Author: Chris Robinson
Crossout is an MMO shooter set in a post-apocalyptic scenario where you can build your own vehicles to battle in PvP against other players or PvE where you team up with other players against AI controlled opponents. The game is developed by Targem Games and published by Gaijin Entertainment. Crossout was announced on the 20th of May 2015 with the first Alpha tests done in the summer of 2015. Later that year the game debuted at E3 and was made playable at Gamescom. On April 25th, 2016 the game went into closed Beta and just over a month later on the 30th May the open Beta was launched on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Crossout is a free-to-play game available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One
When I downloaded this game, I looked at it and didn’t really expect much in the way of a story or background. It just looked like a post-apocalyptic Mad Max esc time where you build cars from old parts with guns welded on and blow up other heaps of parts made into a vehicle. I honestly didn’t think there’d be much of a background, but after doing some digging I was surprised to find out there was a story and an interesting one at that.
This game actually takes place in the same universe as Ex Machina’s, it is set 200 years prior to Ex Machina and 20 years after a huge disease devastated Earth which quickly destroyed any semblance of civilisation. The cause of this pandemic named the “Crossout” by the media, was an accidental activation of an experiment to create super soldiers that was not meant to be activated for several centuries. Instead of the new race of super soldiers the planet was now inhabited by a bunch of raving, suicidal lunatics.
Though two decades have passed since the “Crossout” there are some who try to rebuild the world and bring back the civilisation that has been lost but there are just as many who are happy with the world in its current state. While it is unknown whether the world can return there is one thing that is certain, there will be conflict.
The controls are simple enough – which is good because the game can get pretty hectic at times – just aim your guns at an enemy vehicle and start blasting! Even if you miss your intended target you’ll probably hit someone as you can’t afford to stay still at any time. You’ll have bullets, plasma cannons and anything else you can think of flying across the battlefield taking chunks out of your vehicle if you just sit there and fire so always stay on the move.
When you first launch the game, you’ll be thrown into your first battle almost instantly with the rusted piece of junk they give you. Trust me at the first opportunity you want to disassemble it and make your own vehicle. Until then you just have to go through the tutorial which is simple enough and then you can build your own vehicle. At first, you will only have very basic parts to use but in time you’ll get better equipment to build stronger, faster and deadlier vehicles.
There are a few key things to remember when building your vehicle. First, make sure all your guns are spread out and aren’t blocking one another because if they are they obviously can’t fire. Sometimes it’s better losing the visual aesthetic of your vehicle to make it more combat effect. Secondly, make sure that you build your vehicle in a way that protects the cabin, if that is destroyed then the whole vehicle is and your part in that battle is over. Finally, put a car jack on your vehicle because if you get flipped over you’re a sitting duck for the enemy.
Once your dealer of destruction is built you can start blowing other vehicles up. At first, you’ll only be able to do missions but once you level up a few levels other game modes will be unlocked. The games modes you can play are:
This mode is where players fight against each other in a standard capture the enemy base or destroy all enemies’ formula. These can include AI Bots if there aren’t enough players. This will be a common occurrence as once you hit level 10 there is really no reason to play this mode when you can play Ranked against other players. Victory in missions gives you a chance at winning parts such as guns or wheels.
This is the true PvE mode where you team up with other players to do battle with the game. There can be a multitude of objectives as the games you can play changes frequently. A personal favourite of mine is Chase where you have to catch and destroy a convoy, just make sure you have a quick vehicle, or this specific raid will be nigh on impossible.
This is the main free for all battle mode, like raids there are several scenarios that can play out. As I’m playing during Halloween the main mission I’ve played is Witch Hunt which consists of 8 cars grabbing balloons and stopping the other survivors from getting them. These are immensely fun games and I found myself playing Brawls more than anything else.
If you’ve made your way into a clan then you can participate in Clan battles, these consist of 4 clanmates fighting the enemy clan to the death. I have only done one of these mainly because I didn’t find it as entertaining at Brawls, but this could be due to me not knowing anyone from the clan. If you have friends in your clan then play this mode otherwise, I’d avoid it in general.
This is where you’ll find the better players, they will bulls eye your best weapon or a fuel tank from the other side of the map leaving you a little upset and at a major disadvantage. The saving grace is that you will be match up against players with the same vehicle tier which is calculated by the parts you used to build your vehicle. Usually your level will depend on the quality of weaponry you are using as armour costs very few points compared to guns.
Once you hit ten reputation with the Engineers Faction you will also be able to choose a new Faction. You can choose between three, the Lunatics, The Scavengers and The Nomads, these enable you to craft different weapons, armour and other build pieces. The last two Factions can’t be unlocked until you hit reputation ten with either The Nomads if you want to try the newest Faction Dawn’s Children or The Scavengers if you want to join the Steppenwolf Faction..
The”Dawn’s Children” were only added recently. This Faction has added a new dynamic to the game as it gave the options to build Laser and Plasma weapons which are powerful but overheat quickly. They also added the far more entertaining ability to build a hover vehicle. I would thoroughly recommend trying out the new Faction as soon as possible as hover vehicles are fun to use even though they are difficult to control at times.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
Starting with the graphics the first and probably most important part is how your vehicles look. Every part looks different, you have random pieces of scrap to use to build your vehicles. These vary from huge pieces like hard modules to smaller ones like broken radiators. You can add a paint job at the end to give your random mashup of parts a unified look although there’s just something satisfying about keeping it unpainted.
The game looks incredible when you’re in battle. The maps themselves won’t blow you away, there’s a little too much green on them for my liking and they are so similar that within a dozen matches or so you’ll have seen it all.
Although we’re not really here to watch the scenery pass by, we’re here to watch vehicles explode and bits of them scatter across the battlefield and that is where the game exceeds. There’s great animations as pieces of your vehicle are blown off and destroyed, you can see your bullets, plasma shots and whatever other projectiles you have hitting the enemy and tearing through them.
The music on the other is… odd, it’s hard to explain but the music feels so out of place considering the supposedly post-apocalyptic theme of the game. The music only plays when you’re in the garage and is an acoustic guitar strumming away which really doesn’t match that theme when your scouring through your amalgamation of parts to design your death machine.
When you’re in battle there is no background music which is great because there’s nothing competing with the gun shots, grinding as your vehicle moves and crunches as you slam into something.
Crossout was so very close to being on a par with my favourite free to play games but it’s held back by the micro transactions. While it is possible to be competitive without buying the in-game coins it’s very hard to compete with someone who has paid for all the best gear. I have no probably with free to play games having micro transactions but only if they are fairly priced and. Despite that flaw this is a very good game, building the vehicles is extremely fun and it’s so satisfying to see your death machine blow up the enemy. I’d thoroughly recommend this to anyone as it is a great game that can only get better.
|+ An incredible amount of customisation||– Not much in the way of innovation, there are games similar to this although not as well executed|
|+ The graphics are solid, the maps are good to look at and the vehicles explode spectacularly||– The micro-transactions are a little too pricey for what you get but they give you a big advantage.|
|+ Building the vehicles is incredibly fun and rewarding when you see it work on the battlefield|