Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has a ton of downloadable content, most of which makes the game a little too easy. The latest DLC pack, Rise of the Deliverance, offers a robust experience with varied combat scenarios and additional story that perfectly complement the main game.
Rise of the Deliverance contains four story-driven maps that flesh out the world of Valentia before Alm and Celica's adventure. Focusing on the freedom-fighting Deliverance army, it expands on the story of characters who were underutilized in the main campaign, such as the arrogant nobleman Fernand and Deliverance hotshot Mathilda. Echoes merely implied some of these characters' stories, and they sometimes felt more like caricatures than fleshed out individuals.
Fernand is still a grump but the DLC gives him some much needed depth.
Rise of the Deliverance expands on important details like Clive and Mathilda's romance, the tragedies that drove Fernand to become so bitter, and how the stoic lieutenant Lukas earned his impeccable reputation. It even gives screen-time to rank and file soldiers like the overly-serious Forsyth and his wisecracking partner Python. Paired with the main game, these extra vignettes give additional depth to the setting and do a great job giving more motivation to major characters.
All this extra story content comes alongside a series of varied combat scenarios that, while slightly less challenging than the main game, feel distinct and offer different objectives that create for unique tactics. There is a rescue mission into enemy territory to rescue hostages before they are killed, a dramatic escape from a tomb of monsters, and a large scale castle.
While the units you are given to command are more than up to the task, the maps scenarios are a breath of fresh air from the main campaign's violent beatdowns.
Rise of the Deliverance lets you play as character who you rarely got time with in the main game.
Fire Emblem Echoes' season pass, which gets you the previous three DLC packs, Rise of the Deliverance, and one more to come, costs $US44.99 ($60). This is more than the main game, which costs $US39.99 ($54). Many of the DLC packs offer little more than a chance to grind for gold or experience, a process that undercuts the challenge that makes the game's tactical combat so exciting to begin with.
The Lost Altars pack allowed players to access powerful overclasses that take a lot of time to unlock. It was a nice addition, but Rise of the Deliverance has it beat out in the breadth of content and even price: Lost Altars costs 14.99 for a handful of classes you might unlock, but Rise of the Deliverance comes in cheaper at $US12.99 ($17) with interesting battles and story content.
Narrative presentation was one of Fire Emblem Echoes' greatest strengths, with full voice acting and a strong localisation bringing the world to life. Rise of the Deliverance seizes upon these achievements while adding fun combat scenarios that make it a worthy addition to the main game.
I'm always hesitant to make recommendations, but if there's one piece of DLC to get for Fire Emblem Echoes, Rise of the Deliverance is it.