Indsendt: 11. juni
Pretty disappointed by this "remake"... if you could even call it that. This game has some new perks and a few new game modes, but that's about all that is new. All of the sound effects and music, for example, are 100% reused from the original-- in 2003, this kind of audio quality was acceptable, but in 2014, it feels tinny and underwhelming, especially with regards to the music, which sounds like it was saved and then resaved as lossy 64kbps mp3s. The graphics are pretty much the same as well, just barely updated for wide screen resolutions. This is such a non-remake, in fact, that the flavor text for perks is exactly the same, poor English included! In 2003, coming from a tiny indie dev, this was acceptable. But to have this in 2014, from what is now a well established, modestly successful casual PC and mobile developer...that's just shameful and embarassing. (If you've played any of 10tons' games on iPhone or Android, that is the kind of quality I expected.)
Now for the new gameplay-- for some reason, someone thought that it would be a good idea to remove perks entirely from the Quest mode. This is such a poor decision. A major part of the 2003 game's charm was getting to make choices and develop your character gradually over the course of each level, with a clear progression in your power as the enemies became stronger and more numerous. Now the quest mode is just a boring grindfest in which the only interesting choices are when to pick up a powerup, and whether to use a shotgun or a plasma rifle. What's worse is that the game forces you play through this quest mode in order to unlock the guns and perks for use in survival mode, which does let you choose perks and develop your character. It's a poor design choice to force your players to trudge through a boring mode so that they can better succeed in the more fun game mode. Please change this back to the way it was!
Perhaps the biggest feature of this "remake" is the introduction of achievements, but half of them are predictable, "complete chapter 1 of quest mode", "complete chapter 2", type achievements. There's also one achievement which is particularly irritating for completionists like myself-- the "no damage" achievement. You now earn a star for each Quest mode level you complete without taking damage, and you have to collect one from every level to get the achievement. Sounds simple, right? Not when your character now moves at 80% of the speed they used to, your success on a level is heavily dependent upon which gun drops from the first monster, and the poor level design is such that monsters sometimes spawn right on top of you (this was rarely an issue in the original). This achievement also goes against everything the original was about: wading into mobs of aliens like a badass, and shrugging them off as you blow them away. To actually get every star for this achievement, you would have to restart your game hundreds, if not thousands of times. Meanwhile, you have to play the game as a super perfectionist SHMUP where you die instantly, rather than the messy, Smash TV style slaughterfest it is meant to be.
Lastly, the UI...I don't know why they decided to change this. In the 2003 game, your health and ammo were shown in the top left corner, in a bar with a black background. You could clearly see how much health you had, and how much ammo you had remaining in your clip. In this remake, they moved it to the aiming reticle, converting the health to a very small blue circle around you, and the ammo to a blue number next to the crosshair. While this does mean you don't have to shift your eyes away from the battle to see your stats, the tiny graphics and the light blue coloring are a pain to read, and they often blend right into the scenery or your enemies.
Unless they patch this game to make it more interesting and closer to the original, I can't recommend it. You will have much more fun with the 2003 version, believe me! And it costs almost the same. I was SO excited about this remake. I wanted badly to love it, and I was looking forward to improvements to the original. Instead, I got a product that is actually worse, and that feels like it was rushed in a month or two for the sake of a money grab.
Edit: The devs have made a post in the Steam discussion forums about how they did include a hidden option to unlock perks in the main Quest mode by typing "grim" at the menu. However, this doesn't solve the deeper underlying issue, which is the super short Quest levels (and to a lesser extent, the poor level design). The original Crimsonland was about starting weak then growing in power over time. The length of these levels is so short that this feeling of progression has been greatly diminished. So while it's a band-aid, it doesn't fix the actual cause. This feature (one that shouldn't be hidden, btw) also doesn't make up for the generally poor production values and other issues, such as the unclear UI.
Edit 2: typos