Shovel Knight was a one of a kind game. It was the kind that is often imitated but never replicated, so when Yacht Club released the expansion, Plague of Shadows, it was an extremely welcome addition. Now Yacht Club has released a second expansion, with Spectre of Torment.
This expansion serves as a prequel to Shovel Knight, focusing on Spectre Knight establishing the Order of No Quarter. You are based in the Tower of Fate and warp to various areas. You can interact with the denizens of the Tower, as your basic hub town and your interactions grow as you progress in the game. A lot more story is established for the series, with players getting more insight into the characters and to what the basic motivations are.
Before I go any further, I must note that this expansion plays a lot better than Plague of Shadows. The controls feel much more intuitive and tighter and are just easier to get used to. In fact, the whole expansion just feels a lot more polished than Plague of Shadows, and gives a lot more satisfaction to the player.
Spectre Knight’s story just feels like coming in to a whole new game that feels like a sequel more than an expansion. The music from the stages have been reworked in great ways, but also subtle ways at the same time. King Knight’s stage in particular had standout music to me, for how it was changed from the original game.
Do I think this expansion is worth buying? Oh most definitely. Spectre of Torment is fun, has innovative gameplay, great bosses, neat power-ups, and more. This is just a good solid game, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Before I end here, I want to mention the Body Swap mode that has been added to Shovel Knight. it is a small touch but it really does help change the perspective of the story somewhat. The changes aren’t too much and are sometimes unnoticeable, but when you do see them, you appreciate them. I love the work that Yacht Club Games has been putting into Shovel Knight, they have a lot to be proud of.