Released back in 2022, Not For Broadcast was an interesting premise for a video game. Basically you work at a TV station helping to run a news program. It was a game that I had my eyes on for a while. Its newest DLC, Bits of Your Life, came out today. I thought this was a good chance to give the game a shot. Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life is not as good as the main game, but it is an interesting DLC that fans should enjoy.
In Not For Broadcast you play an editor at a news station. As an editor you determine what makes it to the air each night. Each night consists of a number of segments which you have to edit together. Change camera angles to keep your audience engaged, and choose what to show and what not to show. Additionally you will be in charge of censoring swear words or words you don’t want the audience to hear. You will also play advertisements, deal with frequency issues, and other issues that keep coming up at the studio. Your task is to run an entertaining show that audiences keep watching. With so much power in your hands you could also impact your audiences opinion of current events.
Since this review is mostly about the Bits of Your Life DLC, I am not going to talk too much about the main game. As I never reviewed the main game though, I wanted to quickly mention some of my thoughts.
What initially intrigued me about the game was its unique premise of running a news broadcast. The gameplay likely won’t be for everyone, but I found it to be surprisingly entertaining running a news show. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but it is oddly satisfying running a successful fake TV show. Each day mixes things up and always keeps you busy. At first I was pretty terrible at running the show, but you eventually adapt and it becomes really satisfying. Not For Broadcast is unlike any other game that I have ever played. I really enjoyed playing it.
The main game’s other big strength is its story. I won’t get into details to avoid spoilers. The story gets pretty political at times which may turn off some people. I personally didn’t really see it taking a side politically as people seem to interpret the story in a way that matches their own beliefs. What I found really interesting about the story is that it really makes you question your decisions throughout the game. You might think you are making the right decision in the moment. Many of your decisions though will end up having bad repercussions later on. Not For Broadcast does a great job making you question your decisions, and your preconceived notions. The story is not going to be for everyone, but I found it to be really compelling.
Lets move onto the newest DLC Bits of Your Life.
Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life takes place a little less than two months before the beginning of the base game. Peter Clement is the main guest of the famous talk show Bits of Your Life. The premise of the show is a series of interviews with family, friends, etc from your past in order to show a glimpse of the guest’s life. You are tasked with running the show from behind the scenes.
The first time you play through the DLC it plays like the base game. You are tasked with changing camera angles, bleeping swear words, and playing adverts. After your first time through, you are given more control over the broadcast. You will play through the show again. This time you will choose the order the guests come out in. There is a predetermined order for the guests, so when you deviate from that things start to go haywire. As things fall apart you start to learn more about Peter Clement and what lead to the events of the main game.
I had some mixed feelings about Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life. I liked the DLC, but it is not as good as the main game.
Lets start with the positives. I thought the story and premise behind the DLC is good. It is a clever idea to use a look back at your life type show to learn more about Peter Clement and the events that led up to the beginning of the main game. The DLC actually does a good job filling out the character of Peter Clement and giving context to events from the game. The DLC shows parts of the political campaign as well. It is definitely less serious than the main game, but some of the storylines can get kind of dark.
I was impressed by the fact that the order that you bring out the guests change the story significantly. While there are similar storylines, the video and the topics discussed with each guest totally change depending on the order of the guests. In a way each playthough of the game actually feels quite different. The DLC has a total of ten different endings. Six of those endings are totally unique as each consist of their own branching storyline. While some of the storylines are more entertaining than others, I found them all to be interesting enough that they were worth checking out. You will want to at least check out each of the six main endings.
While I liked the overall premise and story of the DLC, the gameplay was a little disappointing. On the positive side the gameplay is still satisfying like the main game. It is still fun playing as the editor determining what gets shown, and trying to run an entertaining show. If you liked the gameplay in the original game, I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life as well.
