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Dredge: The Pale Reach Review: Cold-Blooded

Updated: Jan 4

Platform Reviewed: Xbox Series X/S

Also on: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Steam

Price: $5.99

Dredge was one of our most pleasant surprises from 2023. Who would've thought that such a simple concept could result in one of the most enthralling, engaging, and eerie gaming experiences of the past twelve months? I loved everything about Dredge; from the aesthetics to the story, to the feeling of unease when traveling too far from home, Dredge has it all. It earned a top-tier "A" score in my initial review, and once The Pale Reach DLC was announced, I couldn't wait do dive back into those creepy depths (yes, pun intended). But does this sub-zero subplot give me the chills? Let's find out.

In The Pale Reach, you are tasked with a new mission: head south and meet up with the photographer character to further her research. You'll be entering a whole new biome in this world; a cold, desolate ice-themed biome. While there, you'll do much of the same that made Dredge so much fun: exploring, upgrading your ship, and furthering the plot by finding journals and talking to characters. You'll also catch new species of fish, along with their horrifying aberration variants. And what would Dredge be without those extra-terrifying, larger than life monsters?

One of the biggest draws here, unsurprisingly, is the plot. I found the original game to be very intriguing, and so well-written that I was immediately hooked (once again, pun intended). The Pale Reach continues this trend, and builds upon it. Again, the writing is descriptive and gives the static NPCs so much character and personality. The story again kept me wanting to see what happened next. And now that I finished, I can't wait to see what else Black Salt Games has in store for Dredge's future.

You don't have to complete the original story before you tackle The Pale Reach DLC - but I would highly recommend doing so. Having your vessel leveled up as much as possible will be a huge help as you venture into this new area. As you continue though this story, you'll be performing familiar tasks such as fishing, searching for treasure and materials, and purchasing new equipment. The DLC play exactly like the original title, with no major changes. You won't find anything fresh or different here than what you're used to - but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Final Grade: A

As an add-on to the original game, Dredge: The Pale Reach does exactly what it sets out to do. It's a rather short expansion - avid anglers could probably get through it in one or two sessions, but at the price of $5.99, you'll definitely getting what you paid for. If you enjoyed the original Dredge, you'd have to be crazy not to reel this one in (OK last pun, I promise). Now, we just have to wait for the next chapter. Bring on The Iron Rig!

Review code provided by Team 17.



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