GENRE: Top Down Shooter
RATING: 8.9 out of 10.NOTE: Review copy was provided by the devs.
Arriving to the Playstation 4 this week was a newly remastered version of 10Tons' PC classic top down shooter "Crimsonland". I never played this when it was out before, but I've always dug top down shooters, such as Alien Shooter and others of that type.
Since I started gaming on consoles regularly with my purchase of a PS3 back in '08, one of my favorite types of games were twin stick shooters. As luck would have it, not only is Crimsonland a Top Down shooter, but it's also a twin stick shooter...of sorts. Most twin sticks that I've played, you move the character with one stick and you aim/shoot with the other. This one is slightly different, as you steer with the left stick and you aim with the right, while firing with either R2 or L2.
I find it easier to control when the sticks are the moving and shooting, but I was glad to see this wasn't hard to get used to. One of the things I dislike about a lot of first person shooter games, is that you have pretty much every button (including D-Pad) slotted for one or more actions. For someone like myself, that is a bit confusing and I have a hard time remembering what is what.
This is a fairly straightforward affair, however, which is good for those who simply want to kill alien creatures and not worry about keeping track of what button does what. You move, you aim and you shoot. That's it, that's all.
Crimsonland, much like their previous offerings (Oddball King, Sparkle 2) comes with multiple modes and weapon unlockables. This one, perhaps even more so. In addition to the main Quest mode, of which there are 6 stages with 10 levels apiece, for a grand total of ...yes, 60 levels), there are five different Survival Modes ranging in difficulty from typical Survival mode, to modes that make you wonder how you could be so arrogant as to think you could last very long.
Below is my best time, so far, at just a shade under 4 minutes. I'm sure if I keep at it I'll beat it, but it becomes a frenzy once you hit level 6, and they just all start swarming you, and I'm almost positive they become sentient at that point and are able to read your thoughts and know what move you are going to make before you do.
Or maybe I just need to work harder at getting better. Could be either one.
In addition there are what are labeled as "perks" which provide potential lifelines to extend your gameplay, such as upgraded weapons, shields and bonuses that skyrocket your experience gained.
I was very impressed with not only how good the game looks, but also just how much replay value there is with all the different modes and perks and unlockables.
Once you have beaten the main quests, you've unlocked everything there is to unlock (with the exception of one difficulty mode for the Quests part of the game). When you beat the game on Normal, the only difficulty that is available from the outset, it unlocks "Hardcore Mode". Beat it on Hardcore, and God help you, it unlocks something called "Grim Mode", which I don't even want to think about. While I didn't have a whole lot of problems getting through the main quest, there were certain levels on there that were borderline sadistic in nature, and will surely cause people problems on the harder difficulty levels.
As you progress through the main Quests "Storyline", it will along the way unlock various Survival Modes, the last of which called "Blitz" unlocks upon completion of the main Quests.
I put "storyline" in quotes because there's really no story there. You're a man with no name, kicking ass and just destroying everything in his path. That's it, that's all. There's no attempt to trick you into thinking this is deeper than what it is: utter destruction, mayhem and carnage with LOTS of blood splattering the ground beneath you as you lay waste to these alien bastards.
And you know what? I'm good with that. I don't need to know why I have to kill these things, I just know I want to. And who could argue with that?
This is a very fun game, one that will challenge your reflexes quite a bit, as well as your resolve. There are a few enemies, particularly the red and white spiders (my prayers are with you when you find them) that will really wreck havoc on your desire to not break your controller, however they are beatable, so it's not a cheap enemy like, say, the end boss on Conan.
No I haven't forgotten or forgiven that end boss for ruining what was up to them a damn fun game.
But I digress.
I recommend you check this game out, and don't forget to follow the Developers on Twitter and check out their official website to learn about their other games as well!