Crimson Alliance is a top down action RPG that can be played alone or with 3 friends cooperatively either online or offline.
Before you see the menu or select a character, the game plays you a short video telling a story of what has made the land evil and who is behind it.After this you can select one of three characters, Direwolf the Wizard, Moonshade the Assassin and Gnox the Mercenary.
All these characters have their own special skill area but they don’t properly come into play until you go online.Whilst selecting a character you can choose to watch a video about their past, where they are from and why they are here.This is a nice touch and not something you see often in games. Once you have chosen your character you are able to change your outfit/armour colour and change your name to make you unique.
The game has 13 levels to explore.At the end of each one you are scored based on enemy kills and multipliers, gold found and time taken to complete.You are then taken to a map screen where you will either access a new level, play a challenge map (where you can earn lots of money and some good equipment) or go to a caravan and by new equipment. Although you collect a lot of money in each level I never seemed to have much and this is without buying anything.I don’t know where it goes or if you only get a certain percentage but still this was strange.
Being an RPG you might expect the game to be a bit heavy and fiddly to work with but this is not the case.Stats are easy to access and get to grips with because they are mainly based off of equipment being used.When I purchased upgraded armour, I never really noticed too much of a visual difference but could tell that it was better than the previous I was wearing.
Walking around hacking and slashing a vary of enemies is great, useable items such as turrets and throwing fire axes are fun and a great help but for me I wanted more.I love looting in these types of games and Crimson Alliance did not give me enough of that. This was a slight let down but easily forgiven once I got engrossed into the next level.
Levels look great, colourful and full of life. I personally think it looks better than Torchlight and the majority of other top down games I have played.I felt like this place was alive and exciting to venture into, whereas Torchlight got boring quick and felt the same no matter where I was.Check points are far enough apart to give you a challenge but not so far that you start to want one.
Enemies react well and hit hard. They know what they are doing and don’t give up until death. On a few occasions they got the better of me but this did not lead to anger or controller throwing, this was my fault for not using block often enough but when the heat of the battle is on all I see is “Kill, Kill, Kill”.
The game is great but lacks story, you never really know what was going on or why you are there because the videos are short and few and the narration is non existent.Crimson Alliance wants to be loved but I think people will treat it like Marmite “Love or Hate”.I loved it whilst I was splaying but now its finished, I have no intention of going back, even with friends.
I think that unless you are a leaderboard whore or someone who likes going back and playing games again and again even though it’s unnecessary you will probably be better off waiting for the price to drop to 800msp.