Following the success of Yacht Club Games' NES style action platformer Shovel Knight, a free update dubbed 'Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows' has surfaced on the developers' website with a flashy trailer and information regarding the new features and additions.
The major change in Plague of Shadows is that you don't play as Shovel Knight, rather an alchemist character named 'Plague Knight', who uses a variety of spells and projectiles to defeat enemies rather than a garden utensil. This also adds crafting to the expansion, with the ability to craft equipment and power ups using loot you've acquired.
The gameplay is still very reminiscent of NES platformer classics such as Mega Man, Castlevania, and DuckTales, albeit with modern polish, while still retaining the 8-bit style. Though the trailer is short, it shows off a lot of abilities, from flying to elemental spells. It seems that Plague Knight has a lot to work with, especially in regards to movement, which is really reminiscent of Alucard’s style of movement from Castlevania: Symphony of The Night. We also get a few glimpses of future bosses and story and as always the pixel art is beautifully detailed.
The update was supposed to come in Q2 of 2015, but as of the 25th of August, Yacht Club Games announced that the update had officially been completed development wise, and had now entered the 'submission phase' to bring it to people for free regardless of what system they originally purchased Shovel Knight on.
"Now the game is in the “submission phase” where we coordinate with everyone to make sure it arrives on your system without a hitch. This can be a mystifying step, since we need to coordinate with a lot of teams beyond just our own. Once we hear word back, we’ll be able to share a true final release date. But expect it very, very soon!"
So while there's no concrete release date yet, you can't really complain about a free update on an already really solid game. Perhaps now is the best time to purchase Shovel Knight if you were curious but never took the plunge.
Are you excited for the Plague of Shadows expansion? Did you play Shovel Knight at Release? Let me know in the comments!