Crucible Review – Prime Disappointment
It’s easy to recognize Crucible‘s many design influences. The Amazon-published third-person multiplayer game features hero-style characters with abilities similar to those found in Overwatch. Its one MOBA-centric game mode should feel familiar to you if you’ve played Smite or the now-defunct Paragon. And even its light progression system echoes the one found in Gearbox’s Battleborn. Crucible attempts to remix a lot of existing ideas and cohesively tie them together into something more successful, but as a result, it fails to create an identity for itself.
Crucible takes place on an alien planet primed for off-world mining, which plays host to three game modes on its single map. Heart of the Hive is as close to a MOBA as Crucible gets, with a focus on PvP and PvE play as two teams fight to secure the hearts of dangerous hives. Alpha Hunters is a spin on battle royale, with teams of two skirmishing in short matches. Lastly, Harvester Command combines traits of team deathmatch and classic point control, rewarding players for kills and the number of objectives controlled on the map. In each mode, you have a choice to play as one of 10 characters, each with a handful of unique abilities and unlockable traits.
Heart of the Hive is the main event, pitting two teams of four against one another on a large map filled with AI enemies as you hunt down periodically spawning hives and attempt to capture three of their underlying hearts. Like in most MOBAs, you kill these enemies for XP, levelling up your character to improve your health, damage, and ability effectiveness. But in Crucible, there’s no challenge involved in killing these enemies; it’s easy enough to tackle a large group of them alone without any risk, dancing around their slow and predictable attack patterns. It reduces the necessary farming of experience to a mindless annoyance, made even more irritating by the fact that it’s predominantly how you’ll spend most of your time in this mode.