Saturday, 30 May, 2020

Amazon dives deeper into video games, launches first big-budget title Crucible

Crucible, Amazon's F2P Shooter, Releases Today on Steam Amazon's Free-to-Play Shooter Crucible Launches on Steam
Cecil Davis | 23 May, 2020, 14:26

It remains to be seen if Crucible will appeal to shooter fans, but Amazon's place in the video games industry is certainly not to be underestimated.

I haven't laid all these details out to bore you or brag about my success, but merely to talk about how well it works: I bored my housemate with it for almost an hour after it happened, but the roar of triumph I made while jumping to my feet at my victory is all the evidence you need that Alpha Hunters really has something to it.

This is Amazon Games Studio's first big-budget original game, given that it has focused mostly on tablet games in the past and released them through the Android app store since 2012, when the games division came into existence. There's the story behind them, their appearance and skins, their weapons and abilities, and so Crucible needs to get them right. It is a fast-paced game that challenges players to continuously re-evaluate and calibrate their strategies.

As many League of Legends and Dota 2 players will know, champions are made by the items they have, and the same is true for Crucible.

Crucible begins an 8-week Pre-Season today.

Although the game is free-to-play, Amazon is clearly hoping to get players spending money.

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It looks as though there's been a wobble and Crucible hasn't gone live as planned - it's moved to "Coming Soon" on Steam.

In addition to purchasable skins, there's also a battle pass helping to support this free-to-play game.

This will often bring both teams together: slay the hive and you'll immediately be plunged into a fight to grab its heart, which can only be claimed by one team - usually the team that survives the scrap immediately after the hive dies. Finally, there's Alpha Hunters, in which players must be the last of up to eight duos to survive a typical narrowing battle royale map.

I played Mendoza for Heart of the Hives and Alpha Hunters, where two teams of four battle it out to become the first team to secure three hearts, but I opt for Sazan for Harvester Command, Crucible's more casual mode that's a bit like Call of Duty's Domination mixed with Team Deathmatch. Teams earn points by controlling Harvesters and defeating opponents, and the first team to 100 points wins. The company, a powerhouse in providing back-end game server tech, also owns streaming service Twitch. Without doubt, this could help the game garner marketing advantages. Alternatively, they may be waiting until the new consoles come out later this year. The company roped in people from different communities such as professional gamers and streamers to provide feedback.

The team wanted a game that was bright and detailed, and one that showed off the personality of its diverse, animated character roster, which features a broad mix of genders, species and races. And that is the name Amazon. They then change tune, choosing to utilize freelance fighters in a series of competitions known as the Crucible to gather Essence for them.

"Crucible", available Wednesday for PCs, is a free-to-play, competitive, team-based online shooter, one that wants to endear itself to players with approachable tweaks to the familiar rather than a full upending of any genre. The studio is led by Louis Castle, co-founder of Westwood Studios. Meanwhile, it is speculated that Amazon will launch the New World in two versions - standard and deluxe - which will be priced at $40 and $50 respectively.