A month ago I reviewed Crimson Alliance and gave it 4 out of 5 stars since the game was fun but ultimately felt lacking. When I saw that Certain Affinity was releasing DLC in the form of the Vengeance Pack I was skeptical but happy, hoping to get some extra backstory or even an epilogue to the game. Instead they dropped two “fiendishly difficult” maps into my lap and all I got was a lousy item for my character.
The two levels deal with players capturing “dead” two unnamed enemies – one who is an ice cultist and one who is a fire cultist. Past that, the levels don’t contain much new content. They follow the same basic structure from the normal campaign but offer poor checkpoints. It took me about two hours to beat the DLC though I about rage-quitted during the second level because I wasn’t able to clear one long part until my tenth try. Also, each character can find one new item in the DLC, though they are nothing spectacular if a player has beaten the game.
The Vengeance Pack only offers levels without story, which is a bummer considering Crimson Alliance had an interesting, albeit at times absent, story. After playing the levels I am left wondering why I had to go kill two ninjas and why this branches off at the beginning of the story. Sure they are difficult, but they seem to be more of a tack-on rather than integrated into the game. I would suggest playing these levels (especially the second one) with a party because they are a bit longer and emphasize clearing waves of enemies.
The challenge map is by far the most fun. Called “A Fist Full of Coins,” the map is survival mode with a twist – after each wave, players collect their coins and can choose to risk going another wave to increase their winnings or take the money and leave the level. This gets interesting since if the player dies (or the party gets wiped) then players loses all the coin that had been accumulated in that level and must start over from wave one. The waves get progressively harder and are not set groups of enemies which adds a nice amount of variety.
For $3 in Microsoft play money (240 MS points), a person could get a much worse deal, but I would not recommend this to people who were nonplussed by Crimson Alliance because though it adds a fun survival level, it does not add much else to the game over all.
+ Gives Crimson Alliance more levels and characters get a new item
+ Great challenge map that will frustrate and reward players
- No Story
- Doesn’t really add much to the game
Crimson Alliance: Vengeance Pack was released on October 12, 2011 exclusively for the Xbox Live Arcade.