MMO Gaming Focus: CrimecraftGreetings everyone, my name is Damion Rayne. I'm new to the TG community but have fallen in love with it. So I decided to start out running and do some reviews and articles on an area of the gaming world that I enjoy the most, MMO Gaming. So this article is the first in the line of what I hope becomes a series of articles later down the road.
This first article is a focus on a Free To Play game called "Crimecraft" which is a team based 3rd person shooter. So, lets get started and jump right in shall we?
What is Crimecraft?
Simply put by its' development team, "Crimecraft is a P.W.N.S" or otherwise known as a persistent world next-generation shooter. What does this mean to us? Well simply put this means that Crimecraft is a 3rd person action shooter with added bells and whistles that one would expect from a massive multi-player online game. Including skills, leveling, crafting and many other aspects which we will be going over later on in this article.
Unfortunately character creation is one of Crimecraft's biggest short comings. While the process does give you some choice; such as starting clothes, hair, skin color, male or female. It doesn't give you the depth you'd expect in a game that heralds itself as a persistent world. Most "persistent" world designs involve pretty in-depth "Expression" systems that allow the player to express themselves to the online community via avatar creation. Unfortunately it was not long before I stumbled across a few other people that looked like my clones.
Being the um....gentleman that I am, I went straight for creating a female character with red hair (I like red heads, shoot me) and sat out to doing what customization there was to make her mine. Satisfied with what I finally came up with, I choose to move onward into the introduction area.
This area is most definitely one of the games strong suits. You get your standard opening cut-scene explaining the world and storyline, which in short is the following,
"The powers of the world did nothing to prepare for the depletion of fossil fuels, and when oil and petroleum did run out, the world came crashing down. Air traffic, shipping, freight, the ability to maintain armies. All of it stopped and society collapsed."
Now most of that is paraphrased in my own wording for shortness sake, but you hopefully get the general idea. Things are bad and the world is in some seriously bad shape. Even worse shape then it is in real life fancy that.
Onward and upward we go after the cut scene and basic intro as we are thrust into combat with in the first few moments of actual game-play. The game walks you through basic commands. How to shoot, how to dodge, how to crouch, how to sprint and the like. Which by the way are all capable of being remapped. Though I didn't see the need as the control schemes basic mapping was fantastic and the controls were smooth and responsive.
The entire tutorial experience takes you through 10 of the games 50 total levels. teaching you how to interact with all manner of NPCs, and about many other areas of the game. All in all it was an enjoyable experience that also gave you missions to partake in PvP unlike most games where PvP isn't covered in their tutorial sections. I found that welcomed and was happy to get money and XP rewards for doing so.
Combat the Crimecraft way
So as we discussed in the last section, combat is relatively easy and set up in a pretty common way that most PC shooter enthusiasts will love. The basic controls are simple. Pressing shift will have the player sprint, which uses up a stamina bar so you can't sprint around all day. The left control button causes you to crouch, and stay crouched, unless you hit it again. The space bar causes your character to do a John Woo style ground roll (no jumping in this game so no bunny hopping) and your typical mouse controls are identical to most shooters. Left mouse fires, right mouse zooms in. Oh and I almost forgot, pressing R reloads your ammo.
PvE or Player Versus Environment
Believe it or not, Crimecraft has a lot of PvE missions of varying difficulties and styles, and Episodic content. This means that each week the developers bring out new storyline missions and new content for everyone to enjoy and have fun with. PvE can be played with teams and groups as the game's mission and play spaces are all instanced. You can start up a mission with some friends and create your own instance to do the mission with.
PvP/TvT Player/Team vs Player/Team
Crimecrafts player and team versus runs just the same way. You can "quick" join battles at any time, and queue up for those already in progress or even start your own. The games many PvP/TvT games modes along with it's style of combat support tactics and good teamwork. Some of the modes follow,
Turf Wars: Your typical team vs team battle for capture points. First team to capture 5 points wins. Or first team with the most points when the match timer runs out.
Snatch N' Grab: Your team vs team Capture the Flag mode.
Robbery: One of my personal faves here. You have two teams that start with one safe each, located on their ends of the map. The goal in robbery is to steal the other teams cash and get it back to your safe. Each team has 100k in cash and you have to steal the money in 1k blocks. The first team to have 200k or the most cash in their safe at the end of the match wins.
