The third in the series of expansion packs for the DC Deck-Building Game series, this pack technically expands on the Villains United base set but is more than usable with any base set.
I have yet to review the Villains United set as I don't own it but my review of the original set can be found here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/977463/7-out-10-definitely-... I'm going to assume you've either read it or are familiar with the game on your own terms. If not, if for example you are having a look at reviews for multiple products in this line before deciding on getting in to it or not, you may not fully follow the rest of this review as I am going to assume a basic knowledge of the basic gameplay!
Crisis Expansion Pack 3 brings out new competitive characters to play as, new co-operative characters to play as, new cards for the main deck, new Supervillains to fight (all from the Crime Syndicate), new Crisis Cardss and one new mechanic … Hidden Objectives!
Most of the stuff provided in this pack is more of the same. The new main deck cards, the new characters, the new Supervillains, etc, all play the same as they do across all products in this line. If you want to know how they compare to other expansions, my verdict would be more of the same. There's nothing amazing here but then again there is nothing you want to avoid, either. If you like what you already have but would like more variety, this is what you are looking for.
However what, for me, makes this expansion pack much better than the previous ones is the addition of the Hidden Objective mode.
During set-up for a co-operative game, each player is dealt a Hidden Objective face down and they are not allowed to show it to any one else or discuss it. At the end of the game, if the team wins then each individual player may only count it as a win for themselves if they have also fulfilled the requirements on their Hidden Objective.
Now suddenly not only is everyone working for a team victory but they are also working for an individual victory, too. Without Hidden Objectives you might very well sit back in co-operative mode and let one player get as many superheroes as they can because they are also getting other cards which get bonuses with superheroes. Makes sense to help them make their deck as powerful as they can as you are all working together, right? You concentrate on equipment, they concentrate on superheroes, simple.
But in Hidden Objective mode, suddenly you may find you need the card titles in your deck to have as many letters of the alphabet as possible. And where are you going to find another letter Z if you can't have J'onn J'onnz? Is there even another Z in the game?? You better hope so because your “team mate” who has been going after sueperheroes is about to take their turn and they're eyeing up J'onn J'onnz quite meaningfully … !
By adding a solo goal to a team mode, the game has suddenly taken on a new life. There's co-operation and competitiveness at the same time. Don't let your opponent buy all the Power Rings as your Hidden Objective requires you to have more VP than any other player! But wait, another player is getting Green Arrow and loads of Heroes and you're not allowed to tell people what you are after!
The downsides to all this is that firstly there aren't many Hidden Objectives provided and after a few games it becomes quite easy to spot the telltale signs of who has which objective. This can start to drain the fun of this mechanic a little but it's always the case that things are less shiny when you start getting used to them. Secondly, a minor quibble, but one of the Hidden Objectives is “make sure the person sitting on your left completes their objective”. My gaming group find this a very boring card to draw, so much so that we've retired it to the box. More pro-active Objectives are better.
Up the usual high standards we've come to expect from this game line!
My favourite of the Crisis packs so far. Not only do the additions to the existing mechanics work well but the new Hidden Objective mode is great fun!
8 out of 10. If you like the DC Deck—Building game line, you need this expansion.
Note: I have learned from bitter experience with this site that I need to stress that all reviews – including this one – are entirely matters of opinion. I am not claiming that anything I have said in this review is fact, it is all entirely my opinion and I am sure that many others have different opinions. If you wish to reply with yours, I welcome it. I enjoy discussion but will not respond kindly to aggressive replies.