Crimson Alliance is an action game in which squads of four players hack and slash their way through countless dungeons. You split enemies in half with a single slice, use magic to push them away and stun them with your lightning speed. Your adventure will take you around a fantasy world as you take down an evil sorceress and her dark minions. On paper this sounds like the most exciting game of the summer. So why is this Xbox Live Arcade title so boring?
Trust me; you've heard it all before. There's an evil sorceress that magically comes back to life and, what else, threatens the world. Thankfully a band of adventurers (each with conveniently different abilities) set forth to make sure this doesn't happen. Along the way they have to fight through underground caves, destroyed villages and castles. Sound familiar? That's because you've seen this formula countless times in one Diablo-wannabe after another. The result is an action game that is boring, generic and outdated.
The gimmick here is that you can have up to four players working together to wipe out this enemy threat. The game has full Xbox Live support, which may make this mediocre effort tempting to oblivious gamers. But don't be fooled, there are far better dungeon crawlers on the Xbox 360 for the exact same price.
Like most Diablo-clones, Crimson Alliance lets you choose from three different characters. There's a warrior (who is good at short range attacks), a magician (who is good at long range attacks) and an assassin (who has both long and short range attacks). Each character has two different attacks (weak and strong) and the ability to stun nearby opponents. Outside of the various items you can pick up along the way (including a gun turret and a health generator), there isn't much more to this shallow adventure game.
The game sets up a series of linear levels to fight through, each a little harder than the last. Sadly, there's very little variety to be found in the game. Either you're walking through tight corridors killing enemies or you're in a large room dealing with wave after wave of enemies. Occasionally there are small puzzles you can solve (including multi-person puzzles), but none of them require much thinking. There are also hidden areas full of gold scattered around each stage, though it won't take much to find their locations.
Even the biggest fan of dungeon crawlers will admit that the genre is a little repetitive. While modern entries have done a good job of adding variety, there is still a certain level of repetition involved with this style of game. The reason people keep coming back to games like Diablo and Torchlight is because of the character leveling system and, most importantly, the chance of finding rare loot.
While there's nothing wrong with Crimson Alliance form a technical standpoint, it's a shame that a game with this much hack and slash action is so boring. The lackluster presentations, repetitive gameplay and generic story don't help anything. You're better off buying one of the better Diablo-clones currently available on the Xbox 360!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!