Shootout: Your team deathmatch mode. Highest score wins
Riot: Your death match mode, player with highest kills wins.
Safeguard: A PvE game mode in which a team protects cargo from waves of NPCs that aren't stupid.
Stockpile: Another PvE mode in which a team of players have to search the map to find hidden stockpiles while fighting off waves of NPCs.
Capture the Zone: Large combat mode that has two teams of 16 fighting for control of 3 large capture points. Team with the most points when timer runs out wins.
Gangwar: This is a Gang vs Gang mode that allows leaders of rival gangs to challenge each other to a pre arranged fight. The map and game mode is agreed upon in advance. Also each team wagers actually in-game cash, who ever wins gets the pot.
So all in all this game has more modes then you can shake a stick at, but we aren't done yet! The game not only has full built in VOIP support but also has a built in bracketed tournament system.
Each day a game mode is selected by the server, and single players and teams compete in the daily bracketed ladders. These ladders are separated by "Divisions" and there are prizes for even showing up in the first place. Not to mention larger prizes for winning the whole thing. The game also as a division-ed weekly tournament system that changes game modes on a weekly basis and rewards players with large amounts of cash for winning.
Socialcraft and Charactercraft
After reading all of thee above I'm sure you guys are sitting there asking, "Damion what about skills, leveling, equipment and the like?" Well we are getting to that area of the review now. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
First off crime craft has around 50 levels worth of character progression, along with plenty of skills to pick from as you advance down those levels. From allowing the character to equip new weapon types and use them. To skills such as radar's, stealth, explosives and everything in between. As you gain a level you gain skill points which you can then spend or accumulate towards more expensive skills. I found myself getting the sniper skill right off the bat, as steam had given me a nifty present for buying the game in the first place. The game does let you equip skills and "boosters" as you earn them. You'll end up with 3 skill slots and 2 boost slots to play around with as you level.
The games equipment system continues the trend by supporting every area of the game with a dedicated crafting system. Need new guns and don't want to grind for them? Hunt down a gunsmith who can make what you need, including WMK or Weapon Modification Kits that alter your weapons paint job. Need new dudes? Hunt down a tailor to make you that shiny new SWAT styled vest. Plus even more, such as engineering and chemistry. Engineers create weapon attachments and ammo upgrades, and chemists..well the make the nifty stuff such as boosters and damage resistance items and even healing items.
"I need Guns, lots of Guns"
Ever wanted a shooter that not only lets you customize the paint scheme of your weapon, but lets you add upgrades to it in a slot style system? Me too and I found it in Crimecraft. Most guns come with "slots"... one slot is always for a WMK that allows you to change the paint scheme and the other two or more slots (depending on the weapon and its rarity and quality) are for everything you could imagine. Trigger upgrades, sites, stocks, silencers you name it. Not only that but each gun when equipped has an ammo slot under it's icon on the character sheet that allows you to change out the weapons ammo. Keep in mind though, ammo upgrades do run out with use.
So far the game gives you 3 slots to equip weapons to, your pistol and smg slot. Your assault rifle and shotgun slot, and your unique and heavy weapons slot. The unique and heavy weapons slots are for your grenade launchers, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and the like.
Last but not least
Last but not least are the typical MMO style social functions in the game. The auction house, a mailing system and a personal and "gang" bank. Gang's themselves are the backbone of the crimecraft experience and are capable of earning experience and leveling, and also earning achievements. As gangs level they can buy gang hideouts in the 3 major city areas and even focus a certain hideout towards a specific goal. As the gang grows so to do the gang hideouts and eventually you'll have every single style of NPC in your hideouts for ease of access.
All in all Crimecraft is a good game, despite being built on the F2P model. Some of the games weaknesses are definitely the lack of character customization options and depth. Lack of clothing styles depth and customization save color changing. Along with the fact the company makes you pay for every little thing in the item mall.
As for strengths, well the controls are perfect. Smooth and responsive and lag free. The UI is clean, although pressing tab brings up the main UI with the character screen, skill screen, etc and this can be a bit hard to understand, it's still well built. The combat is fast paced but tactical and encourages team oriented play. The episodic content and amount of game modes along with weapon styles and balanced skill-sets really bring new layers to a game of this type.
My final score: 8/10