Dredge: The Pale Reach DLC

16 January, 2024 - 6:49 pm by
About 6 mins to read
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

When Black Salt Games’ tremendous horror-fishing title, Dredge, sailed onto all major platforms in 2023, it hailed the release of a game with perhaps the least likely combination of genres. The sedate pace belied the sinister Lovecraftian horrors beneath, making Dredge one of the highlights of my gaming calendar last year (as my rare very high recommendation score will attest). I mentioned in my original review that paid DLC would be coming, but due to timing issues, instead of the first instalment being the drilling-focused The Iron Rig, Black Salt Games made a hard-to-starboard and instead careened into the haunting frozen wastes of The Pale Reach.

At A Glance

Dredge: The Pale Reach DLC
Positives  + A well told tale of grisly betrayal 
+ Offers new gear to help in fishing and quickly getting around
+ A great excuse to revisit an excellent game

Negatives  – At two-and-a-half hours, it’s a guppy rather than a lunker
– Lower-end difficulty – may feel out of turn for returning players 
– Less worthwhile for players who have already completed the main game
Played OnNintendo Switch
Also Available OnPC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Find out about our scoring policy here.

The DLC adds a brand new area to the world map, as the frigid ice fields of The Pale Reach break away from the frozen mainland and drift up from the south, offering new waters to explore beyond the Stellar Basin and the Gale Cliffs. After a few minutes getting to grips with the controls again and reminding myself just how good Dredge looked and sounded , I eagerly set sail to find out just what was in store in the newly awaiting snowy region.

As with each area in Dredge, The Pale Reach offers a single plotline that is based around the region and a particular Eldritch nightmare that inhabits its lands and waters. As a tremendous fan of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), bleak and frozen lands will always be synonymous with horror to me, and Black Salt Games have woven their own tale of deception for The Pale Reach, albeit without the fire-averse parasite from my favourite monster-horror. You’ll navigate a sinister tale of betrayal as you steer your boat between huge icebergs, requiring you to upgrade your vessel with a new prow to smash through deadly ice floes and avoid yet another fearsome abomination that stalks the deep.

The extra content features a main storyline which requires a couple of different quests, as well as adding a new robed-stranger pursuit and bulking out your logs with a host of new ‘Ice’ category fish and crabs for you to collect. Playing through The Pale Reach long after finishing the main game, it has the feel of an early/mid-game level from a difficulty standpoint – there are threats to avoid, sure, but the frozen waters of The Reach aren’t half as deadly as terrifying voyages through the Devil’s Spine, where absolutely everything is out to get you. So while there’s nothing wrong with the difficulty level, revisiting the DLC as a standalone experience once you’ve completed the game gives the impression that you’re playing the sequence out of turn.

All told, I spent about two and a half hours completing The Pale Reach to 100%, and while this isn’t a huge amount of additional content, the rewards for mastering the additional story are well worth it – especially when it costs about the same as a large cappuccino from your favourite chain coffee store. Sadly, I wasn’t in the position to get the most out of this new gear as I’d already finished most of the game the first time around, but the kit would be a huge boon to players setting sail on their maiden voyage with Dredge since its release. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed having an excuse to fire up Dredge again and eagerly look forward to the delayed release of The Iron Rig DLC later in 2024.

The Pale Reach DLC adds another solid level to an already excellent game, bulking up the playtime of Dredge by another couple of hours and offering some great new equipment options for captains exploring the Eldritch seas. The content loses some impact if you’ve already completed the rest of the game, as you won’t really enjoy the longer term benefits of the new gear, but if you loved the original game (like I did), The Pale Reach offers the opportunity to enjoy more wonderfully grisly storytelling from Black Salt Games. For players yet to pick up Dredge, I’ll fly the flag for buying The Pale Reach alongside the main title, as this icy tale and additional kit will add plenty to your experience.

In the interest of full disclosure, VGamingNews was provided with a copy of the game in order to conduct this review.

Thanks for taking the time to read our review. If you’d like to support us further, please consider buying us a coffee!

Our Rating