Amazon fails the goal of changing the cards on the competitive shooter market: here is our Crucible review
From the first title of Amazon Games much was expected. The funds to do something truly memorable were there, the ability to enlist full of developers as well and access to technology and servers also didn’t seem to be a problem. Yet, in its first appearance on the market, Amazon fails the hit by presenting itself with a product with a strong flavor already seen and lacking in all the mechanics that players now take for granted in competitive hero shooters. There Crucible review he speaks therefore of a title that arrives on Steam in a rather hurried and decomposed way, burning the stages and forgetting to probe the ground for a few months through open beta, so as to collect relevant feedback. A new game as service to try freely given its gratuity, but will it also be worth your time? Let’s find out together.
Welcome back to Crucible
The element that left us most surprised at the start of Crucible is that feeling of constant déjà-vu. The heroes seem already seen in a thousand other games, the menus have nothing scenic or particularly beautiful from a graphic point of view and even the game mode and the structure of the Season pass follows perfectly what we saw on Fortnite and members. The main problem of our very cold approach to production therefore comes right from here: from not being able to find among the ten heroes available no face that could make us fall in love with this new universe, taken as it is from never wanting to dare even though to stay in safe territories. So there is the soldier with an assault rifle, the energetic with a minigun, the raccoon with invisibility and poisonous shots and a handful of other heroes easily attributable to other sui generis characters. Inventing something new, nowadays, is certainly not easy but it is also true that if you want to be able to immediately hook your target you need an extra effort in this respect.
Nor can we justify this situation with the desire to try something innovative given that dozens of other games have followed the same path in recent years, all, among other things, failing more or less miserably. Paragon, for example, crashed for the same reason and if we think that not even an excellent and original design like the one seen on Gigantic managed to save the production from oblivion we do not see a way out for Crucible, except for total upheavals in the next months. In this case, we are not talking only of personal tastes but of a simple analysis of how the market has responded to similar securities in the most recent past. But what exactly is Crucible and why could it interest you then? It is still a hero shooter free to play, available only on Steam for the moment and voted for competitive with PvE grafts, in an attempt to make the games more varied. The game is presented today with two main modes and a secondary mode in the arcade section, among other things probably the best one.
The core in the game, four players face off on a fairly large map in an attempt to conquer the hearts of the hives, objects obtainable only after destroying special alien nests from the random spawn in the game area whose arrival is timed to give players time to perform other activities in the meantime. Once in the arena, players will have to coordinate by gathering experience from monster kills, from the conquest of the extractors but also and above all from the killing of opponents. Unlike any other MOBA, however, there is no shop to buy items and upgrades and the different builds are also limited to two or three extra passive skills to choose from.
All this would therefore seem perfect for a superfine balance but this is not the case and often there are indispensable characters in the team and others absolutely useless, both as utility and as damage output. Another huge problem that the developers will have will be to be able to find a balance between the characters, with a mode aimed at teams of four and a battle royale on the other side that provides clashes only between groups of two players. The single skill is then limited by the common pool of experience points which, just like in Heroes of the Storm, will level up all the players of a team in unison.
The basics are missing
The thing that left us stunned is to see how in a game like this the essential foundations for communication between the members of the same team are completely missing. There is no integrated voice chat and there is not even one chat textual to communicate with your companions on the strategies to be adopted. Last but not least the lack of one mini map the screen will continually force you to always open the game map, thus limiting your view of the battlefield, a very uncomfortable solution for a game of this type. There is a system of ping and indicators, but this too is cumbersome and imprecise, for an absolutely insufficient overall result.
Even the matchmaking which now completely matches the players at random, with inequality of dozens of experience levels and without real punishment for those who leave the keyboard during the games. Unfortunately, with the feedback of weapons, things are no better. The amount of damage to the target is never clearly revealed, with the exception of critics, and there is the exact same problem of depth with melee hits already observed on Battleborn.
On the other hand, there is good polygonal modeling of characters, aliens to be defeated and the setting, which are however marginal compared to a level design uninspired. All for a single map at our disposal, with random events inside that do nothing but make a basic strategy superfluous, instead accentuating the need for adaptation, impossible to carry out precisely because of the lack of suitable tools for communication. Fortunately, the game is completely free on Steam and during this pre season the Battle Pass is offered to you, with the possibility therefore to redeem skin prizes and tokens so as to play for free substantially indefinitely, spending only on aesthetic elements such as skins, audio or capsules landing. A very meager consolation.
- Good polygonal modeling
- Monetization not at all invasive
- Some critical shortcomings for such a game
- Poorly managed matchmaking
- Anonymous characters
- A single game map with extremely different modes