Vampire Survivors is a simple game that only makes me see how amazing it can be. As arcades go out of style, the types of games they had have moved onto the continuing platforms, and this is one of them. The beauty of this new medium is that it allows them to expand with Poncle adding Tides of the Foscari to the experience. It continues the same mechanics of moving around while all weapons auto-fire and enemies swarm in. The challenge comes from moving around strategically while collecting and upgrading a strong balance of weapons, defences, and other passive items.
The thing about Vampire Survivors is that it's never been big on telling a story, which is nothing against it. There is plenty of lore to find and you can put together the pieces in whatever arrangement makes sense to you, with Tides of the Foscari adding more pieces. What the Tides are and who or what the Foscari is are the two main mysteries to solve. As you take in whichever character in Vampire Survivors you want, you'll find yourself in a mysterious natural area ripe with forest creatures and monsters. There appears to be a combination of spiritual, aquatic, and wilderness elements at play in this DLC.
A DLC has a job that is both difficult and easy at the same time: to add something new to the experience. Tides of the Foscari definitely enhances Vampire Survivors in gameplay and content. It maintains the simplicity and smoothness of the controls of the base game while providing an all-new challenge. This map is one of the more complex ones to date, being covered mainly by labyrinths and winding paths. Opening up the map shows just how many new goodies there are to find. Some of them are familiar with a few standing out due to their colour and design. When you see all the icons pop up, an urge to get them all takes over you - the way you have to navigate the pathways and monsters makes finally reaching them all worthwhile.
Anyone with tell you that you should never fight the tides if you hope to survive, but some of us can be stubborn or simply don't listen. You literally have to fight the Tides of the Foscari in order to succeed, but it's not always enjoyable. It has the Vampire Survivors strength that also doubles as a weakness: a lack of clarity.
Just like the other levels, there are key items to collect and even key enemies to defeat, but this is at the vague end of the spectrum. The key items appear to be two halves of a red seal that are connected to masked cloaked beings that appear invulnerable. There's also a spiritual stag and a horde of ghosts that will appear and seem to be hostile despite being the most pleasant-looking entities. You'll spend a lot of time just trying to figure out the order you're meant to do things in the forest of Foscari, which can take a toll on your patience.
Tides of the Foscari is the latest DLC introduced to the Vampire Survivors universe. It maintains everything that makes the base game great while adding a new challenge and appealing new content. The only issue is that it may be the most confusing mystery yet, but it's just waiting to be solved. Spend some time learning the lay of the land and the creatures that inhabit it so that you can turn the tides in your favour.