Crimsonland as the name implies is all about painting the land crimson with the blood of your enemies and my goodness does it stay true to that name this twin stick shooter developed by 10tons originally came out 12 years ago now in 2003 and the game has not aged badly at all. It’s now back on Xbox One with 22 achievements to collect, new game modes and tons of weapons and perks to collect.
Crimsonland: Xbox One [Reviewed], Playstation 4, PC
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Release Date: 14 October 2015
Price $13.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
Given that this game did in fact launch in 2003 if you are looking for the next twin stick shooter to fill that hole left by Dead Nation this may not be the game for you however if you are looking for a challenging yet oddly addictive game that relies more on it’s gameplay than it’s over the top graphics and gore you might just be in luck. The game is simple enough to pick up given that you only need to remember 3 controls, walk, aim and shoot but it also does require a lot of thinking on your feet and waiting for the right moment to use the power ups that randomly drop from the enemies.
Each quest in the quest mode starts you off with a boring old pistol but, the first enemy that you kill will drop a random weapon from the possible 30 that you have collected throughout your time playing, there are 30 weapons to collect as I just mentioned but there are also a ridiculous number of power ups and perks you can collect. The quest mode I mentioned before is a gigantic 70 stages long on Xbox One and then you have the additional game modes and such like Nukefism and rush plus many more. The stages do get progressively harder as you would expect from any game with stage one of each area acting almost like a refresh button on the difficulty but it is not so much the amount of levels. perks or power ups that kept me coming back it was the brilliant gameplay.
As you can imagine being given 30 weapons a few of them would be a bit overpowered and that’s just what I thought when I first started playing but that isn’t the case. The folks over at 10tons did an excellent job balancing the weapons, of course there are a few that I could name those few being the Blowtorch, Assault Rifle and the default Pistol but that is it for me. Those are the only weapons I felt could be buffed just a little of course everyone has their favourite weapons but that does not mean they are overpowered. As you can only hold one weapon at a time meaning there is no switching out weapons instead of reloading you have to base your decision of weapon off of your play style for example if you want to charge head first into a crowd of lizards, aliens and zombies then you may want to go with something that has a large magazine size and a fast reload however, if you wanted to sit back and fire off into the crowd as they advance towards you then I suggest going for a weapon that penetrates through multiple enemies so basically any of the gauss weapons.
The game is not perfect though it does have it’s flaws. For example, the game is repetitive. There is no way around it you may binge the quest mode but at the end you’ll be feeling rather bored as the game does rely on the same mechanics throughout. There are also a lot of huge difficulty spikes in the game that can be unsettling for players. you may pass 3 stages in a row with ease on your first try but then all of a sudden you are stuck on the next stage for 20 minutes this can lead to frustration when you wonder why you are finding it so hard at all. Sadly as the gameplay has aged well it would be nice if we got a bit of a touch up in the graphics department especially for a game released on Xbox One. Graphics are not essential to Crimsonland but it would be nice to see the gore and enemies in a new light rather than the game looking like what a student can create in small basic.
Overall, I have had a lot of fun with my time in Crimsonland the game is extremely fun and I can’t take it away from the game despite it’s repetitive gameplay, difficulty spikes and graphics I would put this twin stick shooter up there with Halo: Spartan Assault. If you are looking for your next challenge in the twin stick shooter genre I most definitely recommend picking this up.