Crucible Gets Sent Back to Closed Beta

The video games business is not the easiest to get into, even if it can potentially make you loads of cash.

It’s probably that aspect that lured corporate titan Amazon into the ring, but, as Bezos’ outfit is finding out quite quickly, building out a compelling battle royale game is a little bit tougher than making sure packages arrive on time, among other things.

Still, we have to give them credit. Crucible is solid, it not overwhelmingly good, and the company’s decision to take it back into beta to figure out how to make it better only bodes well for its future – at least that’s what we hope.

You see, there’s nothing more tragic than a load of cash being poured into a decent game that no one cares about. It’s like a kind of first-world tragedy that makes people say things like “well that money could have been better spent elsewhere.”

Yet Crucible may yet rise to the heights of the gaming industry. At least that’s the hope.

Colin Johanson, who helms Crucible’s devs, said of the return to beta, “We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.”

And, lest we forget, Fortnite wasn’t released on day one as a battle royale game. The “Save the World” mode was supposed to be the marquee presence out in the wild for the game, but that didn’t quite catch on with audiences. In fact, many critics at the time thought that Fortnite was going to be an expensive mess of a game that took nearly 10 years to come out. Not to mention that the “multiplayer mode” that was included with the game was overflowing with microtransactions – then the bane of any gamer’s existence.

Look at where we are now, though. Fortnite has not only overcome a weak core game to explode into popularity but has enabled Epic to pursue growth opportunities and strategies that were not previously available to it. In other words, Fortnite is printing the money that Epic is using to wage its campaign to become bigger, better, and more dominant in the industry than it could ever have imagined previously. That’s no guarantee that everything will work out.

But you know that Jeff Bezos has to be watching that phenomenon with keen interest. What better way to launch the Amazon Games Store than something like the company’s own Fortnite.

Whether Crucible is it or not, we know that Amazon is unlikely to give up. That should make for an interesting future. 

Have you had a chance to play Crucible yet? What do you think of it? What about the game’s return to beta status? Should this be a new trend in the industry for big-budget games that fail to capture their audience on the first go-around? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

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Initial Impressions: Crucible, Amazon’s New Game

Well, it’s here. Amazon’s first competitive shooter game has arrived in the package that is Crucible. Amazon is trying its hand at the gaming industry and this is its first attempt, along with their MMO “New World” to follow in the next few months. I dove into it and played the tutorial and about 8 rounds of Heart of the Hive mode, which is supposed to me the main game mode. This mode resembles Heroes of the Storm, where you farm some creeps and capture objectives around the map to gain experience; then after a period of time, your main objective is to kill big boss monsters and collect their hearts (3) to win.

Watch my first session of Crucible

Game Play

So essentially the flow is something like – farm creeps/capture harvesters, skirmish with other team, meet at hive boss monster to fight it off, winner of team fight kills the hive monster and takes heart, repeat until someone has 3 hearts. This is essentially exactly what happens every game, which was pretty fun, but I can see how this might wear out rather quickly. The time to kill is REALLY high in this game. You can spend a solid 2 to 5 minutes fighting someone if you guys take turns kiting. It definitely is preferable to have teammates around instead of trying to solo someone. I found myself getting annoyed when characters with higher mobility just ran or dashed away constantly.

Characters

You’ll find the typical lineup of characters like in most team based game. There are hunters that lean towards damage, tank, or support. I spent the day just using Mendoza (basically soldier 76 from Overwatch). He was a basic run and gun character; his special abilities were a grenade and the ability to call in a health care package that doubles as a stationary shield. I did massive amounts of damage in all my games for the most part and won most of them. Fighting tanks was rather dull, they simply stand there absorbing bullets for a while and eventually die.

One character that ticked me off was Shakirri, she definitely seems broken so far. She’s one of the few melee heroes who just gets in your face and swings a sword at you. Everyone else has a useless melee with a massive cool down and shooting at someone who’s just jumping up and down in your face is nearly impossible. Add the fact that one of her abilities just traps you in a small space that you can’t walk out of…it is certain death. She also has a shield so she can block your bullets as she approaches you. To be fair, these are just initial thoughts – I’m nowhere near the top of the learning curve just yet.

Performance

The game runs decently, but I am running on a 2080 graphics card. When I unlocked the frame rate, it maxed out my GPU and caused a bunch of performance issues, which I think a lot of people are doing; many of my friends were crashing constantly. Once I locked it into 60 fps, the game was smooth with no issues and minimal GPU usage. My only gripe here is that the devs didn’t include any other frame rate locks aside from 30 or 60. Bugs are definitely not uncommon, once after I crashed, I was able to rejoin but no longer had a HUD and couldn’t do anything to fix it (lost that game). Then in another instance, it wouldn’t reconnect at all (lost that one as well). The game is 1 day old, so we’ll cut Amazon some slack, hopefully they patch it up.

Overall Initial Thoughts

So far, the game seems decent. I wasn’t blown away by anything in particular and I wasn’t super compelled to keep playing. I’ll certainly have a crack at it with a full squad of my friends over the weekend. I still need to try out the mini battle royal mode which pits many duos against each other in elimination. The game is free to play though, so no risk in trying it out – it definitely has some potential if Amazon plays their cards right.

Get it for free in the steam store.

Crucible Steam Release MAY 20!!

If you haven’t heard, Crucible is being released TOMORROW – May 20, 2020 12:00 p.m. Pacific.

What is Crucible?

Crucible is a new game developed by Amazon Games, debuting on Steam. At a first glance it looks like the game takes elements from other competitive games to put a new spin on shooters. I see hints from MOBAs, competitive shooters with unique character abilities, and objective based shooters. The graphics look pretty spiffy, but hopefully their focus as a competitive game means it’ll be optimized to run on a wide range of PC specs and at high FPS as well.

The 3 game modes seem like they would play quite different, one being more Wingman/Deathmatch style, while others are objective based similar to Domination (COD) or capturing bosses like you would in League/Dota. There will be 10 characters or hunters at launch, each with special abilities and weapons. The game also involves a load out configuration in which you select in the pregame and gain access to as you level up by killing enemy NPCs. You can see where they are taking influences from various different games to create something completely new!

I’m excited for a new competitive 3rd person shooter and to see how Amazon’s new venture into gaming ramps up.
I don’t want to make too many assumptions just yet, so expect a follow up initial impressions review after we enjoy the launch!
Take a look at the game modes available on launch as Steam describes it

Game Modes

Heart of the Hives
Hives are lethal drone-spitting terrors that spawn across the battlefield. Capturing the hearts they leave behind as they die is your key to victory. Each match is a four-on-four fight to be the first team to capture three hearts.
Alpha Hunters
There are no safety nets in Alpha Hunters: once you fall in combat, that’s it. Eight teams of two fight to be the last team—or solo hunter—standing. If your teammate dies, you can form a temporary alliance with another hunter, but that temporary truce will be broken if both of you make it to the final three.
Harvester Command
Essence harvesters are scattered across Crucible’s surface. Each one you control generates Essence points for your eight-player team. Each harvester your enemies hold will cancel out your own. You’ll need to control a majority of harvesters in order to rack up any Essence—the more, the better. You can also take out enemy hunters for points. The first team to 100 points wins!

Source: Steam

Check out the character reveals