Crimsonland is a “top-down shooter with a hint of rpg” developed by indie studio 10tons. This is an indie title available through the Playstation Store for PS4; you can also purchase the game on Steam. This is another jump into the vast ocean of indie developed games, but they have potential to be a contender with some of the bigger fish. That’s not saying that Crimsonland is a mega success, but it’s an enjoyable game. Let’s paint the town red with what makes this game worth your valuable dollars.
If we look at the mechanics of the game, it’s simple. Simple is nice in this particular style of game. The player doesn’t get bogged down with an array of mapped controls. In the tradition of a top-down shooter, the player uses the right and left analog sticks to control movement and aiming. To fire a weapon, you simply use the R2 trigger. Simple. The game feature multiple difficulty levels each with multiples chapters; those chapters contain multiple stages that will test the players’ fortitude.
As you progress through stages, you will unlock new weapons as well as perks. Crimsonland has 30 different weapons you can unlock and they are all different. Automatic, semi-auto, burst fire, ion cannons, etc. During your time slaughtering the alien hordes, random modifiers will also drop. When the chaos gets really deep, the modifiers are well placed and needed. Modifiers incentivize the player and sometimes leave you subconsciously pleading with the game for their assistance. Perks can help you, hinder you, or hate you. For instance, to help you, there is a perk that will allow you to drop a weapon you may have picked up by mistake. Perk to hinder, increased wave difficulty. Perk to hate you, you gain 1000x more experience, but there are 1000x more enemies.
Aesthetically, Crimsonland looks good for what it is. With a top-down shooter, there really isn’t much that can be done to make it look amazing. The graphics are updated to the times and they render smoothly. The game is spectacularly gory, hence the title Crimsonland. The enemies can be clearly sorted out by color and animation design. There isn’t much in the way of confusion about what you’re killing. Depending on the weapon, creatures explode into grotesque puddles of blood and body parts. Environments are very simple, this could be taken as a downside. It would have been nice to have buildings, boulders, etc. that you and your enemies could dance around.
The low point of Crimsonland was the fact that there is zero story. None. I mean, Crimsonland pretty well writes itself for what it is. There is clearly an alien invasion of sorts and their merciless onslaught must be stopped by your bullets. While this is simple and easy enough, many players will crave a little more. Some text based prologue could have been really great with some witty puns and humor. Granted, if you and your friends play together perhaps you can come up with your own witty dialogue to fill in the gaps.
Overall, I would give the game an 8.5/10. The mechanics are simple and easy to figure out without compromising the integrity of entertainment. The graphics are good for the style of game this is and being indie developed. Again, some additional terrain effects would have been nice and I think would have added a little additional strategy, but it didn’t detract from the fun and chaos. I didn’t want to give the game a straight 0/10 for story since Crimsonland doesn’t appear to have a story as part of its focus. The lack of a story does leave a little more to be desired.