Crimsonland was originally released in 2003 and now 11 years later, a remastered version of the game is available on the PC and PlayStation 4. The game may have a long legacy behind it, but sadly it doesn’t quite stand up to some of the other twin stick shooters available.
I will start of with some good news. Crimsonland does provided quite a lot of content; there are 5 gameplay modes, 30 weapons, 55 perks, 60 missions and 3 difficulties to unlock but after the first hour the game became dull, repetitive and downright annoying.
The game’s missions are split into six planets where you’re required to kill hordes of enemies until eventually, it’s broken up at the end by a boss fight. The bosses do have interesting gimmicks, at least when compared to the rest of the enemies, yet it’s not enough to save the game from getting fairly tedious.
Being use to modern twin-stick shooters like Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition or the amazing Resogun, there was one thing that really bugged me, no ability to dash. Your nameless soldier will walk around the planet attempting to keep the unending horde away and only speed up a little for a few seconds when your lucky enough to get one of the random drops. Sure, it brings an added challenge to the game, but not enough.
While the gameplay can get dull quickly, Crimsonland is saved a little by the weapon and perk unlocks. Completing missions will give players access to more powerful weapons, although you almost always start a mission with a pistol. Perk unlocks come in to play in the game’s survival mode and leveling up grants players a choice of four perks to add to their character. While some are bog standard, like health regeneration or increased bullet damage, some do have fun effects.
Survival mode does offer some online leader boards that will keep you playing, attempting to beat that high score but the controls can make this more of a chore than for fun.
Crimsonland’s weapons are by far the best part of the game. Picking up a new gun in the middle of battle will instantly have you changing the way you play or will have you die very quickly. While the pistol or assault rifle will feel familiar, the more exotic weapons are where things get interesting… and difficult.
Going into the game, I was unfamiliar with its origins having never heard of it prior to this review, so unfortunately, I can’t compare the graphics to the original. The only apparent difference between the planets available in the game are the colours of the game’s environments here and there.
10Tons’ shooter does allow players to use the DualShock 4’s touch pad to aim and shoot, but I personally struggled with this due to the small size of the pad and my rather large fingers although others might find this more comfortable than using both sticks.
One minor redeeming factor is that the title does offer local co-op and scales the difficulty to the number of players. Having four players in a game can result in hundreds of monsters on screen and while it can be fun to play with your friends, the gameplay itself just isn’t fun.
Crimsonland is a blast from the past and maybe it should have stayed there. While some gamers that have fond memories of the original version might enjoy reliving their past, anyone that is a fan of modern, twin-stick shooters should probably look else where.
Crimsonland from 10Tons Ltd. will be available on PC and PS4 from the 15th of July and a PS Vita version of the game is also planned in the coming months, which is also cross-buy.
This review is based on a PS4 copy of Crimsonland, provided to us by 10Tons Ltd.