Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates by developer DESTINYbit and publisher Ravenscourt is the first DLC offering for this unique take on the city builder genre. Based around the classic DLC fodder of letting the player experience the game from the “bad guys” point of view, Corrupted Fates brings a number of welcome changes to the game. This relatively low-cost DLC (only $8.99 CDN at publishing time) expands the world of Dice Legacy with new mechanics and a new storyline, keeping the game fresh some eight months after its original release.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, here is my review of the original base game.
Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates brings a number of new options that are immediately visible upon starting a new game, some of which address criticisms of the original game. In particular, players starting a new game will have a new difficulty setting available. Peaceful mode aims to keep the stress of constant invasions to a minimum. In peaceful mode, the player will only come under attack when they deliberately provoke an enemy by initiating an attack on an encampment or similar.
The second new set of options helps control how the game speed functions. Settings for disabling the ability to pause (labeled as the way the game was intended to be played) are here, as well as going all the way to the other extreme where the player can not only pause the game at will but also manipulate and assign their dice while paused. Returning to the game again after a while away, this last setting was a true savior. Finally with this setting I had time to not only read tooltips but to actually grab a drink or go to the bathroom without having to save and quit out to the main menu.
The next immediately visible addition to the game is a new leader – the Vicar – who begins with and uses a new class of dice, the cultist. Cultists are a fairly aggressive class of dice with plenty of attack options, but they also gain a new tech tree oriented around sacrificing one die to empower others. In addition, Cultists enable new options for ways to interact with encampments you find during your exploration, for good or ill. This of course also means that the player now has another dice class to balance the approval of, play politics with, and generally have even more options on how you want to approach your game.
Overall, the new game setup options resolve a number of issues I had with the game at original release. One big pet peeve remained front and center during my time with Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates, however – UI clutter. Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates does its very best to support players with a plethora of tool tips that pop up when your cursor passes over each building, and to an extent this is helpful in how it shows exactly which die faces and resources are needed to operate a structure. When faced with the small screen area of the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, however, these tooltips quickly transformed from being a boon to a persistent irritant.
The game centers around quick and efficient manipulation of the dice shown in the ‘tray’ in the bottom center of the screen, so this is a critical item to always be able to see. Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates’ tooltips pop into existence in front of this UI, blocking off the player’s ability to see their dice and effectively use them. The easy solution would be to make the tooltips slide “under” the die tray UI element.
Instead, these tooltips have remained “over” the die tray UI element both in the original release and the Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates DLC. The only way to restore visual access to the UI is to scroll the world map around so that the building’s pop-out tooltip is slid out of the way. This can be a potentially fatal time sink when playing the “as intended” original unpausable game, and remains highly annoying even in game modes where pausing is possible.
Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates also adds a new game mode, playable after progressing a sufficient distance into the basic campaign. This mode allows players to turn the tables and play from the perspective of the “Others”, offering new story and exploration options. This is a common trope for games for the solid reason that it lets players see an alternate perspective. Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates uses this for that very reason, and players will appreciate the new viewpoint. As this is the marquee feature of the DLC’s campaign, however, I won’t go into much detail of the revealed story here, however, for fear of ruining the exploration of it for players.
Dice Legacy: Corrupted Fates provides a good balance of new and updated features and additional content for the price point it has launched at. Extra game options address criticisms of the base game for being somewhat stressful as the campaign progresses, and the addition of a new dice class can make even the original campaign play differently this time through. Additional leader and political options further refresh the title, making this DLC a solid addition for players who enjoyed the original game.Score: 8.5 / 10