High On Life’s DLC Is Out Today - Let’s Talk About Horror!
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Join the Discussion as High On Life’s DLC Releases Today, Putting Horror in the Spotlight

Head Writer Alec Robbins Discusses High On Life: High On Knife DLC

In a recent interview with Alec Robbins, the head writer on Squanch Games’ High On Life and its High On Knife DLC, Robbins sheds light on the unique blend of horror and comedy found in the DLC and the challenges of writing for both genres.

Horror and Comedy: More Similar Than You Think

As a writer with a background in comedy, Robbins draws parallels between comedy and horror, stating that “building comedy and horror require the exact same labor.” The process of creating setups that lead to surprising punchlines in comedy is essentially the same as building tension that culminates in scares in horror.

Robbins explains, “If you’re building comedy, or you’re building horror, you’re doing the exact same labor. The whole concept of trying to create a setup that flows into a punchline that surprises people and makes them laugh – that’s identical to the structure in horror; you’re trying to set up some tension that you then release, but instead of a punchline, it’s a scare.”

Introducing High On Knife DLC

The High On Knife DLC serves as a mini-sequel that bridges the gap between the base game, High On Life, and future projects from Squanch Games. While not solely a horror experience, the DLC explores the genre in ways that were not fully explored in the base game, adding elements of darkness and tension.

The DLC begins with a light-hearted exploration of Peroxis, a bright and quirky location. The player’s mission is to retrieve a missed-package, accompanied by the talking weapon, Knifey. However, halfway through the DLC, the tone shifts dramatically as players find themselves in the haunted shipping warehouse, Muxxalon.

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Robbins describes Muxxalon as “a haunted shipping warehouse full of horror tropes,” highlighting the addition of darkness and a flashlight as key elements in creating a more frightening atmosphere.

The Challenges of Writing Horror Moments

Despite the similarities between horror and comedy, Robbins confesses that writing horror moments posed a challenge for him as a comedy writer. He shares that it was difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the horror until the lighting and sound design were fully integrated into the game. Robbins admits that horror was actually harder to get right compared to comedy in this instance.

To heighten the horror experience, the team at Squanch Games made the tough decision to remove dialogue and jokes from certain sections, ensuring that the atmosphere remained appropriately tense and scary. According to Robbins, “If the characters are talking and making jokes, then they’re not scared, so why should I be scared as a player?” Removing the dialogue in these sections allowed the horror elements to shine through.

The Absurdity of Horror and Comedy Collide

One of the highlights of the High On Knife DLC is the incorporation of both horror and comedy elements without undermining either genre. Robbins explains how the DLC explores the absurdity of a boss who is literally attached to your shoulder, constantly monitoring and urging you to work. This outlandish premise adds a comedic touch while also creating a sense of unease and horror.

Robbins credits Gabourey Sidibe’s portrayal of the boss character, Mux, for bringing the horror elements to life. He describes her performance as funny but also genuinely menacing. The combination of a humorous concept and a talented voice actor helped achieve the balance between comedy and horror that the team was aiming for.

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A Funny and Spooky Experience

Despite the horror elements, High On Knife remains true to its comedic roots. The DLC features Ken Marino, who plays the character of the parasite. Robbins highlights the branching paths and dating-sim aspect of the game, offering players a multitude of choices and routes to explore.

Robbins concludes the interview by expressing pride in the work the team at Squanch Games has accomplished with the High On Knife DLC. Blending humor and horror seamlessly, the DLC provides players with a funny and spooky gaming experience.

Availability and Pricing

The High On Knife DLC is available now for $14.99 on PC and Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Xbox Game Pass subscribers can access the base game for free and also have the option to purchase an exclusive Xbox Game Pass Bundle, including both High On Life and High On Knife, for $19.99.

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Written by Casey Mitchell

Born in Brighton and raised on a diet of Tetris and Dendy classics, Casey is a gaming historian.

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