Developed and published by Squanch Games, High on Knife is the first DLC released for the wacky, FPS title High on Life released last year. High On Knife gives us another chance to dive back into the unique and vibrant world introduced to us by High On Life. This time around, we have brand-new gameplay mechanics, new weapons to toy around with, and a brand-new planet to explore which is filled with as much crazy people as the first game. Peroxis is a unique planet where you will find salt-eating slugs and as weird as it sounds, these slugs don’t care if salt is dangerous for them. This is our review of High On Life: High On Knife on the Xbox Series X in which we chainsaw through some organs and win a race against a snail.
High On Knife starts with the friendly faces of Gene, Knifey, and a new gun Harper, and is set two years after the events of the base game High On Life. After arriving back home from a bounty, Knifey finds that he had an incoming package, but it was misdelivered and now he really wants it. After forcing the Bounty Hunter to go to the planet Peroxis and find the headquarters of the shady delivery company that was responsible for its delivery. Peroxis is a beautiful planet that looks gorgeous however the DLC does not really let you explore it and there are a few limited areas where you can go and complete some simple side quests before you get bored and must progress in the main story.
The side quests range from playing a pinball-like game called Peroxosquash to racing an extremely slow slug on a long course after which she curses the hell out of you. If you decide to complete all of the side quests and collect all of the collectibles such as the Pokemon-inspired cards and beating a nerd slug, there is still not a lot of content for you to enjoy in the game. The main story takes you along on a wacky journey in which you will take on some poachers, help out a giant alien by removing parasites from its body, and explore the mysterious delivery corporation where things take a turn for the worst. The story quickly becomes a survival game in its final few hours as the corporation is not what it seems like and you are stuck in a dark and twisted place where you have to escape with your life.
Since guns played a vital role in High On Life, they are pretty important in High On Knife as well. This time around, Kenny has been dropped and in its stead, you have a new gun called Harper which serves the same function as Kenny and even has the same moveset however Harper comes from an ex-military background and seems to be pretty laid back when it comes to the story and lacks the character of Kenny. This time around, Knifey takes on a more commanding role and you will be seeing its face a lot more than in the base game. Apart from these two, the rest of the gang is pretty much the same with Gus, Creature, and Sweezy.
All of them are available right from the start and they also have all of their mods right from the start as well. There is no Lezduit this time around in the game and in its place, we get a new weapon called B.A.L.L. which looks really cool and is essentially a pinball gun with three small, blue aliens sitting on top of it who operate it. This unique gun fires a pinball ball for its primary ball which can be collected and bounced back at enemies with increased heat and if you do it enough times, it will overload and explode upon contact for massive damage. You can also shoot three bumpers to deploy them and bounce the main pinball attack between them in order to kill enemies in style. The B.A.L.L. is obtained early on in the DLC and you will be using it for various purposes throughout the story.
Since Knifey is taking on the main role here, for the second half of the DLC, Knifey gets a sweet chainsaw upgrade which converts Knifey into a mini chainsaw. However, the only downside of this upgrade is that there is not enough to kill after you get it. It massively increases Knifey’s damage and is also used for sliding around popping organs and cutting through thin membranes for escaping locked areas in specific scenarios. The conversation is there for all of the weapons and the only gun that fails to speak is B.A.L.L. because the three tiny aliens speak in a language that is incomprehensible. The rest of the gang brings their own charm and humor to the game, and you will hear the usual banter between the guns and Knifey from time to time. There is a lot of platforming this time around as well similar to the original game and you will have some new tricks this time around for moving around as well. Both B.A.L.L. and Knifey will be king in this department thanks to their new upgrades.
In the end, High On Knife leaves you wanting for so much more that it hits really hard when you figure out that the DLC is officially over. This happens at a time when you have finally started to enjoy the new mechanics and finally come to grips with the new platforming mechanics added to the DLC. On its own, High ON Knife feels more like an episode rather than a complete DLC. It revolves around one quest of a single character Knifey and you will visit a single planet this time around as well. There are no upgrades to find or new gear to obtain. Most of the new additions are via story additions so the exploration and side content are not a lot as well. Despite being a little thin on the content side, High On Knife does not lack when it comes to action and humor which is why it is still a good addition to High On Life.
High On Knife may look like an expansion but it is actually a DLC, and it is extremely short when it comes to its main story. With only 2.5 hours of playtime and around 4-5 hours, if you are a completionist, High On Knife leaves you wanting for a lot more than expected. You can expect the same level of violence, humor, and action that was featured in the base game but this time around, there is even more with new weapons, skills, and a brand-new area to explore. While it may be disappointingly short, the short amount of time that you spend in the DLC is certainly worth it if you love the base game. If you enjoyed the base game, High On Knife is definitely a good DLC for you that will allow you to experience some more of the wacky violence but if you have yet to play the base game, I will suggest that you first try out the base game and only get the DLC if it strikes your fancy.
Final Score: 7.5/10