Since the huge success of World of Warcraft, it has been any developing company’s ambition to create a MMO that rivals Blizzard’s spot as king of the genre. Right now, we’re in a time where MMOs are popping out left and right, but none have had much luck in knocking the kingpin from its throne. Vogster Entertainment’s latest creation, CrimeCraft, is a direct competitor, as the tongue-in-cheek title implies.
In an attempt to appeal to a mass audience, Vogster Entertainment has crafted a game that takes many elements from different successful titles and crams it all into one title. Does CrimeCraft successfully fuse all these elements together, or does it fall short as so many of its brethren have? Hit the jump to find out more.
Coined by the developers themselves, the game is a “Persistent World Next-gen Shooter” or PWNS for short. Is it a coincidence? Possibly. Is it an attempt at swift marketing bravado? More than likely.
Genre aside, the game is a third-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world where all that remains is Sunrise City: the last remaining civilization. Players assume the role of a self-created refugee living within the walls of the city. In an attempt to rule the streets, players have to complete quests, level, earn experience points, build gangs and craft talents in order to survive. Built on the Unreal Engine, CrimeCraft has the potential to be a standout title. And although all this sounds like a formula for a great game, it’s really just a glazed over version of other popular titles.
When reviewing this game, it’s difficult to pinpoint the true nature of it. On one hand, there are many fine points about it, but on the other, it never delves deep into one aspect of the game nor does it ever really find its own niche.
For example, while roaming the streets performing random menial tasks as a gangster, the game feels as though you’re playing Grand Theft Auto to an extent. Similarly, the game employs a perk system that almost feels like a direct copy of Fallout 3. Not to mention, there are many borrowed elements from World of Warcraft: e.g. auction houses, professions, instances, guilds, etc. And like I said before, although this sounds amazing, it fails to really explore one aspect and deliver a unique experience.
So, how is the gameplay? There isn’t anything unique about the combat system that stands out from other third person shooters, but it does have a tremendous amount of appeal to it. You can crouch behind bunkers, hide behind walls, shoot people in the face, stab opponents and a whole plethora of other goodies. My one plight of the game is that the standard jump is replaced by rolling. Although rolling is quite useful, I would like to jump as well. It’s pretty annoying not being able to move up to knee high ledges.
To add to the experience, there are literally hundreds of different weapons in the game to be found, so there is no shortage of play styles. Rather than depending on reaching the next level to obtain buffed out stats, the game is highly dependent upon skill. Not to mention, with each level, players are granted points to put toward different perks. These perks help your combat situation as well as allow players to use certain weapons. So if you enjoy sneaking around and sniper rifles, you can be one sneaky assassin.
Styles aside, there are several different game types that keep the gameplay fresh: turf war, snatch n’ grab, robbery, shootout, riot and safeguard. These are the typical PvP matches like deathmatch, capture the flag, everyman for himself, protect a point, etc. with a few others tossed in. Although the PvP is rather simple and traditional, it does provide some exciting moments.
Unfortunately, The PvE setup is not designed as well as the PvP game. Dungeon-crawlers are restricted to enemies who respawn on very short timers, and it’s a nuance having to restart all the way back at the beginning only to fight the same enemies over and over once you die. There isn’t any point to gathering a group and running through an instance because players are restricted to roughly a five minute time limit. Once you’re in, you’re just as quickly booted from the instance.
Also, there isn’t a free roam world outside of Sunrise city where players can go out and perform random quests. You’re restricted to three sections of the city and the instances; for an MMO, you’re pretty much limited to the world you’re born into.
Graphically, the game is appeasing to the eyes. The environments are detailed and resemble a life like city. Although a city under such distress set in a post-apocalyptic world, I would expect the environment to look a bit more… post-apocalyptic. There are running subways, shop owners, organized police, etc. Also, there is a ton of advertising within this game. In a world ran by looters and gangs I wouldn’t expect people to be wearing Echo and shopping at Best Buy.
Similarly, the animations could use a bit more work. In an environment that is developed relatively well, character movements feel a bit clunky. Bodies will get wedged into tight spaces, you’ll get stuck behind benches, and the character movements are rigid. All things considered, this is easily overlooked because the combat is entertaining.
Finally, the sound is on par with other games, but there isn’t anything that stands out about it. All guns have a unique sound to them, and the music is faint behind the action.
While I enjoyed playing CrimeCraft, I’d be weary about purchasing this title at a $49.99 price tag. The game is enjoyable and the first two months of gameplay are free, but for a MMO, you feel fairly restricted to Sunrise City. If the developers eventually open the outside world to players and develop a stronger PvE instance system, then I can see it having the potential of being a standout MMO title. For the time being, I’d patient to see what happens, especially when so many other MMO titles are being released.
Initially, the game is difficult to get into, because basically, every aspect of it is thrown at you from the start. It's overwhelming to figure out how to play when you know nothing about the game.
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Although the gameplay relies on the traditional third person shooter types, it does provide some exciting moments to be had. On the other hand, more content for PvE desparately needs to be developed.
The sound effects and musical score function as they should. There isn't anything outstanding about the music that will set it apart from other titles.
It's a MMO with a two month free subscription: so take that as you will. There are 50 levels to advance through and over 40 different traits to experiment with to craft your ideal street thug.
There are fun moments to be had, but it feels like a combination of different games forced together. There isn't anything terribly unique about it, and frankly, it really needs more game play content outside of the instances.