The cult classic is back. This time with updated graphics, weapons, perks, and game modes.
I was a huge fan of the original and was ecstatic to see it get rereleased on Linux.
When it comes to top down shooters, Crimsonland is by far the best out there. Controls are very percise and mappable. The graphics update is beautiful when compared to the original and quite nice for being a 2D game. The interface also got a face lift. Orignially, your ammo count was an image on the top that showed you how many shots you had left. Now, it is a counter above the mouse. I prefer this seeing as I'm mostly looking at the mouse. In the original, any bonus you picked up would give you a count down in the upper left. Now, if the bonus affects your gun (firing rate, fire bullets, etc.) you get a yellow countdown around your mouse. If the bonus affects your character (shield) you get a clock like counter around your health bar (which is also now around the character instead of in the upper left hand corner). There are no countdowns for 2x, Freeze, or Speed bonuses. Some indication would be helpful, especially for the Speed bonus. But, I won't fault them too much on those. Lastly, the perk selector was overhauled as well. Originally, a window would pop up that listed the perks in a vertical list with a discription on the bottom. Now, they are images listed horizontally with the name under it when the mouse is hovered over it and the discription on the bottom and the biggest difference is that in the original you would hit Tab to open the perk selector. In the new version it appears automatically and you are forced to pick something to continue.
Some of the weapons updates are nice but I feel that there are too many. While they are nice, since the weapon drops are completely at random you might never get the gun you really need for late game. Also, before the 1.9 patch of the original there was a trick to using the Pulse Gun and using the Angry Reloader perk that just made you dominate the map early on. This was "fixed" in 1.9 which was a huge let down in my opinion.
I can't really say much about the perk other than telekenisis. This perk was changed heavily. Originally, you would hover your mouse over a bonus for a full second and you would pick it up. This made you have to be looking in its direction, which made it hard if you had enemies behind you. You basically had to stop shooting at them to pick up the bonus or time it so you could position them between you and the bonus to shot them. Now, the closest bonus will move towards you. I actually prefer this new method over the previous. Lets you focus more on the fight and less about trying to pick up the bonus. My only complaint is that I think the longer the bonus is traveling, the faster it should move. If you are running backwards, the bonus will never reach you because you can out run it. Still a better approach, though.
They also added a new game mode. Nukefism gives you no weapons and only bonuses to pick up. Very hard game mode which is why the achievement is unlocked when you get 75,000 points in it. Unfortunately, they removed the Typ'o'Shooter game mode which was my favorite. An enemy would appear with a word over it and you would have to type it out to shoot at that enemy. Not only was that a great mode to teach typing but like all things Crimsonland would get progressively harder the longer you lasted. It really made you learn the layout of the keyboard. Typ'o'Shooter is greatly missed.
With all of this being said, I feel that the price may be a little bit high considering that the original was only 10 dollars USD in 2004. By no means do I consider this a 14 dollar title, especially when they removed a great game mode and didn't really add anything of a story. When Survival mode will last, at best, 10 minutes before you get overwhelmed by enemies, these quick matches, I feel, makes the 14 dollar USD price tag a little bit much. However, on sale, this is a great buy.
The biggest drawback to Crimsonland is that it relies a bit too rmuch on the random factor. I would have loved to see a game mode like Survival but where you can remove, say, 10 weapons and 15 perks from the pool. This would let someone get rid of some of the bad weapons and perks (like the Blowtorch... seriously, the Blowtorch? Why? I'd rather take the Pulse gun over the Blowtorch).
Lastly, the Linux port was amazingly done. Performance was as expected. Some reports of reversed X axis on game pads which I believe are fixed as of this writing (or will be fixed soon). I did experience 1 random crash but I think that was caused by something else happening at the same time.
If you are a fan of quick match top down shooters, storyless and senseless violence, or simple time killer games, I highly recommend this game. If you were a fan of the original, you might be left with a bad taste, but I wasn't.