I had a bit of an issue with Vampire Survivors when I reviewed the base game a little while ago – it was just too damn addictive. Even after all this time, if I find myself with a few minutes spare (which is a lot rarer than you’d think, honest!) I still fire it up and have a quick blast. It’s an addiction and I’ve made my peace with that.
However, poncle are still releasing new content for the game, and still at an amazingly reasonable price as well. Their latest DLC pack is entitled Vampire Survivors: Emergency Meeting. Imagine a crossover between Vampire Survivors and Among Us, and you’re not too far off. But is this the DLC that – once again – reignites my full blown obsession with the game, or has the lustre worn thin?
Now, we know all too well how Vampire Survivors is presented by now, but what of the Emergency Meeting expansion? Well, there are the great pixel art graphics, new enemies to blast into pieces, and new characters and weapons to make use of. Oh, there’s also a massive new stage to look at.
That new stage is called Polus Replica, and it is very large indeed. Full of buildings and points of interest, this is a map which is very rosy. Of course, what with it being Vampire Survivors, the screen still gets choked with enemies, and the idea is still to kill anything that moves (and in this stage, some things that don’t). But the sheer amount of action on screen is nothing short of outstanding, helped by the fact that there is no slowdown to be seen at all. It is still a staggering game to look at, and the sheer amount of things happening at once never ceases to amaze me.
Sound is the usual too, just this time we have some new tunes to play with, six in total. All in all the presentation is as good as ever.
Story? Well, it’s never been needed before, but there is a bit of one in this Emergency Meeting, hopefully enough to stretch to a paragraph. The setup seems to be that the Vampire Survivors have run out of places to hunt vampires on Earth, and so the next logical step is to venture into space. That’s it! So, we need to go and explore the Polus Replica, recruit new crewmates and try to defeat the enemies – can we do it?
Assuming everyone knows how Vampire Survivors plays (it’s just addictive fun, isn’t it?) we can now look at what this Emergency Meeting brings to the party. We’ve touched on the new stage already, but there is also a new mechanic that is associated with it. As I’m sure we know, in Among Us, there are various tasks that need to be completed in order to keep the ship flying, and so it is here as well. Every now and then (about three times in every thirty minute run seems to be the average) there will be a message pop up at the bottom of the screen, the display will begin to flash red, and a red arrow will appear. You need to follow the arrow and locate a red button, all prior to standing on it to successfully complete a. Task. The reward for doing so is a chest with a guaranteed five items in it, which is pretty groovy.
Of course, while you are trying to find the button, the enemies don’t ease up on their assault, and with the layout of the level being somewhat tricky (there are a lot of buildings, with only one entrance or exit, for instance) it can be very challenging. Luckily, failing to press the button within the time limit doesn’t seem to lead to any nasty repercussions.
In addition to the new stage, poncle have chosen to spoil us with new characters to play as and new weapons to utilise. As you would expect to hear, the new characters are based on Among Us, coming as nine new crewmates. There are then a total of fifteen new weapons as well. The characters are Crewmate Dino, Engineer Gino and Ghost Lino (a helpful character as they can’t be hurt and can pass through walls, but they cannot hurt any one).
Further, we have Shapeshifter Nino, Guardian Pina, Imposter Rina and Scientist Rina. These characters can also be picked up as little helpers and levelled like the rest of the accessories; while they don’t seem to make a massive difference, seeing tiny beans running around is pretty cool. Oh, and the final character is called Horse – literally a horse in an Among Us suit, which looks pretty weird. And when I tell you its weapon involves throwing hats at enemies, you can see how Vampire Survivors: Emergency Meeting is as bonkers as always.
The rest of the weapons are also a bit mad, with the sound waves of the Report! weapon jostling for position with the Just Vent weapon, that drops enemies to their doom. And of course, none of these are just given to you (nor the characters either) and there are hoops to jump through to unlock all the new content. That always helps with the longevity.
Vampire Survivors: Emergency Meeting continues the high quality, low cost business model that poncle have made their own – it is hard to think of any other game that gives so much bang per buck. While a single new stage may not sound like much, it is so big and involved that you will not feel short changed. Throw in the need to learn how to use the new weapons to your advantage and you can be sure that the Vampire Survivors addiction will kick in again with Emergency Meeting.