By Joseph Luster
It’s time to venture into uncharted territory with narrative-driven alternate timeline tactical RPG Broken Lines, which just unleashed a DLC expansion titled The Dead and the Drunk. The macabre slice of downloadable content is currently available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, as well as PC via Steam and GOG, and like many WWII game expansions before it this one pits players against a relentless horde of zombies. That’s not the only hook now that the update has arrived, though.
The setting and the intense tactical combat remain the same, only now you’ll have to employ your brand of strategy to take down a battlefield full of the undead with a little help from the flask on your hip. This three-way conflict includes both old and new enemies, with a story taking place across six different levels complete with new bosses that will put even the most seasoned of skills to the test.
As the title of the DLC implies, this isn’t just about the dead. While you face off against reanimated corpses, pagan altars and other mysterious occult phenomena, you’ll be able to take the edge off by picking up a bottomless keg of liquid courage. Taking swigs over the course of the campaign will deliver additional perks and abilities, so while it’s always advisable to drink responsibly in real life, that doesn’t quite pertain to the skin-of-your-teeth action on display in Broken Lines: The Dead and the Drunk. Hey, we’ll take what we can get when it comes to fending off the zombie apocalypse, even if it puts our liver at as much risk as the rest of our bodies.
Broken Lines is an interesting tactical offering, featuring a combination of turn-based planning and real-time action. Many of your major decisions have permanent consequences, so it’s important to both think fast and think ahead to plan accordingly for the future. Will you leave a village full of the hiding enemy so civilians don’t get caught in a firefight, for instance, or set the village on fire and hope the right folks know how to escape in time? Or will you confront the rookies on your squad and tell them they’ll have to learn to survive for a few days without food or work harder to distribute rations equally? You can even choose to finish the mission at hand or escape if the going gets too tough, but the results are something you’ll have to reckon with. These difficult choices pave the way for multiple endings, so there’s good reason to go back and try missions more than once for the most favorable outcome.
We’re always open for more Broken Lines, so The Dead and the Drunk comes just when we were hankering for another taste. If you’re already playing then this expansion is a no-brainer, pun very much intended, but now there’s even more content available to those jumping into battle for the first time.
System: PC, PS5, Xbox Series