High on Knife review: An express delivery of fun and carnage

Stabbing has never felt so... personal.
Pleroxis In High On Knife
Screenshot: PC Invasion

High on Knife is the incredible DLC for High on Life, one of the biggest games of 2022. High on Life’s entertainment factor solely relies on how funny you find the sprawling, crude, ad-lib humor, and High on Knife is no different. Your opinions on the main game will practically be a mirror of your opinions on the DLC if you’re not a fan of such jokes and amusement. I personally love that silly and rambling humor, and so this review, both pros and cons, will be better appreciated by those who enjoyed the main game. I mean, if you didn’t like High on Life, then why are you interested in the DLC? Simply to hate more efficiently?

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Is High on Knife a good game?

I’m going to start off with this question to help structure this review. I think High on Knife is a good game, for a number of reasons. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but you must adjust your expectations if you are going to have a good time playing. High on Knife is a short adventure that introduces a whole new planet and story for you to enjoy. This is a standalone adventure that happens after the main game, not that you need to complete it to play High on Knife or to understand it. Nothing too grand or insane is added here, although there are new things to enjoy.

Harper In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

You may not enjoy it as much as the main game, but that’s not the point. At least, I don’t think it is. My review will be spoiler-free, so you can read the whole thing and not worry about your experience being tarnished with prior knowledge. Below is why I believe High on Knife is a must-play if you enjoyed High on Life.

A horror story?

I jumped into High on Knife without witnessing any of the marketing. So, I was surprised to see that the game was loosely marketed as a horror-centric experience. Having played the game, it does make sense as there is a mock horror element in a portion of the DLC. However, that wasn’t what stuck with me at all. I know the title has “knife” in it, and it’s released at the beginning of the spooky season, but this couldn’t be further from horror.

Muxxalon In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Again, there are elements, but not enough to resonate with me. It still feels a little weird writing this review knowing that some players will go into the DLC with horror and thriller themes in their mind, only to never have those impressions realized. Please do not go into this wacky and silly adventure expecting any sort of scares.

Same humor. Better kills.

I laughed while playing this game. I mean, I actually audibly laughed, which is something I haven’t experienced from a video game in a while. The setting is an absolute joy of a juxtaposition, the characters are funny and strange, the Gatlians are as eccentric as ever, the story is ridiculous and absurd, and the native species are… you’ll see… you’ll see.

However, it isn’t just the humor that you’re there for, but also the kills. You hop into High on Knife with Gus, Sweezy, Creature, and Harper. That’s right, Harper is the new Kenny, and Kenny’s absence from the game is joked about and somewhat touched upon, although no satisfying reason was produced. Naturally, Kenny had to go considering the allegations against Justin Roiland. Harper provides a great stand-in, and her presence isn’t jarring and doesn’t rock the formula.

Combat In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

The DLC thankfully does provide new toys for us to play around with, although I’ll let you come across those yourself. The carnage is just the same — shooting things, popping off heads, and ripping and tearing torsos. The new mechanics and toys the DLC provides are great to play with and add new dimensions to the whole killing thing the game has going on. My only reservation is not being able to plug them into the main game! That would be awesome.

Absurd settings and interesting natives

The new planet you embark on is called Peroxis, and it is unlike any environment in any video game I’ve seen. It’s both serene, unique, interesting, and somehow completely bland, but in a way that works. There is a native that is very keen to give you postcards about all the wonders of the planet, in which you can go off and explore if you wish. And, indeed, there are sights to be seen.

Plexis Salt Sea In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

The contrast between the white and the orange really worked for me, and exploring just this environment of the DLC was fun. If you want to 100% complete the game, then you’ll be exploring all over the place, and solving all sorts of puzzles. The world they’ve built is just about interesting enough to explore, although it hasn’t blown me away.

The occupants of the planet, however, all have their quirks, as can be expected. The story of Salt Lick City and its inhabitants is one that will always amuse.

A fun and short story

Thankfully, the story you play through doesn’t drag on for too long and has great pacing. High on Knife strikes a satisfying balance between good old-fashioned slaughtering and mayhem as you blast away groups of enemies and encounter sections of humorous storytelling. Some good puzzles and great mechanics slip their way into the gameplay as well, keeping the experience fun.

Slug In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Switching between the guns-blazing madness and the funny story is something the game does very well, and nothing drags on for too long, mercifully. The DLC took me about 4 to 5 hours to complete, and I had fun the entire time. Well, aside from one moment in the game, but I’ll touch on that later.

You will enjoy the story if you’re expecting nothing too deep or revolutionary, and are ready for a relaxing and fun experience. That’s what I set into High on Knife for, and it delivered. This isn’t to sell the game short, but it isn’t a masterpiece in storytelling. It’s a fun experience, and it nails it.

The mid-review turnaround

However, I do have a couple of reservations with the High on Knife DLC, and it’ll be better to just out them all at once.

Firstly, Kenny’s absence from the game is expected but poorly touched upon. The lackluster and vague reason serves more as a punchline for a later joke than it does as an actual reason. Funnily enough, it does fit in with the tone and nature of the game, and Harper as a replacement is joked about and referenced a few times, which I appreciate, but Kenny was such an integral part of the main game that I feel the poor Gatlian deserved more of a send-off.

Fighting In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Additionally, there are a few parts in the later game where the objective is not clear at all. I spent the better half of an hour desperately trying to figure out how to reach my objective when all I had to do was kill off all the enemies. Upon sticking around and fighting some more, the answer appeared in front of me. The game motions for you to “fight to the next objective,” but I assumed that meant I had to reach my objective while surviving infinite spawns of enemies, not “kill all enemies, then reach your objective.” The wording there really tripped me up.

So, my advice for you to enjoy the latter half of the game — kill all enemies in every chamber or room you are in, no matter what.

Plenty to do on Peroxis

Like High on Life, there are collectibles in High on Knife in the form of Muxxalon Packages, which you can slice open. Not only that, however, as there are races, sights to explore, a card game to learn and play, and other such nonsense. There is enough to keep the DLC interesting after the story is finished, allowing you to spend even more time in the game that you love.

Package In High On Knife

Screenshot: PC Invasion

There’s plenty to do — unless you don’t like collectibles. If you’re not much of a collectibles fan, then there isn’t really much else. You can do some cool races and sightseeing, but that’s about it. Even the card game requires you to do some collectible hunting.

I personally enjoyed looking out for the collectibles, as I like the inhabitants, the puzzles, and the world. But that’s the only reason why. If you’re just here for the story, then the DLC will have a shorter shelf life.

So… is High on Knife a good game?

High on Knife is indeed a great game. It doesn’t drag on for too long, has unique and hilarious plot points and jokes, and has an absurd yet lovable planet to explore and interact with. By all means, it’s almost as perfect as a DLC can get for a game like High on Life. It’s its own self-contained story that is actually fun and interesting, and you’ll want to see it conclude. There is more of the fun action you would’ve enjoyed from High on Life, with new mechanics and toys being added to take it up a notch.

It builds upon the main game’s mechanics and humor while providing a fresh experience; I couldn’t really ask for more. I would heavily recommend it if you enjoyed High on Life.

I hope you enjoyed my review of High on Knife, the High on Life DLC. For even more reviews, and assistance with the DLC, you can check out PC Invasion.

8.5
High On Knife
High on Knife is as perfect as a High on LIfe DLC can get. It builds upon the mechanics of the first game, providing a funny and fresh experience.
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