Amazon’s Crucible

My friend described Crucible as “Generic, Bland and Soulless”. If you made a game out of portfolio pieces and based on purely market research, you would get Crucible.

There is a genre of games people keep making, and frankly I’m not sure why. They include games like Gigantic, Battleborn, Paragon, Super Monday Night Combat, and now Crucible.

If I had to categorize these games, I’d call them moba-shooters, or something along that line. They tend to be team based, take a variety of inspiration from MOBA games, while trying to be shooters with heros in them.

The other thing they all have in common is that they have all died and failed. Some because of business choices. Some because the gameplay sucks. And some because they launched at the same time as Overwatch, and also the gameplay sucks.

Crucible hasn’t failed yet, but it’s been out for like… one day. I’ve played four hours. I do not want to play anymore. It plays like garbage. The shooting feels light-weight. Some of the individual assets are great, and some of them look like shit. See below for an example.

If I had to summarize crucible in a nutshell, it’d be this image right here. Look at the detail on that manta ray style wing. Look at the small lines, the weighting giving an impression of some sort of structure underneath. Now look at the rest of the image.

Look at the fact that said incredible wing is just straight up clipping into the players weapon, because who gives a shit. Look at the enemy in the background, where you can straight up see the where the textures split.

Someone clearly worked very hard on this shit. Look at those two images above. Look at the light gleam on the wing. Look at the way that the color sorta saturates the area. Look at how different small details are visible under different lighting.

This complete juxtaposition of incredible effort and absolute zero shits given can be found throughout every part of Crucible. Some parts are very well done, and incredibly detailed. And other parts feel like shit, look like shit,and play like shit.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to eat a shit and banana smoothie, and I’m not gonna spend my time on the game equivalent. Some skills and abilities feel mostly great, like the grappling hook, with small custom animations for when you’ve built up enough speed. And some things, like the fact that when you drop in after respawning, you just sorta pause and sit there for a bit, feel like trash.

The shooting is trash. The “Skill trees” are non-existent. There are a grand total of maybe five types of enemies. There’s almost no feedback on when you hit an enemy, and feels incredibly difficult to land shots. The shots you do land barely seem to tickle the enemies health bar.

I have one theory on why Crucible looks, plays, and is the way it is, and it’s this: Crucible isn’t really intended to be a game. Instead, its meant to be a tech demo for lumberyard, and the other underlying technologies. I don’t know if it succeeds at that, because I’m not going to spend time playing it.

My friend described Crucible as “Generic, Bland and Soulless”. I’d say that it’s a pretty good summary. If you made a game out of portfolio pieces and based on purely market research, you would get Crucible.