It’s been a long and challenging road for Studio MDHR’s Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course. The expansion was originally revealed back at E3 2018, promising a never-before-seen island full of new weapons, bosses, and Ms. Chalice as a playable character. After being delayed out of 2019 to avoid crunch at the small studio, the onset and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the DLC’s release further and further away. Now, however, the end of that road is in sight: The Delicious Last Course arrives on June 30, and Studio MDHR has given Screen Rant an early hands-off preview. Despite the setbacks, it looks like Studio MDHR has refused to compromise its vision for The Delicious Last Course.
Cuphead’s first (and last) expansion takes place on the aptly-named DLC Island, which will be bigger than any previous isle and is unlocked after completing at least one Mausoleum in the base game. The island will contain new weapons, elaborate bosses, and a plethora of mysterious ways to earn and spend currency. Studio MDHR was tight-lipped about the total numbers of each, but said that platforming levels had been nixed in favor of adding more secrets than ever before.
Everything unlocked in the DLC can be used in the main game, and Studio MDHR confirms that Ms. Chalice will be playable by equipping a new charm item, swapping her in for either Cuphead or Mugman. She has access to a widely different array of abilities, including a double jump, an invincible dodge roll, and a dash that acts as a parry. Although her kit certainly seemed powerful in the preview, Studio MDHR did not design her to be an “easy mode” – Cuphead and Mugman’s moveset can still be more advantageous in many fights.
The developers at Studio MDHR refer to the DLC as a “depth expansion” – they closely focused on boosting the overall production quality of the game to make it more impressive than ever. The results of that philosophy were on full display during the preview, with meticulously animated bosses and intricately detailed backgrounds. There are over 10,000 new frames of animation on Ms. Chalice alone, and the new cutscenes are fully animated as well. Music is also a major factor; the soundtrack now contains many more genres of music performed by a much larger orchestra. According to Studio MDHR, recording the soundtrack live in ultra-high quality was the hardest part of developing the DLC during a pandemic, but composer Kristofer Maddigan was still encouraged to “go all out” with what he wanted to do creatively.
To conclude the preview, Studio MDHR announced that The Delicious Last Course will be priced at $7.99 when it launches at the end of this month. The expansion will be available on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC through Steam and GOG. When asked about PS5 and Xbox Series X support, Studio MDHR confirmed that the game and DLC are backward compatible with both. The team is also looking into a physical release at some point down the line, but there are no concrete details yet. With the release of The Delicious Last Course officially wrapping up its work on Cuphead, Studio MDHR also stated that it is now exploring and conceptualizing new games in new genres – as well as new aesthetics and styles.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is shaping up to be an audiovisual tour de force, and a solid reason to return to the universally acclaimed run-and-gunner. The base game will be turning five years old in just a matter of months, but it appears that the wait for its one and only expansion will be largely worth it. The total number of new bosses and weapons is still the biggest question mark, but the bosses that were shown were certainly Cuphead’s largest and most challenging enemies yet. Fans will no doubt appreciate another helping of Cuphead, especially at the DLC’s fairly modest asking price.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course launches on June 30, 2022 for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Steam and GOG. It will support backwards compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
source: Screen Rant