Battle Brothers was one of the surprises of 2017. The turn-based strategy game puts you in control of a mercenary party within a bottomless, procedurally-generated fantasy campaign. It's brutal on default difficulty or above, even compared to similar games like XCOM. Your mercs can be permanently maimed, you can't heal mid-combat, and soldiers who fail morale checks automatically flee.
Overhype Studios is adding to its gritty medieval RPG in the first paid update to Battle Brothers, "Beasts & Exploration," a $10 DLC coming November 29. Today Overhype revealed that release date as it published the Steam page for the DLC, which it's been blogging about on battlebrothersgame.com since it was announced in August.
As the title hints, Beasts & Exploration is adding five new monster types that you can encounter in the campaign. There's the Hexe: scary, wart-covered witches that can charm your men into thinking they're single, emotionally intelligent medieval ladies. "Should every last man on the battlefield be mind-controlled by a Hexe, the coven will have them all commit suicide in order to end the battle," Overhype wrote in August. Neat. There's also The Unhold, a yeti-like territorial giant who excels at displacement, with knockback skills that ignore primed spears or allow it to fling one of your men over its shoulder.
Joining these new monster types will be three currently unrevealed bosses, each of which will have unique mechanics and loot. A new crafting system will allow you to turn their pelts and other parts of slain beasts into cosmetic and functional armor and armor attachments for your men. "For a price, the taxidermist is able to create all kinds of new items that suitably reflect your achievements in big game hunting from the trophies that you bring him—charms, cloaks, armor plating, armor for your wardogs, shields, antidotes, drugs, and more," writes the Battle Brothers blog. New paint items will also allow you to customize shields and armor, perhaps to mark different units to indicate their role.
Studio co-founder Jan Taaks told me over Discord that in designing new systems around customization, Overhype "mainly wanted to give the player the means to make his mercenary company look and feel like his own with no two companies looking the same. Also, we wanted to make fighting beasts worthwhile. The craftable attachments that are made from beast mats add unique properties like the Lindwurm Scale Cloak making you immune to acid Lindwurm Blood, plus adding armor."
As for the exploration side of the DLC, Taaks says to expect a new contracts and events in addition to new ''legendary locations' hidden on the map. "These will trigger really interesting and sometimes extensive events and some will also give you some almost RPG-like choices. A bit like quests in other games which is somewhat new for our game. Some will also lead to fights and give unique items that can not be obtained in any other way."