Crimson Alliance – Vengeance Pack Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
At the tail of Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade, Certain Affinity released Crimson Alliance, an addictive dungeon-crawler with massive replay value. Despite the fact that I could’ve gone back and played the levels over and over again to earn higher scores, achievements, or re-live the experience as a different character, I was still sad when I reached the grand finale. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to feel a sense of ‘oh boo’ when the credits started rolling.
Thankfully, Certain Affinity must’ve foreseen fans salivating for extra game content, as they created the Vengeance Pack (to be enjoyed solo or cooperatively with up to three other people). This expansion gives players two additional levels, as well as the new Challenge map, “Fist Full of Coins”. Although the description may not seem like much at first, you’ll quickly realize that this DLC is well worth the 240 Microsoft Points.
Vengeance starts off looking oddly familiar, with settings looking strikingly similar to earlier outdoor stages of the main campaign. Here, you’ll fight against the same pesky foes, albeit in larger waves, and you might wonder “why did I just dish out money for this?” I think Certain Affinity was lulling players into a false sense of security, giving us settings and enemies that we’re already used to…before sending us to our fiery doom.
The new map pits you against your character’s evil twins. As the Assassin, my two arch nemeses were Shadow and Fire Assassins. While you play, you’ll come to understand that the Special Items are not just perks – they’re life-savers. I made the mistake of going into Vengeance with only one or two Special Items on hand, and boy, did I regret that! The first level throws hordes of enemies at you, overwhelming you with numbers. Even with the frenzied hacking and slashing, the Ultimate Power doesn’t charge quick enough to be of much help, and health pots are few and far between. Yet, it was a welcome challenge to see how well I’d fare against these waves of monsters.
The first level was easy enough to bumble through, by sheer luck – skill had very little to do with it! However, when I reached the second level, against my fiery foe, I fully understood that I was way out of my league. Where the first level was somewhat familiar ground, Certain Affinity threw at us new environmental challenges and enemies in the second round. Lava boils menacingly below – and eventually all around – you. Wargs borne of these fire pits leap out at the most inopportune moments, and lava giants (called Infernal Crags) chase after you with the yen to squash you to a pulp.
Even playing on the easiest difficulty, I found the second level of Vengeance to be insanely hard! The new map is obviously created for hard-core gamers (which I am not), as it took me almost an hour to complete the second round. It was the epitome of the adage ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’, and the game thoroughly tested my patience, as I had to watch the mini-cutscene every single time I was booted back to the second last checkpoint. However, the mounted frustration made that final victory exceedingly savoury.
If you find the Vengeance map to be too hard-core for you, head on over to the Fist Full of Coins challenge map. Beware though; you want to stock up on your Special Items before heading into this arena. This newest challenge map is a simple concept: strike a trigger to start a wave of enemies, and upon killing the last foe, the stage fills with gold. You then have to decide if you want to walk out with the money, or risk losing your newfound gold in the next round. If you die, you lose all of the gold you’ve accumulated in the challenge; you won’t lose the gold you brought with you from the campaign mode.
Fist Full of Coins is by far the most enjoyable challenge map of Crimson Alliance, as it also dares you to gamble your earnings away. It can be easy money – if you survive. If you find you had no luck accumulating gold during the original campaign, spend some time in Fist Full of Coins and you’ll soon be able to afford that new weapon or armour that you were eyeing at the marketplace.
Overall, the Vengeance Pack DLC provides a fun challenge in additional maps. It will definitely keep Crimson Alliance fans happily sitting in front of the TV for a good two to three hours, whether it’s to beat your character’s doppelgangers or to build your stash of gold. For 240 Microsoft Points, Vengeance is a steal!
Random Contest! If you have Crimson Alliance, we have got a treat for you! We’re giving away a download code to get the new Vengeance Pack on the house from Certain Affinity! Just head on over to our Facebook Page and Like it for a chance to win!
Wanderson75.net gives the Crimson Alliance: Vengeance Pack a 4.75/5.0
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