Amazon's first big PC game has arrived, and it's inviting you to an alien planet to harvest its resources and take out enemy teams. It's called Crucible and it's a third person sci-fi shooter with some MOBA elements thrown in for good measure. Each game has you play as one of 10 Hunters, each with their own unique play styles and abilities, and you'll need to work with the other Hunters in your team to complete objectives. The best part is that it's free-to-play, so it's worth having a go - I really think this is one to watch.
In each of Crucible's game modes you're dropped onto a hostile planet full of beasties you'll need to kill to level up. This gives you more health and higher damage so you better fight against other players to achieve your objectives. Generally these objectives seem to revolve around collecting the planet's resources before the enemy team (or teams) can beat you to it.
Your objectives vary between the three game modes, too. Heart Of The Hives is a 4v4 match in which teams compete to collect Hearts from giant monster Hives, Alpha Hunters is a 2v2v2v2v2v2v2v2 last man standing game, and Harvester Command is an 8v8 zone control mode. Having watched a couple of games of Alpha Hunters, I can tell you it looks pretty intense. If your partner gets eliminated you can actually form a temporary alliance with someone else in the same situation - but, of course, there can only be one winner.
Today marks the start of the game's preseason, which will last for eight weeks before Season 1 kicks off shortly after. If you log into Crucible before June 2nd, you'll get a gift of 1000 Credits to spend in-game, which you can use to buy cosmetics for your Hunters - or you can use it to buy the first battle pass, which will set you back 950 of those bad boys.
At an online preview event I got the chance to chat with the Crucible devs at Amazon's Relentless Studios, and they told us all about Crucible's background, community-focused design and diverse set of characters:
"In addition to the gameplay side of it, diversity was super important to us when creating characters that would give players someone that they can truly connect to – whether it’s diversity in their abilities and the way they play the game, or diversity and gender, race, ethnicity, body type, personality," they said. "We wanted to make sure that for anybody who plays this game, we've created a hunter for them."