What’s better than teaming up as the Justice League and getting to beat in the faces of some of the DC universe’s mainstay villains? Doing it in a Green Lantern centric expansion! I must say that I am not a huge superhero fan, but if there’s one set of characters that I can get behind it has got to be the Lanterns. Just a few weeks ago Cryptozoic Entertainment released yet another installment in their DC Deckbuilder series, Crisis Expansion #2. For those unfamiliar with it, the core game resembles that of many other deckbuilders (like Dominion) where you start with a small set of cards and over the course of the game add or remove additional cards to your pile. With the Crisis expansion they take what would normally be a pretty competitive game and turn it on its head so that you and your friends can work as a team to overcome various challenges. Now that we’ve managed to play a few sessions of this new release we figured that I ought to write a quick review.
The set up was incredibly simple, if you’re already familiar with the base-game there are only a few more short steps to take. So far we’ve been able to play through it twice and for the purposes of this review I’m mostly using that second play through. Courtney wanted to play as one of her favorite characters, Black Canary, and I opted to weild the blue ring of hope as none other than Saint Walker. I should also mention that we opted to ramp up the difficulty a little bit (which turned out to be A LOT) by adding what I’ll call the “Immortal Vandal Savage variant.” This variant meant that our strength would grow more slowly than usual while the game itself continued to become more and more challenging.
The game started off pretty slowly. As Saint Walker I was working to collect Hero & Superpower cards; meanwhile, Black Canary enabled Courtney to break the rules slightly and start employing the lowly villains which she had worked to defeat. It wasn’t until about halfway through the game that everything came crashing to a halt and we suddenly realized how much harder the added challenge from this variant really was. Over the course of one turn I had well over half of my deck destroyed leaving 14 cards remaining, eight of which were weaknesses (useless cards that just slow you down). Not only that but I had to give up Saint Walker and have him replaced by a random superhero, Shazam! who turned out to be nearly useless for the rest of the game. I had never felt so hopeless while playing a game. Luckily though, Black Canary was able to carry my dead weight and we just barely scraped by with a victory… no really it was incredibly close.
During our very first playthrough of the game we felt like it was a little on the easy side, which is why we decided to use some of the added difficulty options the second go around. With that boost I’ve gotta say this game was incredibly challenging which was right up my alley but you definitely gotta know what you’re getting yourself into. We tend to play quite a variety of co-op game somewhat often so I am not entirely sure how often we’ll be able to play this particular one. The biggest highlight for me so far are the slew of new playable superheros which this adds. When you decide to play competitively, nearly all of the new cards can also be used. One of the DC deckbuilder base games is required in order to be able to play with this second Crisis Pack and I’d recommend using the Heroes United deck as it ties in well with the theme. I’m really looking forward to playing the base game with these new cards added in and I’m sure Courtney is as well, as she just so happens to claim that it is her favorite game we own.