Crash Force (PC) is a game developed and published by Ascanio Entertainment, which was released on Steam in January of this year. Described by Ascanio as “an amalgamation of the most popular genres in gaming”, I sat down to take a look at a game which some players are calling “Rocket League with spaceships”.
Crash Force offers both a short guided tutorial level and a “shooting range” target practice style game mode, with bots for you to practice shooting at.
The tutorial level is short and sweet, you can complete it in a few minutes and it covers the basics of control and weapons, including showing you how to move, jump and avoid danger via wormholes. It’s not overly detailed and is good enough that you can learn Crash Force‘s lessons and then jump straight into a game, but more competitive players will probably want to read up more information about Crash Force strategies and tactics online. The game has only recently left Early Access on Steam so walkthroughs and guides are limited, but there is a small, dedicated Crash Force community who will probably be able to help new players out with improving their games.
The controls in Crash Force were, for me, quite middling. When they worked well, they provided a fun experience where I got stuck into a fun, fast-paced multiplayer shooter that had me speeding around corridors and narrowly avoiding being blown up by lasers. But often I found that my ship was less responsive than I wanted it to be, and I became frustrated at times. I do take into account that this is something that be a product of my own limited practice with the game as opposed to being entirely the fault of the controls, but I still found it a chore to get the game to do what I wanted it to, sometimes.
However, I can easily see Crash Force being a game that you get yourself lost in. Despite the handling not always meeting my expectations, the game’s controls are set up to provide you with a fun experience. After all, you’re piloting a ship that flies around shooting at other ships: what’s not to love?
The visuals of Crash Force are, for the most part, pretty great. The vibrant colours and damage effects really add to the fun, vibrant feel of the game, and this is also reflected well in the colourful skin options available when customising your ships. Gameplay is visually exciting without being overbearing, and the colours are toned down enough that you can focus on firing without getting lost in a space rainbow.
My main visual issue comes with the UI: Crash Force‘s main menu screen is pretty ugly and doesn’t do justice to the rest of the game’s impressive visuals. It feels out-of date and gimmicky: I’d happily forego the slow-loading, AI-esque menu and lobby screens for something simpler and sleeker. I understand that these menus are meant to be immersive (for example, when exiting the game, a warning pops up confirming if you want to “shut down the system”) but I don’t think they add enough to the game to compensate for their design flaws. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s something I’d personally prefer to be replaced with a simpler design.
Crash Force is a game that has a lot of potential. It could be the next Rocket League(with real rockets!), but it needs some updating and tweaking to really push it to that next level. I’m impressed with what the developers have done so far, but I’ll personally be waiting for a few more patches before I delve back into the world of Crash Force. The playerbase right now is small but dedicated, and it might take some arranging on the Steam forums before you find people to play with, but I think this is a game with room to grow that will flourish in the future.
You can easily get lost in the fun of shooting and flying around for hours on end, and I can definitely see myself sitting down for a few long sessions of play after the team tweaks the game just that bit more, to streamline the player experience into something smoother than the current version of Crash Force offers.
Review copy provided
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A shooter with room for improvement, Crash Force is a fun game to get lost in, but middling controls and UI make it harder for players to immerse themselves.
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