The first DLC to Shiny Shoe’s deckbuilding hit Monster Train, The Last Divinity, brings a new faction, adaptive mid-run difficulty and a serious new end-game challenge to the table.
Value for money plays into the equation a lot more for an expansion than an original game, it seems. The idea of just getting more of something, rather than a whole new experience, raises the spectre like an unwelcome guest at the party. Paying £15 or £30 for a new game, with all the excitement and possibility that brings, is just a different beast than paying £10 or £15 for more of the same. How much is more of the same really worth? The Last Divinity is a great reason to think about this.
As always, the answer to that question relies on how much you valued what you got in the first place. Monster Train: The Last Divinity certainly adds some delicious items to the menu. There’s a new faction (the Wurmkin) with two new champions and some interesting new mechanics. The first is the addition of echoes, a new unit that accrues on floors of the train when you play certain cards and can be used to power all sorts of shenanigans. This is the most radical new addition, certainly from a UI perspective, but there are plenty of other mechanics like Etch (which gives value from playing Consume cards), eggs that spawn creatures when you’ve infused enough echoes onto their floor and Reap (post-combat damage dealt to enemies based on the number of echoes on the floor).
I have rinsed through a few plays with the Wurmkin and can confirm that they offer as much depth and interest as any of the base game factions and there is enough there to keep a fan going for quite a few hours. Beyond that, Monster Train: The Last Divinity adds an eponymous, fearsome new end-game boss. Playing on Covenant 1 or higher will now give you the option to take Pact Shards from the circles of hell in exchange for rewards (including the neat ability to blend your units together into super units). The kicker is that those Pact Shards increase the challenge in each level and, if you get one hundred or more, unlock a new boss after the traditional end-game seraph boss. I won’t say much about fighting The Last Divinity but suffice it to say that I got absolutely nowhere near beating it any time I got there. It really is a significant challenge for all but the best Monster Train players.
Is there enough there to justify the expense? If you are a player who reached the higher covenant levels on your play then I would say definitely. The new faction adds a lot of interest and the additional difficulty will be welcome. If, like me, you trawl around in the shallows of covenant one to five then you may well find that The Last Divinity is a challenge you struggle to envision beating. Even without that though, the Wurmkin are different and deep enough to offer a lot of extended play and the Pact Shards ask interesting strategic questions. Even if you don’t get enough to trigger The Last Divinity you can still make use of their boons and enjoy the challenge they add to all the normal fights. Monster Train: The Last Divinity is something that all fans of the game will enjoy, but is perhaps only essential for the real diehards desperate for a new challenge.
Monster Train and The Last Divinity are both available for PC on GOG and Steam, Xbox and Nintendo Switch now.