When I see a game called Crimsonland with a dude on the cover shooting a bunch of monsters, I expect a certain type of experience. This title isn’t trying to fool anyone. This is an extremely gory and messy shooting game, which is surprisingly deep given how simple it actually is.
Crimsonland isn’t trying to be anything more than it is — a shooter. You control a person who has to kill waves of monsters. The top down perspective is good for letting you see every single thing that’s trying to kill you. You start off with a simple gun but as you kill monsters, they’ll drop stronger weapons which will keep you living longer. Various power ups also help to give you an edge against the seemingly overwhelming odds.
As you progress through the game’s main campaign, various weapons and powerups will unlock. The power ups include a nuclear bomb that kills everything near you, shields, freeze blasts that turn enemies into ice, an encircling firewall and other power ups that make whatever weapon you’re using shoot faster or shoot fire blasts.
All of the different weapons and abilities help to break up the monotonous gameplay. I don’t mean to say that in a negative way but the gameplay is pretty one note. Despite that however, I never felt bored while playing because the various items kept changing things up. The risk/reward factor was also a strong component in keeping this title from becoming stagnant. Do I risk my life to get the nuke or do I retreat and (hopefully) stay alive longer? This sort of strategy kept me playing longer than I normally would in a title like this.
A lot of the various perks, which are unlocked during the main campaign, can only be used in the game’s survival mode. After defeating a wave of foes you get to choose a perk. These include things like no reloads and faster movement but some ask you for sacrifices like getting 90% of your health taken away for a chance to increase your weapon’s power. This mode was even more addictive than the campaign to be honest, mainly due to the random nature of what perks you would be given.
Survival also has four other modes called Rush, Weapon Picker, Nukefism and Blitz. They’re alright but nothing to write home about. The main survival mode is where it’s at and it’s a lot of fun.
This game’s simplicity can be found with its presentation as well. Upon starting the game, my first thought was “Man, this looks like an PC game from the early 2000s.” I was right. This game originally came out for the PC in 2003 and it looks it. The environments are very simple and not really impressive. This doesn’t hurt the game in any way as the focus is on gameplay and the graphics definitely don’t get in the way of that. I’d say something about the music but that was pretty forgettable.
I should note that this game features co-op for up to four players. The problem here is that it is local co-op only and features no online play of any sort, which is a big let down considering that this game is perfect for multiple people to play at once. The game can get downright brutal at points and having some backup would have been nice. It does feature leaderboards that lets you see some of the high scores others have gotten but that’s not a good enough substitute for actual online co-op.
Crimsonland isn’t a game that’s out to change the world — it’s a simple shooter that gets the job done and does it well. With the exception of there being no online co-op, I don’t have any major complaints about this game. If you’re into super violent twin stick shooters then this is a game you should try out.