The problem is that the DLC doesn’t really add anything significant to the gameplay. Choosing the order of the guests has a big impact on the story, but minimal impact on the gameplay. You basically get a short period of time to pick which guest you want to bring on next. If you don’t pick in time, the game just chooses the first guest in order that you haven’t called yet. This new mechanic takes minimal time and doesn’t feel like it adds a whole lot to the game.
The main thing it does is allow you to navigate branching storylines. In a way it kind of feels like a choose your own adventure game. I liked how this element of the game changed the storyline. Each decision you make has an impact on the storyline. It is kind of fun trying to explore the different branches to try and find the unique endings.
At first it might feel like a puzzle as you try to figure out the right order to bring on the guests. The problem is that it doesn’t really feel like there is any rhyme or reason to the “correct” order of guests. You will basically be required to do a lot of trial and error to figure out the order. This is kind of disappointing as I wish it was possible to figure out the correct order using context clues and a general knowledge of what type of things each guest would talk about. Unfortunately you are just randomly trying to guess the right order. I would have enjoyed the DLC more if there was some rhyme or reason to the order of the guests that you could figure out without trial and error.
The good news is that the game actually gives you clues to get most of the main endings. If you want to figure them out by yourself, skip the rest of this paragraph. Basically each of the main endings begins with you calling a different one of the six guests. You can actually get the order for three of the endings by listening to what the guest’s say. They will give you a set of numbers through an address, phone number etc which is the exact order you have to bring the guests out in order to get one of the endings. You can either pay close attention to what the guests say, or you can look at your notepad which lists this information once you hear it. If you don’t care to trial and error your way to all of the endings, I hope this was helpful.
The length of Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life kind of depends on what you want to get out of it. I would say that most of the runs take around 20-30 minutes. If you don’t care about seeing all of the different endings, you likely won’t get a lot out of the DLC. Most of the game’s length comes from trying to figure out all of the different endings. If you use the trial and error process, it will take a long time to figure out all of the endings. If you use the hints the game gives you, it will take a decent amount less time. Trying to get all ten different endings will likely take you around 5 hours. If you use a guide it will take a little less time. If you use trial and error it likely will take longer.
Ultimately I really enjoyed Not For Broadcast and I found the DLC Bits of Your Life to be solid addition. I enjoyed the main game more than the DLC. This is partly because I thought the main game was really good. I just didn’t think the DLC hit the same highs. Bits of Your Life excels with its story. It adds a lot of interesting backstory for Peter Clement and the campaign at the beginning of the main game. The game has at least six unique story branches and they are all significantly different. The order you bring out the guests has a huge difference on the story. I liked the variety and it felt like your decisions truly mattered.
Unfortunately the gameplay doesn’t really differ all that much from the main game. There really isn’t a way to figure out the correct orders to bring guests out in. You basically need to just use trial and error or use the hints the game gives you that tells you the full order.
My recommendation for Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life kind of depends. Your opinion of the main game is going to play a big role in whether you will enjoy the DLC. If you have never played the main game I would highly recommend checking it out if it sounds like the type of game that you would enjoy. For those who played the original game and either didn’t like it or thought it was only okay, I would probably recommend either waiting for a sale or passing on the Bits of Your Life DLC as it is mostly more of same. Those that liked Not For Broadcast should seriously consider picking up Bits of Your Life though as I think you will really enjoy it.
Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life
Release Date: November 14th, 2023 | Systems: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: NotGames | Publisher: tinyBuild | ESRB Rating: Mature
Genres: Adventure, DLC, Full Motion Video, Story Driven
Official Website: https://www.notforbroadcastgame.com/
- An interesting continuation of the Not For Broadcast story.
- The order you bring out the guests significantly changes the story.
- The gameplay doesn’t differ much from the main game.
- I wish there was a way that you could piece together the order in which to bring out the guests to get each unique ending.
Recommendation: For fans of the main game who want more of the same.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank NotGames and tinyBuild for the review copy of Not For Broadcast: Bits of Your Life used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.