Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Rook City Blues

Forget it, Jake. It's Rook City.
The first full update of the Sentinels of the Multiverse computer game is Rook City, bringing a spiffed up dynamic interface along with four new villains, two new heroes and two new environments. The Villain decks in particular each have a unique variation which alters the pace and strategy of the game significantly.

The Chairman is the ultimate crime boss of Rook City, a shadowy figure protected by his Operative and a network of criminals. As the handler for all of his gangs, the Operative plays out lesser Underbosses at a rate of knots - many of whom also play out other cards - and hits heroes as villain cards go down. The Chairman is invulnerable until flipped, and then smacks anyone who strikes him, making him hard to whittle down.

The Matriarch makes the card progression in the Chairman's deck look slow. Her minion cards (mostly corvids, some other birds) just keep playing, and while all relatively weak she attacks heroes each time one is destroyed and there are cards in her deck that play every Flock card back out of the trash, just to fuck with you. One of the nice things about the deck is that the Matriarch's nemesis, Tachyon, has one of the most effective cards to use on her.

Drug-fuelled super serial killer Spite is the Wraith's nemesis (the Chairman, the other obvious choice, is paired with new hero Mr Fixer.) His deck is mostly made up of drugs and victims. Victims can be rescued, if not destroyed first, and placed under the safe house card, dealing damage when Spite flips. The drugs make him tough to kill, however, and he heals each time he does damage or destroys a victim. I find him especially tough as I have to quit when he destroys one of the Lost Child victim cards.

The last villain is Plague Rat, a mutated drug dealer who can infect Heroes with his vile plagues and drive them to attack one another. He's not too hard a kill, but overbuffed heroes will quickly start beating one another down.

The Chairman and the Matriarch are tough; like, really tough. Spite and Plague Rat are just regular nasty.

The first hero is Expatriette, gunslinging daughter of Citizen Dawn. She's a damage monkey, and her deck gimick is a mixture of Gun and Ammo cards; the latter attaching to the former for one-shot bonuses. Her 'use one power for every gun you have in play' is potentially hilarious; as long as Spite doesn't have his 'take damage when you use a power' drug in play.

The second is Mr Fixer, janitor and kung fu master, who thus combines Style and Equipment cards which modify how he does damage with his basic 'punch you in the face' power. He is only allowed one of each, so he is more about choices than buff stacking.

Finally, Rook City brings out the scum of the streets to harry your hard-working heroes, while the Pike Industrial Complex is all about the Vats, universal buffs and prospective bombs all.

To add a further challenge, Mr Fixer and Expatriette each have a variant to unlock, and the update adds a new Legacy unlock, America's Greatest Legacy.