A life of Crime. Review of the now FTP Crime Craft: Bleedout
MMORPGs, these days there are plenty of them. You get to be a Dwarf, Elf, Human, Celestial, Demon, Goblin, Wizard, Rogue, Warrior, Barbarian, Druid, Soldier, Mercenary, Necromancer, Warlock, a hybrid of a few classes, a monster (of some sort) and so, and so forth. Now, we are looking at CrimeCraft: Bleedout. Is it yet another Warcraft clone? Another generic MMORPG which will bore the tears out of you? Will you be forced to farm for gold? A thousand hides for a quest? Read on.
CrimeCraft: Bleedout is a MMORPG, that is undeniable. But unlike most MMORPGs this one is focused on gun combat with the camera hanging behind and above your little avatar. There are guns, guns, more guns, a few missile launchers, grenade launchers and massive amounts of different explosives. Knives also have a role, but most of the time you will remind yourself of the all too familiar scene from Indiana Jones. You will be running, dodging, hiding behind cover and informing your opponent of the superiority of your firepower and accuracy. On that point the combat is incredibly smooth, and even if you never played too many combat games of this type the mildly lengthy tutorial to all the options given to the player will explain everything clearly, and to be honest, there is quiet a lot of things to take into account here.
Your “Avatar” is a big mass of personal choices. At first you might not see them, getting some very basic gear. Later on however the longer you will play and unlock more available gear and abilities you will see the extent of “combat customization” at your disposal. First of all, the guns. There are three weapon slots. The first one is either for a Pistol or an SMG. Although only a sidearm these little miracles of destruction can outmatch a lot of seemingly bigger guns when used properly. The second slot gives you a choice between an Assault Rifle or a Shotgun. A pretty generic choice, all things considered. The shotgun is for close quarters combat and the assault Rifle is for medium to long ranges. Then comes the third slot (are you still catching on?) where you can use either a Grenade Launcher, Missile Launcher, Sniper rifle or a Light Machine Gun. “Alright” you might say “But what’s so special about all this?”. You see dear reader, when you progress through your levels you will be able to manufacture (oh dear) or buy weapons with attachment slots. These attachments come in many different shapes and sizes and they increase your weapon’s abilities in numerous ways, be it range, accuracy, damage (which are generic) to rate of fire, ammo capacity, recoil or making your weapons more deadly against “armoured” targets.
But wait, there is more! Once you reach level 30 (out of the 50 possible) you will be able to use three different abilities. Now, the list of combat abilities are invested in with Skill points which you can get every level or you can buy more for Premium currency. What are these abilities you might ask? Let us start with the full body exo-skeleton (which decreases damage by a margin) temporary cloak, frag grenades, smoke grenades, heart beat detectors, flammable rounds, molotovs, cluster grenades… the list goes on. If you invested your skill points but want to reinvest them (because you suddenly want to try a different load-out) there are friendly vendors who will take generic in-game cash from you and voila, you can invest your points over again, and the service is not expensive even. Then there are the different boosts and “AUGs”. The difference is that boosts are only used when you want them to be used (for example on-hand med-kits or stamina enhancers) and AUGs are used during every single firefight and these also come with different roles. An AUG could increase the rate at which you regenerate HP, how much damage you deal, whether your abilities last longer or for example allow a turret, or C4 you planted to remain in place even after you die. Boosts and AUGs can be bought and swapped around between fights, so, like mentioned earlier, you can have whole sets ready, depending on the game type you want to play… and trust me there is a solid choice.
So… what do we do here? The simple answer, whatever you want to do. Since CC:B is FTP (Free to Play) you could be playing it for the PvP or the PvE. There is a campaign which you could be completing step by step the different missions. You could take part in the regular tournaments, or just play it as a form of relaxation, and face off against you co-workers on a arena and destroy them with your selection of highly destructive weapons. As to the different modes and missions. There is the “Main Campaign” which you are free to do, and which will provide you with a lot of background of the world and most recent happenings. The Campaign is fun, to say the least, and it is excellent practice, giving you a chance to test your layout. Then, there are the “Side Missions” or what I also consider “Achievement Missions”. There are phone booths all around the place and you can take on up to 25 of these “Side Missions”. These come in a wide range of choices, since you could take a mission where you have to kill a certain number of pistol wielding enemies, win a certain number of game modes, craft a certain number of items, and so on, and so forth. Each time you will get a small xp and money reward, on top of any reward you get from the PvP or PvE matches.
