As a matter of fact I played 2nd edition last night for the first time. Now, I’m not a review site, so this is just an opinion after one game, and it may be the game has more to discover. But I was sadly a little underwhelmed. It looks beautiful, and I was hoping for some more interesting tactical play, but we (it was a 2 player game) found it a bit long and repetitive. There is a LOT of purple prose which, once we realised didn’t have any effect on the story, we began to skip, and the first story turned out to be very atmospheric but nothing much beyond the old ‘descend into the earth and stop a cult ceremony’ framework. The rules did change a little bit as you went from chapter to chapter, but not in a way that felt crucially linked to the story.
It’s the kind of game I really would have enjoyed a few years ago, but I’m a bit more demanding now. Rolling constantly for monster spawns and horror cards every round gets a bit repetitive, and the hoped-for tactical play with distinctive monsters, upgraded items, and the ability to use objects on the board didn’t really satisfy as much as I’d hoped.
It was a 4 hour game and we weren’t left with the desire to play it again. HOWEVER, I think this would be a great game for certain types of players; those who enjoy reading lots and lots of text and getting immersed in an atmosphere of dark steampunk with a Mythos feel, and those who like the challenge of digging for just the right combination of equipment in order to succeed. I’m not a huge fan of co-ops at the best of times, and it’s probably most suited to solitaire play; if you were playing with more you might want to break a game up into a couple of sessions (and indeed the first story has a ‘back to base’ bit midway).
So all in all, it wasn’t personally what I was hoping for, but I think for the right gamer it would still be a good old school co-op dungeoncrawling experience, especially solo.
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