Dredge Pale Reach review - icy mountain with abandoned hut

Dredge The Pale Reach review – a freezing Terror

We are poor human beings alone on a sphere slowly rotating in the dark. While zombies and monsters can definitely be scary, there is something beyond that. Something much more real and tangible: the great dark. While that might simply mean a dark room, it can also be a huge ocean floor under our feet, going from a reassuring blue to horrifyingly dark. Dredge used thalassophobia to great effect and, in its first expansion, The Pale Reach, we’ll head towards a new kind of horror: the unspeakable kind.

The Pale Reach is a small expansion for Dredge, so it does require owning the base game. Still, it is not really required to finish the base game first, but I would definitely recommend spending some time in the starter islands, and upgrading the boat and its engines. I would also recommend a hull upgrade, for reasons that will become clear pretty soon, as we are going against a new enemy.

If you never played Dredge, we manoeuvre a tiny boat around, fishing, dredging up materials to improve your ship and following various quests around four or five archipelagos. Still, it is entirely up to you when to direct your engines towards the Pale Reach and its glacial landscape. The new zone is clearly indicated on your map by a huge question mark, but as to how to actually head inside? That’s another story.

In the main story of The Pale Reach, we will be busy escaping a supernatural horror. Without spoiling too much, we get thrown into a plot quite similar to that from Dan Simmons’ The Terror, an arctic expedition gone horribly wrong. We travel around some ice places and try to escape an angry creature who will always be on our tail. Your first task will be to get an icebreaker installed on your ship, then you are ready to begin the quest.

The Pale Reach is a narrative-focused expansion, but of course, it will also give other things to do along with completing the main story. There will be new species of fish, along with new equipment to buy if you want to fish in the ice. Luckily, our friend will be around to help us with buying our fish and giving us directions on how to build the icebreaker. The new glacial locations look fantastic and you will see some breathtaking sunrise and sunsets. Just be sure to not spend too much time gawking at that sun going down, lest you find yourself outside at night.

For around 6 EUR, The Pale Reach nets you a couple of hours of new content, plus new fish, rods and special equipment. This is a great deal if you loved your time in Dredge – and I did – and want to go in for some sweet lil’ iced seconds. The Pale Reach doesn’t change anything from the main game, just adds another good reason to take another dive in.

Our Dredge the Pale Reach review was made possible with a key provided by publisher Team 17. Dredge is available on Steam, PlayStation 4 / 5, Xbox Series S | X and Nintendo Switch.

Dredge The Pale Reach review: The Pale Reach adds a slab of tasty frosting to what was an already great game, while not adding any new mechanics or features. Damiano Gerli

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Damiano Gerli

Damiano Gerli was born with a faithful Commodore 64 by his side. It taught him how to program basic adventure games and introduced him to new genres. Then, he fell in love with Sega -- while the Master System wasn't as powerful as the Genesis, it was where he played Sonic and Outrun. Years later, he got the idea that he was the most Sega-knowledgeable person in the world, so he opened a website in 1997, The Genesis Temple. Damiano is a gaming industry professional and historian, loves adventure and indie titles, but he never shies away from action and triple-A RPGs. Basically, Damiano is been writing about videogames for 20 years, with no plans to stop. Say hi to him on X at @damgentemp.