A new game has recently hit Kickstarter and we got a first hand look. It’s Crashnauts, created by local Utah indie game devs, Fueled by Rockets. Crashnauts is a multiplayer arena shooter with an interesting sci-fi art style. Before I get further into talking about it, I’d like to let everyone know that the version I played was an alpha, so this is by no means a review of, or reflective of the finish product. There seems to be something special here, and with more polish and a larger budget from Kickstarter, Crashnauts could be something quite brilliant.
The character design and art style is definitely the first thing that jumps out at me. I absolutely love the way this game looks. It reminds me a lot of the art style used by Behemoth. A bit of the ol’ cartoonish, coupled with ultra-violence is always a combination that I enjoy. The various races are unique and interesting. The Space Marines seem to have much more to them than the standard Space Marine look (one of the head choices is a retro-looking bubble helmet painted with a skull), and the Space Roaches look both silly and horrifying. The gameplay itself is really fun. The controls handle well and I never really ran into problems with them. I could easily maneuver across the stage, pick up a gun, and jump to the other side while blasting my opponent standing below. In several maps, there is the inclusion of teleporters. They are a nice way to quickly move around, but they serve another much more fun purpose. You can shoot through them, and teleport your bullets. It’s a fairly simple device, but it adds a whole other layer to shooting. You can use them to angle both yourself and your weapon’s aim through them to pull off some cool trick shots, and it also helps sustain the kinetic nature of the game; someone can’t run through the teleporter to hide…your bullets will catch them. The number of stages is lacking, but once again I’m sure this is due to the game’s current alpha state. I love the few stages that there are, however, and I’m really excited to see the creativity of the maps to come. I am also excited to see the next weapons. Crashnauts have more or less basic guns: long-range rifles, shotguns, machine guns, etc. There is one weapon that’s clearly my favorite. It shoots little bouncy balls around the arena that kill everyone in their path, similar to an old Quake gun. It’s definitely easy to see that the devs have taken a lot of influence from old arena shooters like Quake, and have brought them into a 2-D indie style. If they continue with ridiculous guns like this, and possibly a few melee weapons, I think the selection could create some unique and hilarious situations. I’m really excited about Crashnauts and am going to be closely following its development. If you are interested, head over to their Kickstarter page and check it out for yourself!
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