I was invited to the Xbox booth yesterday to have some play time with Crimson Alliance
. You may have seen the many screens and videos that we’ve posted about the game. I was given a quick tutorial about the characters, after which I chose to play as the mage, while the gentleman demo-ing chose the fighter. The mage is a ranged character while the fighter is the up-closeEach character could be altered with equipment they find in levels throughout the game. The equipment changes the look of your character, allowing you to customize it a bit.
We started out on a desert map. He immediately showed me a secret room that only his fighter could open. Inside was gold and a treasure chest, that likewise the fighter could only open. The chest contained, you guessed it, fighter-only equipment. I’ve been told there’s a hidden door for each of the four classes.
Once we were done with the basics of how to play in the first little area, we went into the next area, and were immediately swarmed by enemies. The combat took some getting used to, and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t gotten the hang of everything the mage. The combat was chaotic, to say the least, but I did figure out that certain abilities help other characters. The mage’s ice attack freezes enemies, that the fighter can the break apart with ease.
The environment is very stylized, but seems to be somewhat linear. While that’s on-par for a group co-op game such as this, it does have secret areas for players to search for. Further on in the level, I found my own secret door. As I was picking up the loads of gold, I realized that gold i shared between players.
I also checked a special challenge map. The map was a small, rectangular arena and had several waves of enemies we had to defeat. Very much like Gears of War’s Horde Mode or Halo’s Firefight. Once we were done with the seven or so waves of various enemies, each character was given its own treasure chest of loot and a whole lot of gold.
While I like the art style, I wasn’t quite impressed graphically. The game seemed to have a lot of jagged edges. Granted, it wasn’t filling out the screen entirely and may have been forced to display in a graphics mode that the monitor didn’t support. I don’t know the specifics of why, but I’m hoping this isn’t the case with the final version of the game.My time with Crimson Alliance was short, and I didn’t get to check out the shops or any of the other classes, but it was a fun little game that I’m definitely going to check out when it releases.
You may know Certain Affinity from their work on Halo and Call of Duty map packs and the Xbox Live Arcade game, Age of Booty. Crimson Alliance will be released September 7th on Xbox Live Arcade and will retail for 1,200 Microsoft Points ($15). If you purchased all five Summer of Arcade games, you’ll get it for free! Expect a review in the future!