This is DLC done right. I had a wonderful time back in March when the main game was released, ploughing almost 90 hours into the thoroughly engrossing main story and picking my way through the enjoyable side quests. All of them. Getting to dive back in to this beautiful world feels like being given another few days of holiday on the day you thought you were going home.
Aloy, the main character, is just brilliant. So well realised, in fact, that I don’t feel like we’ve been apart at all. It doesn’t take long for muscle memory to kick in and I barely had to re-learn any of her moves. All her interactions are so natural, it’s like old friends meeting up – all those previous hours of gameplay adding up to some sort of digital trust.
Even then, she’ll have to settle for second billing, because the real star of the show is the expansion to the map that makes up The Frozen Wilds. Known as The Cut, this generous extra chunk of land is probably the most perfectly realised part of the entire game. Snow covered mountains are there to be climbed and explored, there are deep gullies and plains to work across and even a destroyed dam to clamber through. Right at the back, visible from pretty much anywhere in this section, is a volcano spewing out hot ash, like some kind of ominous beacon.