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.
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.
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.
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.