Developed by Haemimont Games and published by Frontier Foundry, Robots and Guardians is the first paid DLC for Stranded: Alien Dawn. Until now, all content additions to Stranded: Alien Dawn were free so with the new DLC being a paid one, it brings a big responsibility on its shoulders because it will set the path for the future of additional DLCs as well. Robots and Guardians DLC brings brand-new content along with a major update that is free for all players. The new content is spread across the paid DLC as well as the free update so even if you do not purchase the DLC, you are still getting new content for the game. This is our review of the PC Steam release of the Robots and Guardians DLC of Stranded: Alien Dawn in which we fight off robots and craft laser swords.
The Robots and Guardians DLC adds a brand-new scenario to the game called Guardians. This can be played on any map and with any of the previously available settings in the game. In this mode, you start by crashing on the planet with a sentient android called Hope and you have to defend it from incoming attacks from the Consortium forces. You have to hold your ground until Hope can regain full sentience. You start from scratch and must quickly build your bases and defenses because after a few days, the consortium forces will start arriving on the planet and they will try to wipe you out and I really mean wipe you out. Even if you survive the attacks, if Hope dies, the scenario is failed which must be avoided. Hope will occupy one slot in your survivor list however it can perform only a few basic tasks like carrying around resources and lighting torches.
The new survivor that arrives with the DLC certainly makes up more for it in terms of tasks. Since the new scenario is very much a violent one and there are a lot of fights in it, Henry Caldwell is perfect for this job. He is a war veteran who lost his limbs but now boasts robotic prosthetics. He is a master with melee weapons however this does not really work to your advantage because the enemies are mostly equipped with ranged weapons and those too pretty deadly ones. Henry is pretty handy in combat but against a large number of incoming enemies, he cannot do much if he is relying only on his melee prowess. He is also more capable of handling himself in extreme weather be that cold or hot. Equip Henry with a laser sword and the rest of your crew with the new Carbon Crossbow.
Apart from these basic tasks, Hope is just useless however you must protect it from all sorts of attacks. The consortium will continue to send its troops to attack your settlement in order to destroy hope and they bring their technology with them. If you manage to destroy them, you can scavenge their bodies for technology that is not otherwise available to you in the game. This technology will allow you to build powerful defenses and research advanced tools in order to make the fight fair for you. However, you will need advanced resources for them. Sometimes if you are lucky, you will find these resources as well which will allow you to equip your survivors properly fairly early in the game.
One of the main highlights of the Robots and Guardians DLC is that you can now create an army of robots that will take care of most of the hard work in your base. These automated bots will harvest resources, collect them, and bring them back to your base. If you have spent a lot of time in Stranded: Alien Dawn, you will know how tedious this task is for the survivors. However, with the new update, you can simply create some robots and they will start managing your harvesting and resource collection needs. You can draft them to give them manual orders as well otherwise they will prioritize orders in the order in which you assign them. By having these bots running around for the grunt work, your survivors can complete crafting, cooking, and all of the other tasks much more quickly and efficiently.
However, this does not come cheap because you will need raw materials for their creation and later, power to ensure that these keep running. This increases your maintenance and running costs but the amount of work they handle for you makes them worth it. Depending on your playstyle and how aggressively you progress in terms of research and technology, you will spend some time without them anyway because the resources required for them are fairly advanced and cannot be obtained right at the start. Apart from resource and logistics management robots, you can craft some defense bots as well but then again, you have to manage their power along with their weapon needs. Despite their high running costs, I preferred them dying out in fights rather than my own survivors and this is something worth going for. In addition, these bots also do not require any sleep or food, so they are always working without any delays. You just need to keep them powered up.
The new bots really give you the option to automate nearly everything apart from crafting in the game as the bots can cover all of the grunt work. These bots, however, are pretty weak in combat and even the defense bots are not that tough when it comes to combat. This is where your survivors come into play as they can also craft new movable turrets which can feature a machine gun or a laser gun. Apart from that, you can also craft new weapons for your survivors to equip them better against new enemies such as the laser sword or the carbon crossbows which are insanely deadly. They will easily mow down anything that comes in their way and the new enemies come equipped with them. This is bad news for you but also good news for you because you can flaunt your new Carbon armor against them.
The new free update for Stranded: Alien Dawn also comes loaded with tons of new additions for the players with the biggest one being the ability to construct multi-story buildings. If you do not like horizontal expansions, you can now go for vertical expansions until your stories are six stories high. To make it easy for you to access these new floors, the update has new sub-options for ceilings, balconies, and ladders too which allow you to add a flare to your structures while maintaining functionality. If you want to customize your stairs, the update also brings new types of stairs, ladders, and elevators which can be built if you have specific materials, research, and skill level. After the new update, you cannot just build with any of the survivors because certain structures now require a minimum construction skill level before a survivor is able to build them.
This might not be a problem unless your character is utterly useless because I tried in three different scenarios and three different sets of survivors and as far as I can remember, all of them were able to craft whatever was required from them without any trouble. Adding multiple stories to the structures also makes them look good and something that is made by professional masons. Tons of other enhancements have also arrived in the game in the latest update that change the dynamics of gameplay from switching their researching requirements or getting a nerf or a buff. Most of the new items require a lot of advanced resources so this means that you will be spending a lot of time crafting them and having fun with them. In one of the scenarios, I was able to complete the scenario’s requirements before even fully unlocking the new items which is also a possibility however the game gives you the option to continue even if the scenario requirement is met so it is fine.
We loved Stranded: Alien Dawn in our review and we also really liked the previously released Jungle Update for the title. The Robots and Guardians DLC brings cool new enemy types and something that the game was missing right from the start, automation. With the new drones and service robots, you can finally move out from the trouble of collecting and delivering resources and materials and focus on other major elements of gameplay. My only gripe is that Hope is only locked to the new Guardians scenario because it is a useful character to have in other scenarios as well because it does not require sleeping and is available 24 hours for your tasks. Robots and Guardians DLC also shows that we can expect similar sorts of content to arrive in the future as well and who knows, we might be driving vehicles soon in the game to explore the far-off areas of the map with ease. I am keeping my fingers crossed however until that happens, I will be spending my time in the new Robots and Guardians DLC.
Robots and Guardians is the first official DLC for Stranded: Alien Dawn and it is packed to the brim with new content. Apart from the DLC, you will also get new content as part of the free update that arrived with the content, so this makes it a pretty chunky content drop for Stranded: Alien Dawn. The Robots and Guardians DLC brings Stranded: Alien Dawn to a new level of futuristic era where you can craft a base, weapons, suits, and other times that look really cool and make you feel like you are in a Star Wars movie complete with laser swords and an automated surgical bed that can auto-heal your survivors. If you want to give your game a fresh look with brand-new items and weapons with a cool new Scenario and Survivor, the new Robots and Guardians DLC is definitely for you. Highly recommended for players who love the base game and want to expand their experience with even more content.