Review by Demonsedge

Reviewed: 04/21/08

Adrenaline-packed 2D shooter!

Crimsonland is a short, brutal, and adrenaline-packed 2D shooter that doesn't disappoint.

Graphics -- 9/10
Well, it's not 3D, so it's pretty light on the graphics. You're a guy in the middle of the screen, maybe fifteen pixels, with the camera directly overhead. Aliens look like sharp things with claws, zombies look vaguely humanoid, and spiders look like cartoony renditions. When they get shot, as will happen volumously over the course of the game, they splatter blood everywhere, so within a minute or two, the ground is completely covered in blood. But even with the sparse decor, the game gets across what it needs to make it enjoyable.

The levels are slightly different, but vary only in picture. There's a snow level, it's pretty much white. There's a grass level and it's pretty much green. None of it affects gameplay, though, and you won't even be able to see the ground after a few moments of playing, due to it being covered with blood and corpses.

As opposed to most other shooter games, all the guns look the same when you hold them, and the only way to differentiate between weapons is by firing them and seeing what comes out. But it's not a problem.

Sound --7/10
A lot of the guns sound the same. It doesn't sound like an actual gun, with the quality of the sound, it's more like a cheap imitation that sounds vaguely gun-like. The minigun reminds me of a lawnmower, and the gauss gun barely makes a sound if it doesn't hit anything. The monsters make stereotypical sounds when they're hit. Aliens squeal, zombies moan, etc. Nothing amazing.

The "music" is a few seconds of guitarwork looped every once in a while. You won't be able to hear it under the incessant gunfire, so it's not important.

Gameplay -- 10/10
Well, the best point of the game. There are a variety of game types, but most of them are based on killing things, getting better weapons and perks, and killing more things until they die or you die. You have experience, so that when you kill a sufficient number of things, you level up and get to pick a perk. Perks basically are small bonuses that let you run faster, do more damage, reload faster, etc. There are maybe fifty of them, and its kind of fun mixing the effects (Stationary Reloader + Angry Reloader) to see what you can come up with.

There are also bonuses like medpacks, fire bullets, weapon power-up, along with random weapons that enemies can drop. There are a bunch of guns, most of which have different effects and firing patterns. It just adds a random element to the game, although you tend to rely on bonuses in survival mode.

The game has a quest mode, which is like a campaign. It's essentially just a collection of different maps with enemies attacking in different patterns, but it can be a challenge. It took me about three and a half hours to beat it, and after you do, it unlocks more guns and perks for survival mode. And you also get hardcore mode, which is just quest mode where the enemies are better. Two other somewhat uninteresting modes are Rush and Type-O-Shooter, in the former, you get an assault rifle that fires without reloading and you have to survive for as long as you can without dying. You'll last maybe a minute. In the latter, you have to type in words before you can shoot. Not my favorite.

I mostly play Survival, where the enemies are slow and weak at first, allowing you to collect perks and guns, but eventually become fast and strong. The gun that I find gets me the farthest in survival mode is the Gauss Shotgun, since you won't survive in the late game without a weapon with high damage.

There is a multiplayer mode, but the caveat is that it's not over the internet. It's two people sitting at the same computer. So controlling is much harder, and both players combined aren't as effective as one player controlling well. I don't recommend it.

Storyline -- 10/10
From what I can tell, you are an angry man with a variety of weapons who decides to kill invading zombies, aliens, and giant spiders. The quest mode doesn't have a storyline either, but each quest has a title that vaguely describes what is going to happen. "Arachnid attack" or something similar. But this is one of the arcade-type games that can have awesome gameplay in lieu of a storyline.

Conclusion -- 9/10
Crimsonland is quality, wholesome family entertainment, and is well worth its cost.

Extraneous note
For some reason, this game really hurts my eyes. It's not too small, because you can change the resolution. My eyes just hurt after playing, even for short bursts of fifteen minutes or so, and I've played many other games for hours on end without any discomfort. Be warned.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Crimsonland (US, 09/09/03)

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