We all know that the internet was built to send cat pictures, which is exactly what A Hat In Time wants you to be doing in the Nyakuza Metro DLC, out today. While free for original Kickstarter backers, it's the Mario-like platformer's first fully paid DLC for the rest of us, but does a lot to justify that price tag. A large new free-roam city packed with cats, an online party mode (Steam only, sadly) for up to fifty players, an overhauled photo mode with stickers and some fan-made mods integrated. Below, forty minutes of online-mode streamed by devs Gears For Breakfast, and my thoughts after bumbling around it for a couple hours.
I spent a good chunk of last night barrelling through the critical path of Nyakuza Metro. I clocked it at around three or four hours to get the nine Time Pieces in its main story arc, which unlocks areas of the subterranean city as you go. I still feel like I've got a lot to see, and didn't even touch the Rumbi Factory level (a fan-made creation turned official), and there's a huge number of little unlockables hidden around. The city itself is easily the biggest and densest environment in the game, bustling with chattering NPC cats and food stalls you can buy from.
The many eateries highlight a running theme of this DLC - it's just for goofing around with. While the new story, levels and challenges are good, there's a lot of focus on just running and jumping and clambering around and seeing what's to be seen. There's even some hidden out-of-they-way restaurants, each with their own menus, sassy spoken narration for every food item, and hidden meal combos which temporarily extend your life bar. There are some fan-made screen effects, skins, hat models and other cosmetics included and purchasable around the city, too.
This is without even touching on the multiplayer. Previously limited to local split-screen, the DLC's new Online Party mode has two main modes. The first is a public four-player mode where players can't physically affect each other, so there's no worries about griefing if playing with strangers. The Party mode lets you invite up to 49 friends, and allows you to goof around a lot more. You can even invite friends to join you in user-made levels, opening up the possibilities for worlds and new play-modes designed for multiplayer, once modders get to grips with the new gubbins.