Old World The Sacred And The Profane DLC Review – A Decent Flavour Bomb For Your Next New Save

Old World gets its second DLC pack in the form of The Sacred And The Profane. Unlike its first DLC which adds scenarios and one new civ, this one adds content that you will see in a normal game of this 4X-story-generator strategy game.

The Sacred And The Profane fleshes out a very specific part of the game (story events) with a very specific theme (religion) and injects a little bit of freshness and flavour in a new playthrough of Old World.

This DLC pack’s biggest content addition is the 350+ story events. These are the pop-ups that will appear during the 200 or fewer turns you will make in one game of Old World. The new events are marked by gold borders with a jade background on the event title.

The new events depict the many complications when so many faiths started to pop during the times. From cults of lands far away to the rise of new religions. The DLC pack adds Manichaeism and its prophet Mani as a character. And that character’s fate can go various ways. You can observe the events from afar, or take direct action. And that includes imprisoning the “false prophet” for spreading a new religion your rule doesn’t accept, to the chagrin of the loyal followers.

And due to that, cities with religious unrest can sow dissent by spawning rebel units you need to fend off it.

In my one playthrough, I decided to throw Mani in prison just because I can, only for him to die one turn later. And then I didn’t realise the rising growth of Manichaeism in one of my cities. For whatever reason, I also decided to be tolerant of them by having Polytheism as a law instead of Monotheism, but never really help the religion in any other way than that. So there’s one town that will always be unhappy with my rule.

So as far as making “what if” scenarios and storylines through player action, this DLC does the job. There are more wild tales that can happen through the new events and as a consequence of your actions.

The DLC pack also adds characters from the Clergy, with their own missions available should you give them the orders. You can even have a court member join one should you wish- the Clergy can’t rule and cannot inherit the throne so that’s a tool to be used and/or abused.

You can expect the new events to pop off mostly during the early mid-game, around the time religions start getting found. The new events do dry up in the late game, though there’s a least one of the 350+ do pop once you get a late-game tech researched.

Is The Sacred And The Profane DLC pack a must-buy? Not really. All the additional mechanics don’t really change much of Old World as it is. I did a playthrough with the DLC on and it still reminds me of good old Old World that I played back in 2021. A fantastic 4X game with Crusader Kings-esque roleplay and story-generator mechanics that’s fun in the early-to-mid game but fizzles out at the end.

But is the DLC pack worth buying? For the low-low asking price of RM12 in Malaysia, it’s a decent flavour bomb. The new events should make a new playthrough of Old World a bit more interesting, having to make different decisions rather than seeing the same ones pop every now and then.

The theme choice here might not be a popular one, ancient world religion is full of deep cuts. This is the first time I heard of Manichaeism, for example. But I reckon this DLC pack format, where it’s all about adding events and some mechanics based on a specific theme, could be a regular addition. Have a flavour pack DLC for military issues, or bickering noble houses, or royal family matters, for example. Those would be interesting aspects to be fleshed out.

A big expansion would be even better of course, but as little morsels of additional flavour, The Sacred And The Profane DLC does what it is supposed to do for its asking price.

If you need an excuse to boot up Old World again, the DLC is definitely worth checking out.

Played On PC. Review code provided by the publisher

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