Once again, there’s a great sense of character to these animations and the design. They have given the 3 core classes their own combat styles, movement and idle animations. The combat animations are solid and tie in nicely with the physics of the game.Physics
There are impact physics and there are great combat physics, with each blow actually feeling connected to the creature and damage in question. Some bigger monsters will actually hurl the character around with their massive attacks and take some serious damage before they get put down. Explosions are nice and satisfying leaving bits of enemies lying around at the end.AI
The AI isn’t as simple as you might think, there’s a lot going on here and Crimson Alliance’s AI is some of the best monster AI we’ve come across so far in this genre, since each monster acts differently and some of them have a real sense of personality. They also know how to flank and how to ignore the mercenary with his shield raised, to come after the weaker wizard or assassin.Sound
The sound for the game compliments the on screen action nicely, the sizzles of fireballs with the clash of steel against the surprised shrieks of the enemies works rather well. There are some nice spot sounds for the dungeons and once again, Certain Affinity know their audio mixing and volume levels.Music
A nice score accompanies the game, with some stirring music and some great thematic pieces.Voice
The voice acting is decent enough with the recognisable tones of a few veteran voice actors in there. Especially for the wizard Direwolf, see if you can work out who that is.Dialogue
It is fantasy, it’s got some clichés but it’s also pretty smartly written and there’s a good bit of humour now and then.Multiplayer?
Yes, it supports local play for up to 4 players. It also supports Xbox Live and most importantly supports a mix of local and Xbox Live play. So you can have two people on Live and one as a guest on either console playing away with the Live players. The players can also revive each other if they go down.So...
Crimson Alliance is a breath of fresh air, a great XBLA title and probably one of the best of this year’s Summer of Arcade games. If you loved Gauntlet and feel like a fantasy hack and slash with a little more brain and brawn...this is the game for you.
One interesting point of note is that you can buy one character if you don’t plan on playing the rest. So you don’t need to buy all 3 character class packs. This can work out cheaper for the gamer who wants to spend their time honing just one class and pick the others up as they go along (800msp each). Since the core game is free... yep... free...
So if you’re only going to play the wizard, you can get the game for 800 points.
Otherwise, the all class pack with cost you 1200.
It is worth it.