Published on April 26th, 2017 | by Ahmad Gameel0
Crash Force is an online multiplayer Arena Shooter where you control a hovercraft equipped with weapons and unique abilities to destroy other players. It’s developed and published by Ascanio Entertainment studio and it’s their debut in the gaming scene.
The easiest way I can describe the game is to imagine a game like Rocket league but instead of cars, you have hovercraft that can shoot weapons and spawn deadly abilities on the fly. Unfortunately, it’s not as fun or polished as Rocket league is. But before I talk about the game itself, I want to talk about how poor the launch of the game was. I have had the game sitting in my steam library for over 3 months now which prevented this early access review that should have been made sooner and the reason why that happened is because the developers made this game playable only with other people. That would have been fine if the game was popular or had at big online community but it didn’t have either so the first month I had this game, I was stuck with only the tutorial level which actually sold me on the concept of the game, I thought to myself ‘oh this is going to be cool to play with other players online’ and here we are 3 months later and I have yet to play a single match online with another human being. Granted, they added bots to the game now but I feel like this should have been in the game from the first place. Maybe the developers didn’t expect they would need bots and thought their game would have a good amount of people playing the game on day one but sadly for them, that didn’t happen which is so damn frustrating really because I believe this game have the potential to be the next Rocket league with some tweaks here and there.
Before I get into the most important aspect of this game which is, of course, the gameplay, I would like to talk about visuals and sound design. Visually, the game is a mixed bag, some maps look impressive and colorful but other maps just look dull and generic. The hovercraft could use more detail and weapon projectiles could use a bit more visuals and color but those are minor nitpicks but I would love for them to be improved in the future.
The sound design is also a mixed bag, the soundtrack is ok, the hovercraft and weapons sound effects, in my opinion, need an overhaul. When I shoot a laser weapon, I expect a sound of a laser weapon, not a Pea shooter. The weapons sound effect is so weak and takes me out of the experience because it’s not epic or powerful and makes the game feel a bit generic. I don’t expect the sound design to ever reach the likes of say, Dice’s Star Wars Battlefront for instance but something more of a high-quality sound design would definitely help improve the immersion in the final version of the game.
In terms of gameplay, it’s actually quite fun but still, it needs some polishing. Each hovercraft has their own set of unique abilities and the secondary weapon they can use to defeat the other hovercraft while the main weapon is the same. For instance, one hovercraft had an ability called Aquila Claim which summons a small black hole that draws all enemies to it that deals damage to them or ability called Screech Paralysis that stuns enemies in their place and leaves them vulnerable. The variety of those abilities makes each hovercraft unique and fun to play. Also, each ability in the game has a cool down timer so don’t expect to be spamming those and the timers that range from 30 seconds up to two minutes depending on the abilities that are used. Also, these abilities consume Energy which is basically a fuel system in the game so if you run out, you have to search the map for orbs that can fill up your energy. I found that Energy system a bit useless since you die pretty fast in the match and your energy goes back to 100% again when you spawn.
The game also has some RPG elements to it, when you finish a match, you gain experience and level up and gain a skill point where you can put it into a Skill tree that is divided into three categories which are Attack, Defense, and Utility. The Attack skill tree mainly increases the overall damage you do to enemies from your weapons and abilities and gives you other useful perks as well. The Defense skill tree mainly increases the defense of your hovercraft and how much health it has. The Utility skill tree mainly increases your energy and how fast they can be recharged I used most of my skill points in the Attack skill tree as I usually went on the offensive rather than the defensive and the fact that the game has only one game mode which is All vs All, it makes the Defense and Utility skill trees pointless especially combined with the fact that the bots stay at level 1 the whole time and I have yet to see a bot use his abilities on me so they don’t pose many challenges when you level up. Also, the gameplay itself needs some serious polish, I can’t tell you how many times I hit an enemy and do zero damage or abilities that don’t want to activate or choosing a hovercraft before I start the match and end up with a different hovercraft. It’s annoyances like those that hold back the game from being good.
Overall, Crash Force is fun to play but the fact that you have one mode only and 3 maps and too many bugs and no one to play with online, I just can’t recommend it at this state. I really hope the developers put some serious effort before the final release because it has some serious potential to be one hell of a game. But as of right now, I can only award it a 2.5/5.