge changing the trajectory of projectiles to go sailing over the heads of your foes. That being said, at the base of the bridge there are only two ways that the baddies can really get to you and your blokes: the giant open field or the other side of the bridge. I’ll let your imagination do the rest. As for the mausoleum, it seems more like a bit of eye candy than a practical introduction unlike the bridge. It is relatively large and takes up a decent portion of the open field, but it is pretty much a box thrown on the soup for flavor. It’s pretty, but no functionality. Now the rivers are quite a bit of fun in that you can set up a couple shields and force a cordon around you, forcing the undead to wade through the water. Add some lightning and you begin the slaughter.
Moving on to the enemies, the best summary I can give is this: this is a zombie DLC plain and simple. If you’re a fan of zombie slayin’ and fun, then you’ll enjoy the monsters that it has to offer; with 20 waves (I only managed to get to wave 8) the replay and the challenge of trying to get to that final wave is enjoyable to say the least. Enemies appear as great mobs (wave 2 features some foe magicians who will summon zombies every, or what feels like, second so that you easily get overwhelmed if you choose not to take them out quickly) and are often balanced in terms of their counter, ie no one spell will do the trick to kill each enemy per wave. They are varied and indeed you do feel a difficulty curve as you progress. Lucky that curve is well built, not too gentle of a slope, but not dangerously steep as well.
In the end I can say the DLC was very pleasant, though with that said, there’s nothing that it adds to the core game. It’s pretty much the same magic-mixing sword-slinging light hearted co-op adventure game complete with the inevitable small studio bugs (apparently a couple friends experienced stability issues when hosting the challenge, but I failed to ever reproduce the same bugs they got). If you really like Magicka, then you’ll probably buy this DLC as well anyway, if you don’t think that a co-op based adventure bonanza is your cup of tea, you’ll probably pass. For those on the fence, it becomes a matter of price. For two dollars USD on GamersGate or whatever platform you prefer, you get at least a few hours of fun with a couple mates. As a result I give this DLC a solid 16 on the d20 scale for plain being fun but it’s missing some points due to the fact that it’s pretty much new scenery and new baddies (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing).