Crashlands Doesn't Crash and Burn
Crashlands is a top-down, 2D open world survival game, akin to Don't Starve, available on PC and mobile devices. Over the past several days, I've put into it more than 20 hours on PC and every one of those has felt super fun and rewarding. I picked it up during the wallet-destroying Steam holiday sale and it was well worth it. In fact, I would have paid full price for this nice little gem.
Each bit of the game feels very polished. The story is, well, present. It's funny and actually gives a level of depth to your player character, which is more than many games like this can say. Flux and their robot companion JuiceBox embark on a not so heroic adventure to deliver their company's cargo, when the alien Hewgodooko attacks them to steal their ships battery. They then have to fight and build their way through a fantastic alien world with many unique inhabitants and biomes. Ranging from frogs that spew fire that congregate around tar pits, to nocturnal flying jellyfish that love to be around plants that discharge electricity. The creativity combined with believably make the flora and fauna shine.
Speaking of inhabitants, they have as much personality as your protagonist. Each alien species has different beliefs, actions and goals. While one species is peaceful and in tune with the planet, and very vengeful. The next is mischievous and always trying to further their own goals. This makes each quest you get as you progress feel unique and enjoyable.
The crafting is easy and intuitive, albeit requiring a bit of grinding at times. The RPG elements add a nice bit of Diablo-esque strategy. Do you want to have extra toughness and reflect damage, or have a chance to summon lightning bolts and fire to decimate your enemies? Both of those are possible -- with some luck -- while crafting random stat-generated armor and weapons. However a lot rides on player ability regardless of play style. Each enemy has several attack patterns that they follow with bright red visual indicators. These show where the attacks will be, or what trajectory a projectile will follow. The rest is on the player to be able to memorize and dodge each while making sure to use attack items or equipped melee weapons to counter.
My only big complaints with the game are how expansive it is in relation to how slow your character can be, and the lack of multiplayer. The former is alleviated a bit by the ample amount of teleportation pads scattered around. However teleportation pads are not activated until found. So a majority of the time running to a quest objective is spent on foot. This can be a bit tedious due to your characters run speed and how almost ridiculously massive each map is. Sadly, the latter is simply not a feature of the game at this time.
The pros greatly outweigh the cons for this game though. I would greatly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of action RPG or survival games.
The Perfect Landings
- Addicting gameplay
- Unique locale for the survival genre
- Fun humor
- Can feel a bit slow paced at times
- Lack of multiplayer