Crimsonland is an isometric, top down, twin stick shooter with one objective – wipe out the endless hoards of enemies. Crimsonland isn’t a new game as it was originally released back in 2003 as 10Tons first ever game. Crimsonland is aptly named because you find yourself painting the environment with the blood of your enemies.
With most twin stick style shooters there’s rarely much of a story as the games tend to focus on the gameplay mechanics, again that’s the same here as there’s no real story. You take on seven blood filled chapters throughout the campaign, where each has ten stages. The game feels a bit repetitive at the start but as you progress you slowly acquire new weapons and upgrades, making you feel more powerful. The perks you gain are used in survival mode. As far as controls go, it can’t get much simpler. The right thumbstick moves your character around, the left thumbstick is used for aiming, and the left and right triggers are used to fire your weapon.
I got great satisfaction from finding new upgrades and weapons, which are dropped by enemies throughout stages and then using them to blast through waves of monsters. The perks include things like flaming bullets, bombs and nukes. I really enjoyed experimenting with these and seeing what effect they had on the monsters. The game quickly ramps up in terms of pace and amounts of enemies, which was a nice challenge.
Waves of enemies become larger and soon enough you are confronted by a sea of monsters. This is where weapon choice, movement and upgrades play an integral part. Choosing the right power up can instantly change the situation. The enemies are varied but feel a bit unoriginal. Another aspect to take into account are the enemy nests that spawn monsters.
As you progress through the Quest levels, each completed chapter unlocks one of the seven Survival modes. Survival mode is made up of five different game types all based on the same variant. The main Survival mode is basically an endless level where you have to last as long as possible. To help you out, you gain Perks at regular intervals. You can apply new perks after beating each wave. Deciding which perk to use is critical when it comes to taking on each stage. I enjoyed this planning side of the game. These perks can include an XP boost, more power-up drops or maybe even death with an included score boost.
This game’s simplicity can be found with its presentation as well. Crimsonland is not a pretty game but it doesn’t need to be. The environments are simple and enemy design is a bit bland. I was a bit disappointed with the sound. It would have been nice to have a soundtrack that ramped up as the waves of enemies increased; this would have helped add that extra bit of tension.
There are leaderboards, which let you compete against your friends and the world for the highest score. For all you achievement hunters there are a total of 21. You can also play Crimsonland locally with friends so up to four of you can be on the same screen fighting through levels together. 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 multiplayer fun.
The Xbox One edition of Crimsonland features ten extra levels, a dangerous new enemy type and a new, exciting survival game mode. I would recommend this game if you liked Dead Nation as its easy to pick up and play in short or long gameplay sessions. The gameplay is hugely addictive but a bit repetitive. It’s a great game to play with friends locally just don’t expect anything revolutionary.
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