10.05.2016 Testing games

Crossout. Preview

Platform: PC (Windows)
Game Engine: Hammer Engine
Genre: MMO-Action
Developer: Targem Games
Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Game Mode: Multiplayer (PvP/PvE)
Release Date: 2016
Early Access: April 5, 2016
Price: Free-to-Play
Official web-site: http://crossout.net/ru

My name is Max. My world is fire. And blood.
«Mad Max: Fury Road»

A slow truck caught under the fire of a pod of adroit buggies. It has already started to lose it’s armor… One of the chasers was torn apart as the driver fired with a missile. It was too late though. Rear wheels fell off under the hundreds of bullets and the bottom of the car has gone into sand. The last thing that driver saw was the dozer blade coming up. It was the third minute of a heat in Crossout.

Targem Games from Ekaterinburg will celebrate it’s 15-th birthday next year. It has a decent experience in game developing of over a dozen different projects. The strongest point of this studio have always been racing games. Older generation of gamers can remember Ex Machina, younger players had seen Sledgehammer and Insane sequel. The smallest ones know BlazeRush. It’s fair to say that we all grew up with Targem!

Judging by Crossout, the developer grows with us. The game looks like a serious, complete project that was thought through. And the best proof of that is multiple awards from the media and a true interest of players. The interest coming from players can also be caused by the game publisher – Gaijin Entertainment. It is another most experienced Russian studio, which has over 30 projects on it’s project list.

Crossout is a post-apocalyptic PvP/PvE MMO-Action game. The gameplay is based on unique, handcrafted vehicles, stocked with rocket launchers, machineguns, assault rifles and shotguns. All these features are covered with armor plates, battened down windows and loopholes on doors. Crossout is Ex Machina and Rage, Insane, and FlatOut, it’s Mad Max and Death Race… It’s an ultimate mixture of benzak in high-octane blood! Targem Games qoutates all the titles mentioned above so well, that even now, duiring the beta-test, Crossout looks like a MMO-car action game of dreams for any typical working guy, whose goal is only one thing: to have a rest after a hard day at work.

Crossout is no tanks, where one has to guard bushes for 15 minutes straight. There is no time for a cup of tea far away from the battle scene! To be honest, we can see campers with rocket launchers from time to time, but in general, battles are much more dynamic than any tank-oriented project. It’s the only possible result, because of small-sized maps and high speed. There is infinite ammo for machineguns and assault rifles and proper amount of missiles. Drills, saws and knives for close combat… There are even drones! There is some madness going on here.

However, you can’t become Mad Max in a blink of an eye. At the beginning of their journey, dieselpunk fans will be met with a subtle car with one machinegun. It will help you get your first trophies though. After a couple fights, you will find awards in your storage room for killing other players or AI. It will help you fix your car or you can save it to buy yourself a new one. If you don’t have necessary details, you can always craft them by spending some iron from junk metal.

PvE is a bit more complicated. First of all, you will need gas for these missions. In order to get it, you will only need to win and survive in PvP. And don’t forget to bring the canister! Second off, you can’t always raid. The mission will become unavailable for a couple of days after a few replays. It’s probably uncomfortable. Due to that, PvP will be full of people though. Anyway, we can live with this, as the rewards from completing PvE are much higher than the ones in PvP.

All possible details and repair parts will be needed to make yourself a perfect death machine in the editor. Wide opportunities for customization make the editor the most important part of the game. The only limitation is your imagination, as there are no classes, presets or patterns! An ingame showcase is already full of every possible construction made by players and any gamer can not only look at it, but also get a blueprint of a vehicle and create it in his own garage.

However, it’s much more interesting to create on your own. It all begins with the ram and a driving model. One can spend hours pondering whether to make a for axle truck or a fast buggy. Whether to bet on speed or defence. To tell you the truth, the witty ones put a few armor plates on their buggies. The vehicle will be able to take a few punches, but it will lose in speed, maneuverability and acceleration.

Above operational and physical characteristics stands technological level. It corrects game balance by defining the maximum amount of details that player can put on his vehicle. You will require power for your modules and weapons, equipment condition informs you about remaining points of durability.

Any improvement (or degradation) can be taken on a test-drive right from the garage. The game also allows to test creations of other players or cars, that they can unlock as they progress. It’s comfortable to evaluate the vehicle. The funny feature is that player can shoot the clone of his own car during the test-drive. It allows you to see all pros and cons of the vehicle you’ve made and fix them in the garage if possible.

The gameplay and the editor mode may look too complicated but fear not. The only things in the editor mode you will have to get used to are camera and the construction process. Crossout doesn’t require any special abilities. It’s an arcade, after all. For those, who may not be interested in construction, there are blueprints. Once you have all the details, you can assemble the car an drive into the wasteland. Made by people, for people.

The progression and faction system also give no sweat. Players get experience after every PvP or PvE battle. New levels unlock new raids with stronger enemies and better awards. As you progress, you will gain access to factions. Now there are four of them: Engineers, Lunatics, Scavengers and Nomads.

Each have their own bonuces and have to be played for in order to ulock them. The right thing would be to choose whom you could be reffered to. Lunatics prefer fast, light buggies, Scavengers bet on maximum damage and Nomads have the best crafting with epic and legendary parts.

In order to get rare parts of purple weapons like in Diablo or World of Warcraft, one doesn’t need to fight for a specific faction. You can always find it on the market, as the purchase list isn’t defined by factions. Of course, there are things you can’t buy, like awards for long service from a faction, but in other merchandise players are only limited by their in-game currency amount.

Players can earn money by selling unnecessary items or exchanging roubles into it. Like in any tank-oriented game, donaters don’t have any advantages before those, who play for free. Ones save time, others save money. Free-to-play as it is.

Players don’t have to buy either in-game iron or the real one. Hammer Engine was developed by Targem Games a long time ago and wouldn’t require a brand new PC. The minimal requirements were presented by Intel HD 3000 / 4000. The recommended requirements were presented by good old NVidia GeForce 650 / AMD Radeon HD 5750. The graphics correlate with the requirements. It can’t be called modern. The performance of Crossout has been thoroughly examined in this article. The graphics would probably stay on the level of FlatOut.

Despite older graphics, the players liked the visuals. There’s more to discuss in game physics. Ram attacks look withered, far from FlatOut. Offroaders can hardly overcome puddles. One of the authors, who knows something about car simulators recommends Screamer 4×4. He notices that heavy armored cars are too easy to drift. They are four axled and weigh thousands of pounds, but behave themselves on sand like a classic car on ice.

Closed beta revealed many problems, so we decided to divide our examination into two parts. In this preview We’ve discussed the basics and game structure. Another article wil let you see the project as professional testers do. We will collect the feedback about every part of this MMO-action game, count FPS on different configurations, record bugs… Join us, it will be interesting!

P.S. For the laziest ones, we have prepared our 20-minutes let’s play, which will also be useful for those who have studied the preview. Both article and video have been made by different people with different opinions on the game. We think that it will help people get a full idea of Crossout.