Crimson Alliance Review: Get Your Swords Sharpened

Crimson Alliance is a top view dungeon crawler RPG made by Certain Affinity. Yes, Certain Affinity, the same people that made the Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack and the Xbox Live arcade game Age of Booty. You may have gotten Crimson Alliance for free if you got all the Summer of Arcade Titles. If not, you can pick up one character for 800 points ($10) or buy all classes for 1200 points ($15). Either way, this is a fun experience for you and your friends.

The simplicity lets any type of gamer jump in, but has the depth for veterans of the genre. It has simple controls for all three of characters: X is a standard attack, Y is a Stun Attack, B is a Defensive strike, and A is a Dash move. Even though it sounds simple, the controls can get tricky to master.

Co-op is a big deal in Crimson Alliance. The four-player co-op, either on the same system or over Xbox Live, allows you to always have someone to play with. There are some secret passages that require more than one person to get past and some doors that only open to a certain class, but the game can be completed in single player. You will want one of each class playing just so you don’t miss out on any secrets.

Sharing is caring in this game. You don’t have to fight your teammates for gold. Any gold one player picks up, everyone gets. The gold is important to upgrade your character. You don’t level up or get stronger in this game. It’s all about the weapons. You buy new weapons and clothing to make your moves stronger and give yourself more health. Some weapons have added abilities like lighting strikes or extra damage to certain enemies.

Crimson Alliance isn’t perfect for all. It does have some issues that are hard to overlook: camera is way too far out, all characters must stay in the same area, it’s hard to target enemies with ranged attacks, and without a real level up system, it is hard to feel the progression of your character. But, as a gamer who doesn’t play many dungeon crawlers, I do feel this game had what I was looking for in a social environment. I was playing with friends and it wasn’t so easy I felt like I was playing a child’s game.

Also, there is a new level that will bring new missions that are perfect for co-op. It will add new loot, new enemies, and new challenges.  It is coming out October 12th for only 240 points ($3).