Aaero 1000DaysWasted DLC pack review
Aaero received its first DLC track pack on the 5th of January (the 11th for Xbox due to a mixup with the publishing settings), adding three new tracks to the game. On Steam the pack is priced at £3.99 or $4.99 USD, with a 10% release discount until the 12th, and on PS4 it is £5.35 or $4.99 USD.
The new DLC contains three tracks with a drum and bass slant from British producer 1000DaysWasted: The Sickness, Rage, and Dissonance Constant. Drum and bass isn’t a genre of music that I listen to myself, but the tracks chosen sound good and are a great fit for the game. In line with existing tracks in the game they provide a clear rhythm to support the gameplay, being interesting enough without layering on a complexity that would confuse the player. This can be an issue for rhythm games, and I recall several Guitar Hero tracks for example where the player was left wondering how what they were playing matched up with what they were hearing.
If you’ve played Aaero before then you know what to expect in terms of gameplay, or you can check out my review of it, and this pack doesn’t try to change the existing formula. In my opinion this is a good thing as the core mechanics of Aaero are what drew me, and presumably other players, to it in the first place. It can be tempting to start layering on new mechanics in DLC, to the detriment of the gameplay experience that existing players are expecting. On their easiest difficulty the tracks therefore mainly consist of ribbon sections with the occasional enemies to give your left thumb a break. The ribbon sections themselves are sufficiently different between the new tracks that they don’t feel repetitive from one to the next. The ribbons are around the difficulty you would expect, but the enemies aren’t especially challenging with the exception of one shielded nasty. Once you graduate to Advanced difficulty and above, though, the game rapidly ramps up not only the amount of multi-tasking it expects you to manage, with enemies coming at you during the ribbon sections, but also the number and difficulty of enemies in the non-ribbon sections. In terms of overall difficulty, let’s just say that my performance on Advanced was… embarrassing. These new tracks definitely rely on the skills you’ve picked up from the tracks included in the base game.
An interesting omission in these tracks is the secrets that we’re so used to looking for. Despite there being lights that look like they should be the secrets, none of them actually are and the level results screens show there being zero secrets. This has its pros and cons. On one hand you can focus on the ribbons and enemies without the distraction of looking for the telltale red glow. On the other hand, the secrets were a fun part of the game, sometimes adding risk when you had to juggle targeting them at the same time as enemies.
Overall, I see this DLC as a worthwhile addition to Aaero. While some may feel that only three tracks aren’t enough to justify the pack, I would say that you have to look beyond the number with a game such as this. The different difficulty levels are quite different experiences, for example, and the drive to beat your best times, and those of your friends, means you’re likely to replay each track far beyond simply completing each one. In conclusion, if you enjoyed Aaero then I’m quite certain you will also enjoy these new tracks and I would recommend checking them out.