By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Crossout is Targem Games’ take on the vehicular shooter genre. It mixes the creativity we’ve come to expect from modern vehicular combat games like Robocraft and mixes it with the setting we’ve come to love from games like Twisted Metal and Carmageddon series. Of course, this means that damage models are fairly detailed and it’s possible to blow off individual pieces of enemy vehicles, such as tires, weaponry, or key components that could result in a fiery death. Honestly, though, this is all to be expected with Gaijin Entertainment – even if they’re ‘just’ the Publisher this time around – slapped on the game, as I doubt the creators of War Thunder would settle for anything that didn’t excel when it comes to vehicle-based carnage. While Crossout still had a long way to go when Abubakr checked it out back in February, its new closed beta testing phase gave us reason to see the current state of the game.
The best part about Crossout is that you can fully customize your vehicles. You build them from the ground up, choosing the frames, cabins, armor, weaponry, and more. In general, you’ll stick with designs that make sense and have a fairly normal look to them. If you’re like me, you’ll try to create some weird and wacky vehicles from the get-go. And you’ll quickly learn that a funny looking car isn’t so fun when you spend half the game flipped over because it has trouble keeping its tires on the ground. As if having complete freedom when it comes to building and fine-tuning your vehicle wasn’t enough, you can also acquire spray paints and emblems to color individual components.
I call this Snaketruck, my first bad decision in Crossout.
The graphics are passable, but even at max settings (and I mean completely maxed) you won’t mistake it for an amazing looking game. I believe the issue is texture and lighting quality, so hopefully these will be fine-tuned. Some better lighting and shading could really go a long way, and I wouldn’t be adverse to some higher quality grass textures. Don’t mistake these complaints for me saying the game doesn’t look good. It does. It just doesn’t reach what I feel is its full potential. That all being said, though, the art style chosen for the game will give you a very nostalgic feeling if you ever played any of the great vehicular combat games on the PS1/2 or Xbox.
There is one thing I cannot forgive, however, and that is the UI. It’s clunky, has a very dated design, and I just couldn’t stand it. I’m too spoiled with the intuitive UI’s that most games have these days. The design made it difficult to find important things at first, even with the tutorial pointing where I should be clicking. This is something I absolutely hope they will improve as it’s the only thing in terms of graphics that detracts from the game. But hey, the one good thing about the crappy UI is that it encourages me to spend more time in matches, which is great because the in-match UI is a lot better and has a very nice sleek design.
Controls are, for the most part, passable. This is a game where I wondered if I should break out the gamepad to play, but in the end I choose to stick with mouse and keyboard. Perhaps later down the line I’ll try it out with my PS3 controller. The only issue I’ve really had is the noticeable delay between clicking and my weapons firing. I assume this is a balance issue (maybe…), but I feel the game would be a lot more fun if the time between click-to-fire was much shorter or instant.
The community isn’t exactly small but it isn’t huge either, but I have a feeling it’ll grow. People have come to know Gaijin Entertainment and I imagine they’ll be willing to at least try the game once they hear about it. Once they give it a try, I think most will find it enjoyable. As for the quality of the community… well, it’s alright. There’s some nice people thrown in, a helping of ass holes, and then a lot of people who don’t really participate in the community nor talk much in-game. It’s what you should expect when playing an online game.
Crossout centers around, as you might have guessed already, vehicle-based combat. The set of matches is actually similar to other vehicle-based games like War Thunder and World of Tanks. You die and you’re out of the match; the goal being to either destroy all enemies or capture the enemy base. With each match, you gain reputation and loot rewards. These rewards can be basic materials to craft new parts, or already completed parts.
The customization is honestly what makes the game. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have spent more than an hour in the game and then would have gotten bored of it. Since there is customization, though, whenever I get bored I can always change it up by tweaking my vehicle or even building a new one from the ground up. And despite the game having a fairly bad UI, the part-placement when customizing your vehicle is intuitive and works like a charm. I’ve probably spent around the same amount of time in matches as I’ve spent customizing vehicles.
There are four factions to participate in. The Engineers are the default/tutorial faction, where you’ll learn the game and gain access to basic components. Lunatics, Nomads, and Scavengers are the three other factions that you’ll be able to access eventually. Each offers their own rewards which support different styles of play. They each have their own lore, but I have a feeling that most players won’t pay much attention to that.
Combat is fun, though I did some have some things that annoyed me. I mentioned the delay from the time you click your mouse to when your weapons actually begin to shoot. Even after having put over an hour into the game I was still having trouble adjusting to it. Besides that, if you’re a fan of intense fire-fights and explosions, you’ll have a blast! (Get it? Explosions, having a blast? …Sorry.) There seems to be a good balance between how much damage vehicles can take and how much damage you can dish out. At least at lower levels. I hear it’s possible to create some truly remarkable behemoths, but I’m not sure if I would enjoy that. I prefer the more fast-paced action.
PVP isn’t the only combat, however. Crossout features some pretty neat PVE content, too, with promises of even more in the future. Right now you can participate in Raids, where you pay a resource (Fuel) to participate in these PVE events with other players (or solo). Some pretty nice rewards are up for grabs, such as quality raw resources for crafting new parts.
State of the Beta: Great
In the end, Crossout is a game that is still early in its life. The potential is there. The potential is immense. But there are some bumps that need to be worked out. So, while I’m giving some of the individual “components” of the game lower scores, the overall score is actually higher than you might expect. I would definitely suggest you try it out if you can get into the beta, as I doubt you’ll find it disappointing. If you enjoy War Thunder or Robocraft, you’ll enjoy Crossout.
Features: 3/5 – A Fairly simple game.
Customization: 4/5 – The only thing I could ask for is more parts, and that’ll come with future updates.
Graphics: 3/5 – I know they can do better.
Controls: 3/5 – Could use some tweaking.
Community: 3/5 – Standard online community.