CrimeCraft PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 6.5
Value 7.0
Developer: Vogster Entertainment
Classification:
M15+ (US)
Review Date:
August 2011
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim

7.1


CrimeCraft

Since I myself have written a few game books and comics based on future worlds where things have gone very wrong, CrimeCraft kind of drew me towards it. I tend to like that kind of premise, couple that with some of the most creative artists around like Tim Bradstreet and that is enough of a sell for me to check it out at least.

The most intriguing thing about the game is just how active and interactive with the gaming community Vogster is. Input from the community has helped shape the game into what it is, and I am sure in its future evolution. The Designers listen, take note and are active on the community boards.

The game was originally released via exclusive deals with Best Buy and THQ in the United States and Canada and the rest of the world soon after in August of 2009. Since its inception the game has gotten regular updates adding more content and tweaking things here and there. CrimeCraft : BleedOut is the newer campaign that brings more to the table for this game.

CrimeCraft uses the Unreal 3 engine and is based in a world where things have taken a great dip towards the worse. Survivors of the world have to make due any way they can. That includes getting as mean and nasty as the world around them. Where the first rule is the best negotiator for any situation is the one who get the first accurate shots off.

CrimeCraft places players right in the middle of this urban chaos. You can go it alone, though the chance for survival is joining up or creating your own gang. The basic rule of the street is use force to take what you want and uses double the force to keep what is yours.

CrimeCraft is completely instanced; now I know what some gamers may say right off the bat. What? Instance? Some may not like games with instances though when used well they are wonderful. An Instance is a section of the game that spawns for a player or a group of players allowing multiple groups to go through at the same time. Though in their own instance, or zone. I kind of think of it like a multiverse or another dimension existing next to each other.

This can be a good thing for game developers because it can deal with too many players in one area. Or it can almost make a multi-player game have content and experiences like a single player game. One may argue that if that is the case then there could be an issue with balance and design to a game. But, I digress here; CrimeCraft seems to have found a balance of sorts here.

The actual game play where there is any kind of story involved is a thin outer shell at best. Interactions are very limited with the Non Player Characters that you do run into. They are just designed to more or less tell you go here, kill these dudes and come back. It feels like the standard run and gun player vs. player or team combat hold this section and win. Get shot and re-spawn to fight again.

Starting out you end up in a player vs. Player combat, then if you survive that there is a sort of practice or kiddie wading pool mission to get you used to shooting at stuff. Cleaning up areas involves killing everyone that's there. These missions are full of bots and are far easier to handle than player vs. other players.

The bots seem to move in some predictable ways, and are more dangerous in numbers, while playing against other players is a blast because you never know what they may do. I was having just as much fun getting killed as I was taking other players out. Spawning back after death does not take too long at all and places players back in the action in no time flat.

The story arcs are not overly deep, but they do get the job done and give a superficial peek at motives and drives of individuals in this gaming world. Most of the events will of course culminate in a rip roaring run and gun fire fight. Revolving around gang warfare and mixing the elements of an RPG into this MMO make for a good mix. The designers place the pieces and build the world and the players bring it to life.

Players can form gangs, take on missions, purchase upgrades and weapons. When it comes down to it, the game has seven game modes. Revolving around Player vs. Player and Player vs. Environment, the PVE is the one I mentioned earlier involving players square off against computer controlled bots. There are quests, in game achievements, and of course crafting and also gang hide outs.

When not in these combat instances players spend time in city areas which act as lobbies. There can be several hundred players in these lobbies at one time. From here there are plenty of things for the player to do. Speaking with NPCs in these areas they can take on missions, go into Battle Entrances, Chat with other players, barter and trade items or join gangs (Guilds or Clans).

The game modes run the standard of most online games, with of course a few twists that make it very much identifiable with the CrimeCraft gaming world. Turf War, consisting of two teams? battle for control of locations spread out over the map. First team to control all locations, or has the most of these locations under control when the clock runs out, wins.

Snatch N' Grab, is just what the name implies, it's a Capture the Flag game mode between 2 teams. Robbery, has both teams start out with a safe at their end of the map containing cash. Opposing players try to steal cash from the safe in increments and bring it back to their own safe. The team that has the most money by end of clock wins.  Shootout, this is a basic team deathmatch style game. The team with the most kills when the timer runs out is the winner.

Riot, this one is everyone for them-selves Deathmatch. Whoever has the most kills when the clock runs out wins. Safeguard consists of players against the environment and protect certain points or cargo from waves of Bots.  Stockpile , is a PVE game mode having players search through a map that is populated by enemy bots. Players search for and collect hidden supply containers throughout the map.

Capture the Zone consists of two teams of up to 16 players each. Players battle to hold and control three areas spread out over a map. Teams game points for the length of time they have captured a location. At the end of the clock the team with the most points wins.

Gang war, this is one of the interesting ones since it involves virtual wagers. Leaders of gangs challenge other gangs to fight in an area. Each team wagers a certain amount of cash on the outcome. The winning gang gets the loot.

Tournaments, this game mode can get interesting. Four player teams play in a bracketed tournament with a one loss elimination. Players progress through the brackets by winning matches. The last team standing wins. There are in game rewards and a hefty in game cash prize at the end of it all.

Now our Australian readers won't be able to play CrimeCraft due to the game getting banned in Australia because the Australian Classification Board refused classification of the game thanks to the availability of Boosts, drugs that give the player character various buffs. What was the reason given back then?

"In the board's opinion, there is insufficient delineation between the 'fictional drugs' available in game and real-world prescribed drugs." The board elaborated a bit on their decision, pointing out strong similarities to real-world drugs: "In addition, the names of boosts mimic the chemicals and colloquial names of proscribed drugs. Examples include K-Dust, Birth, Chimera, Majoun, Betadyne ResistX and Zymek Stim-Ex, as well as the anabolics Raze and Frenzy."

Now jump ahead years later, Originally video games in Australia could not be rated R18+, only up to MA15+. At the time, the R18+ classification rating could be given to film but a video game whose content would be deemed fitting for the R18+ rating would be 'Refused Classification' due to it not being available for games .

In July and August of 2011 this was changed with all Attorney-Generals agreeing upon the R18+ rating for video games and would be available by the end of 2011. This means many of the previous games refused classification would fit in to the R18+ and if the publisher chooses to pay the reclassification fee, can get the game re-rated and be able to sell the game within Australia. At this time we had not been able to reach any one at Vogster to see if they were going tore submit to see if they can get the game classified in Australia or not.

While CrimeCraft does not break the mold in the world of multiplayer gaming, it has some respectable ideas and actual fun to be had in the game.

To check it out go to http://www.crimecraft.com/newuser and see if its playable in your neck of the woods. It's a gritty looking world worth a visit for the distraction and the player battles alone. The shooting battles are for the most part are repetitive but what do you expect really? Add to in some of the customization and crafting abilities and you have a fairly respectable game experience, even if the crafting system takes a lot of getting used to. As an MMO I found there little to no socialization in the game. Though that's more the players and not the game itself, as online games goes CrimeCraft: Bleed Out is a nice distraction.

Edwin Millheim
United States Editor Impulse Gamer

 






 
 



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