As to the game modes. There is a wide choice of PvP modes. They have different names but the names are pretty much the same as in any FPS. There is deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, capture the hq, etc. etc. There is also a side mode, when you feel like butchering some poor NPCs where you alone face off against innumerable enemies and gather stashes hidden throughout the level. These Stashes could have clothing, attachments, guns or any other items. They could however also have crafting materials.
Crafting again? You might be sick of the idea of crafting. Sitting on some spot, killing ten thousand wolves for the needed skins, or fishing, gathering herbs. Here, the only thing you farm are kills. When you start off a craft (be it armour making, attachments building, boost brewing or gun crafting) you receive a “scrap” finder. The only thing you have to do in order to make it work is kill enemies, be it players of NPCs. As you plough away through the enemy’s ranks the more different types of scrap you will find. Crates as mentioned earlier will also drop scrap (here, the scrap depends on the type of crate found). You can buy or find recipes, a lot of the basic crafting materials can also be bought for petty cash from vendors or on the auction, so you are never left with the option of paying real life money for anything. It should be noted that most often items crafted by yourself will be better than anything you buy from a Vendor on that level. So you can also check the auctions for items and get the top gear available for your level. Everything will ware out with time, but it can be repaired so do not panic if suddenly your favourite sniper rifle gets a bit of rust.
What do you have to pay for? The thing which I love about CrimeCraft is that with your basic account you can have a lot of fun. There are no level limits, or restrictions to the guns or armour you can use (not counting the level restrictions). The game world is small, there are three areas, each one with all the vendors you need, only the quest givers have to be travelled to. PvP and PvE can be started from the handy menu you can open up at any time and start or join any game. This might mean for some of you the lack of an epic mount to travel through the deserts, forest or mountains, but I always personally preferred walking. If you do decide to pay for Premium or Deluxe you will have a few perks unlocked, all of which make life a lot easier (together with some Premium currency as well). One of the major ones being immediate log-in to the servers, without the need to wait in lines. Now that the European servers were introduced congestion is much smaller, but earning three times the ordinary amount of xp and credits is also useful (among other things, such as getting a rare gun every month). Premium currency lets you buy a lot of rarer items, but it also allows you to customize the looks of your character, his clothing and his weapons. You can also buy temporary or permanent bonuses/perks, such as more skill points, the ability to “call” your quest givers (no more travel needed!), specific rare AUGs, whole gear packs (with armour, guns and other bonus items), bigger inventory space, and so on, and so forth.
You can also forms gangs. These are in essence Guilds. Where you and your gang get to buy your own hideout and pimp it out. Which could mean changing its look, adding Vendors or Crafting Specialists (so, cutting down your travel even more). There are Gang Wars to let your gang get more prestige (and yourself). There is an option of organising parties where anybody can access your hideout for free or a price. I never saw any big parties happening but the option still stands in case you want to give it a go.
There are a few small problems and doubts. Although the idea behind the game feels sound the looks of it and the deeper logic of the world and story seem a bit flawed. This is nit picking into the story but I feel obliged to share it with you. The story behind CC:B is that the oils ran dry. No more oil, no more transportation, in essence, end of the world. But despite this pessimistic outlook there is still apparently plenty of power and Sunrise City (where you live) has enough clean water and food, as well as other materials to sustain a big population without any riots or problems. The city looks as if it’s in ruins, but some buildings and areas seem unrealistically clean and orderly for a place I would expect to be in complete ruin. Another fact is that a lot of the female avatars look “loud” to say the least. The men will often look in some decent way, meanwhile the women will look almost enitrely out of place, running with a missile launcher on high heels, or spraying lead wearing nothing but a bikini. This is nit picky but it was brought to my attention that apparently the end of the world will not be that grim, and ontop of that we will rely on gangs to keep order.
Despite this CC:B is certainly worth the try. I cannot guarantee you will enjoy it, but whether you want to try a calm campaign, or take part in some “nerve wrecking” PvP you can do anything you want, and for free. Is it worthwhile investing in Premium? I would say yes, or at least the Premium Currency when you finally decide to look the role you are playing, and customize your character the way you want him to look.
Alex “WriterX” Bielski
|Cons:||Grind, like in any MMO|
Story sometimes lacks sense
|Game producer's website:||THQ|
|Official website:||Crime Craft : Bleedout|
|Game available at:|