Spoiler-free thoughts on the most famous legacy game
Right after the release of Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 was announced, I rushed to the local game store and bought Season 1. Why I had snubbed the game for so long but suddenly absolutely had to play it is inexplicable even to me. For some reason I needed the cheap thrills of opening secret packages and the addictive experience of a campaign. The game delivered on both these accounts but didn't amaze me.
I'm not sure if I would feel otherwise had I played it with company. I don't think so. At first, I was missing having another player to share the surprises with. As the sessions went by, however, the excitement of these surprises faded a bit because they felt samey. Sure, new things appear every month, and objectives change, but not in a major way. The core gameplay is the same, peppered with a few rules additions. The storyline is quite basic, and characters never feel fleshed out despite the small boosts that you may give them. Perhaps I should have named them Bob, Cindy and Jeannine instead of mentally referring to them as the Medic, the Scientist, and the Researcher but I doubt that this would actually give them personality.
Perhaps it sounds as if I hated it but I didn't. I actually binge-played it and finished the whole thing within 10 days or so. Didn't do particularly well, I suffered many losses but the game throws event cards in to assist you if you keep failing. My main complaint at this point is that I liked some parts of the game and would like to be able to play it again with these included. Which is not possible. My only option is to try to remove the stickers from the board and keep it to play regular Pandemic.
Even though I wasn't blown away, I would still try Season 2 and 0. I'm curious to see how the plot evolves, and how the game system has evolved too. Season 1 is very easy to solo by playing three or four characters, and if you have a table you can leave it on for days, you may find yourself playing sessions back-to-back. I was reluctant to put stickers on the board and the cards at first, but soon got used to the sacrilege and slapped them on with careless abandon. The most annoying legacy component I found to be the cards that you scratch the silver coating off from. Tiny particles of the stuff fall everywhere no matter how careful you are. Oh well. The price we have to pay to be surprised. Besides the actual price, that is.