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Crimecraft Steals Into Sight

Today on “Games We’ve Barely Posted About And We Don’t Know Why”, Vogster’s Unreal 3-powered guns’n’gangs MMO Crimecraft. It’s like Warcraft, but with Crime instead of War. Teasing its name aside, it’s a fun idea – GTA’s on-foot element as persistent online world, in theory. In practice, well, we dunno. There’s a hint of sorts in that it doesn’t like to call itself an MMO, instead opting for “Persistent World Next-gen Shooter.” Seeing as it was released today, I’m rather hoping someone reading this has a pretty good sense of what it’s really like and if it’s any cop. (Cop! Ha! Sigh.) Care to share? Meantime, let’s have a look at some videos of the thing and have a nose at its odd subscription model.

The nuts’n’bolts description goes as follows:

Crime Craft is a Persistent World Next-gen Shooter (PWNS) that blends a gripping, action-packed shooter experience with the best community and role-playing elements found in massively multi-player games. Crime Craft is set in a gritty fictional city of the near future, following an ecological disaster of unprecedented scale, where the price of life is far less valuable than one’s reputation. Join thousands of players online as you learn the rules of the street, build your own gang and do whatever it takes to survive amidst the chaos. Earn a reputation. Build a gang. Kill the competition.

Which all sounds jolly good, and makes me wonder why it hasn’t been marketed up the wazoo. Are Vogster out of money, still gearing up to really hype the thing, or is something rotten? Anyone? Anyone?

What’s slightly sad is that it was originally intended to be free, but is ultimately a traditional you-buys-yer-copy-and-you-pays-per-month jobbie. Slightly worryingly, there are microtransactions on top of that, used for “speciality items like weapons enhancements, boosts, armor and more”, and bought in the form of ‘gold bars’. Hmm. Buying currency to commit crimes? This seems a little incongruous, somehow. Update: apparently this was ‘old information’. The microtransactions are now only for aesthetic gubbins; since this piece was written, the website’s been changed to reflect that.

First, a general trailer:

Kinda pretty as they go, and definitely Proper Shooting rather than Tabula Rasa or Mass Effect-style Pretend Shooting. For a better sense of that, here’s (embed/flash version not working, so click on Quicktime or WMV to see it once you go through the link) producer Michael Donatelli explaining how it’s a shooter with MMO trapping, classless and PvP-heavy. And below he walks us through a round of CTF:

I guess my initial thought is that there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of Crime beyond shooting other dudes, which is fairly easily done in other titles, but perhaps there’s something more heisty in the open-world element of the game.

Also, here’s some explodey proof as to how over the top it can be:

And here’s a hint as to what it’s got in common with more traditional MMOage, in the form of a Roguey, stealthy, backstabby character:

Again, anyone here playing, or tried the beta?

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Alec Meer

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Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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