Crimsonland is the latest creation from 10ton games. This top down shooter is a alien killing frenzy!
You would be forgiven for thinking Crimsonland was attempting to be a Dead Nation replica. At first glance it feels very familiar. You control a character who is tasked with wiping out waves of aliens, lizards and more. The controls are very simple to pick up and using the dual analogs on either the PS4 or PSVita this represents a pure fun and addictive shooter with a gentle learning curve. Shooting is identical to Dead Nation pressing R1 to fire on the PSVita either single press for one shot or hold down to go full automatic.
“Genius feature which many games don’t manage to pull of ensuring there is value between each part of the game.”
There are several game modes to choose from however not all are available from the start and can only be unlocked whilst playing through Quest mode. As I got to chapter 4 I had managed to unlock the following modes -Survival, Rush, Blitz, Weapon Picker with only one more left to find called Nukerfism (charming names). Quest is pure and simply wave based, there is no clear cut story of any form, between missions there is no dialogue or cut scenes to wade through and though this does raise the question of what is the point in all this? Its quick high tempo gameplay wont have you thinking too much about that once the initial levels are past.
The levels do cater for the beginner to the hardcore with modes such as Grim to keep you coming back for a harder challenge. What Crimsonland does do well with each level you play is make each one unique. If you were to die during a level you get to replay against the same enemies however the power ups and loot you can collect may be entirely different this makes for a varied and engaging approach to gameplay. There are 5 chapters within the game for you to play through and within each chapter is around 10 levels to complete. Completing a level is as awarding as unlocking that trophy for completing the chapter as each completed level unlocks either a new weapon or perk. You could almost call it a top down shooter with a touch of RPG. Overall start to completion of Quest mode would take you no longer than around 5 hours to complete but the additional game modes will keep you coming back for more. After all there are around 30 weapons to grab and nearly 50 perks to grab.
Crimsonland’s strength is undoubtedly its addictive and fun nature. You may start with a shotgun but finish with a Rocket Launcher keep killing to keep revealing more fun toys. So as waves of enemies come towards you run over power boosts or unlocks which grant unique abilities from the flamethrower to flame burst, Nukes, turn everyone to stone or release a shock bolt! I would have liked to have a bit more control over the perks however. Their value isn’t really shown with the way they are utilised. With each perk unlock it doesn’t allow you to de select or select one for use. The ability to do this would certainly deliver a bigger challenge.
Within the numerous game modes found within the Survival menu you will find leaderboards and high scores which will keep you competing with your mates for ages! This was a well loved feature in Dead nation and its great to see 10Ton introduce one similar here. Whats great about survival mode is that this is where perk unlocks become useful with each level completed you then get to select the next unlock allowing for various ways to approach the levels. Genius feature which many games don’t manage to pull of ensuring there is value between each part of the game. Other modes available in Survival are Rush and Weapon picker. Weapon picker sets you with a starting gun and limited ammo meaning you need to shoot your way to the next randomly generated weapon its a fun but tough game mode.
Sound certainly isn’t Crimson lands strong point and despite some unique weapon sounds and enemy sound effects the game music is repetitive and poor. With no story to build tempo or atmosphere its not a surprise this is missing. You will find yourself turning the volume down or of entirely after several chapters or do what I did turn the music volume to 0. If your lucky enough to be a music unlimited subscriber on Playstation you will have something more fitting I’m sure, stick the hotline Miami soundtrack on instead!
Ofcourse Crimsonland is available on the PS4 or Steam, my preference is that this game demands a control to be played with and the best of the three for this little gem is the PSVita its dual sticks offer quick control and the screen size is perfect. The PS4 version at the time of writing this review was unavailable however it is worth noting there does not appear to be cross sync enabled for saves between devices but Cross Buy is available. Crimsonland is priced at £7.99 and is out now on PS4, PS3 & PSVita and I highly recommend you grab this commute time killer!