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Let's be honest here, this game has great ideas but suffers from one major flaw - it is WAY too hard. We played through S1 and were able to keep our funding level at 2-4, a fun win/loss ratio. In this game we have played 3 months and lost 5/6 games. This is not fun, and the game introduces way too much to screw you over and you can't recover. I'm not having fun, my group is not having fun, we are done. What a disappointment.
All the changes from vanilla Pandemic strike me as for the worse--increasing randomness, more hovering around the same narrower set of cities, etc. Unsurprisingly, then, the game lives or dies by its legacy elements--so time will tell.
Season 2 of Pandemic Legacy takes all the things that make Pandemic and Season 1 great and mixes it up in glorious ways. The way the story progresses so many years past where Season 1 ended, and the way in which the map and other events and items are revealed is absolutely wonderful all around. There are even some narrative turns in the late game that are genuinely surprising and exciting. For whatever reason though, Season 2 doesn't live up to the clean and precise experience that Season 1 offered. Maybe it was our gaming group, but we found Season 2 to be much more difficult than Season 1. (First season we only lost one or two games. Second season we lost a whole 4 in a row.) While the game will give you support so you can inevitably finish the story, there was a point in the mid to late game where we found ourselves pushing through more than enjoying the experience. It was still satisfying and challenging overall, but it felt like it was lacking a certain something that made the first season such an instant classic. Hopefully any kinks that might have brought about our experiences will be worked out by the next outing, as we'll certainly be there to snatch it up as soon as it's available.
We perhaps got a bit overwhelmed and ended up with some heavy "Season 2 Fatigue" by the end. I'd be happy to try again with 4 players instead of 2 players controlling 2 pawns each.
After Season 1 we had high expectations of the sequel. While Season 1 stayed true to its roots gameplay wise, Season 2 changed things up. This is refreshing and delivers a very good and new experience. While it didn't feel as good as the first season we still really enjoyed it. I thought rules evolution and introduction wasn't as good as the first season because we forgot a lot of them during play in the later months of the campaign. It didn't feel as streamlined as season 1 and the original pandemic.
Though I found this to be a good game, it does not live up to the achievements of Pandemic Legacy Season 1. The game feels unbalanced, with some of the mid-months much too hard (almost unwinnable), and many of the later months too easy. Your ability to complete objectives later in the game is also very impacted by how you played earlier in the game - if you haven't searched in the right cities, or haven't reconned enough, or haven't connected enough cities, or haven't weeded your deck properly, the game can be quite frustrating at times. The story throughout, and rule/objective changes that occur as the game year progresses, were not very engaging until the end when it does come together very well. Overall, an ok but not great experience. Whereas my game group adored Season 1, and played it through twice, we all found Season 2 a substantially less enjoyable game, and even considered discarding it before completion.
** SPOILERS BELOW ** | | | | | | | | | | v Started off being more interesting than Season 1 with the way the game mechanics varied pretty substantially from the normal Pandemic. However things then started to get too chaotic and too luck based. The amount of rules and stipulations and exceptions to those rules just kept growing and growing and growing and you're guaranteed to mess them up in every game. The game really sank for me right near the end when we discovered we needed to take the cure to the Jade lab, but yet hadn't discovered that. But wait! The objective says take the cure to Johannesburg and says nothing about the Jade lab. So we have two things telling us to take the cure to two places (which end up being the same), but no idea at the time as to if we can just ignore the objective and not bother with the Jade lab or if we need the Jade lab to complete the objective because of what another card said. Overall the legacy aspect of this game just felt a lot sloppier which is a shame because there were some cool new mechanics and it was awesome that you got to explore the map rather than it just being there the entire time. So I enjoyed the experience, but I don't know if I'd want to play this again because of the lackluster ending.