Amazon’s bet in the field of competitive multiplayer, a MOBA sub-variant, is now ready to conquer an especially nourished field for some time now (the recent and highly commented ‘ Valorant ‘ is barely a month old). Will it be able to eat ground from the already well established ‘League of Legends’ and ‘DOTA 2’?

The announcement of its development, the recent confirmation of its release date, and little else. Almost nothing beyond the constant delays and problems in the set-up of Amazon Game Studios, which is now eight years old. 

The result, due to the long time it has been in development, has snooped through a number of very different references. Its aesthetic resemblance, typical of cartoons, with hits from a few years ago like ‘Overwatch’, is obvious, although in a tone closer to fantasy than science fiction. That is, close to a ‘League of Legends’ in the setting, but much brighter and more colorful. This mixture of references is what gives it personality, and we are going to try to reel off some of them.

‘Crucible’ as a cluster of influences

Basically, ‘Crucible’ is a hero shooter, a variant of the genre where players divide into teams and adopt the looks, attributes, and weapons of predefinedheroes. They are games in which team members are encouraged to collaborate, and basically the entire genre branches off from Valve’s mythical (and still widely played) ‘Team Fortress 2’. Some of the most significant titles of the genre, and from which ‘Crucible’ drinks, are ‘ Overwatch ‘, ‘ Apex Legends ‘, or ‘ Quake Champions ‘.

When we say that aesthetically it has a lot in common with hero shooters, we are not just referring to the design of the characters. For example, one of the ways to monetize ‘Crucible’ is its hero customization store, which is clearly inspired by those of ‘Apex Legends’ and ‘Overwatch’. By the way, aesthetically it also looks at another game that tried to link MOBA and hero shooters, the already semi-forgotten ‘ Battleborn ‘ from Gearbox.

However, Crucible’s game modes bring it closer to other types of games, MOBAs such as ‘ League of Legends ‘ or ‘ DOTA 2 ‘, from which it draws not on aesthetics, but on approach and ambitions, with mechanics clearly oriented towards e-sports. Basically, in a MOBA, teams of players face-off, but with the intention of destroying an alien structure. MOBAs also usually have units controlled by the game’s AI. All these drinks from the influence of real-time strategy, although the passage of time has led to games like ‘Paragon’ having an impact on genre mechanics such as RPG or pure action.

The game, from what has been seen and analyzed so far, works as a mix of both genres because there are several game modes, some more action-oriented than others. In the most important mode, Heart of the Hives, you have to capture three objectives (monsters that defend themselves in the style of the ‘LOL’ dragons, and which can be approached before or after having finished with the rival team) and that inherits the most strategic and teamwork part of ‘DOTA 2’ or ‘LOL’.

On the other hand, there is some of the more light-hearted action and sheer test of skill from younger competitors like ‘Overwatch’. And there is another mode, Alpha Hunters, which raises a battle royale style, as dictated by the canons of an unattainable multiplayer action, ‘Fortnite’.

The Macedonian may seem complex, but one important detail must not be forgotten: although at this point it seems difficult to aspire, with a first-time game, to reach the strategic level and complexity of LOL games, Amazon is clear that you have to look at the e-sports ground, where these games reign. The reason is clear: Twitch is his property, and you have to take advantage of that circumstance.

The importance of strategy

In this way, Crucible proposes a visualization of the action at ground level and in which the player practically only sees what his character sees, and that brings us closer to ‘Fortnite’, ‘Overwatch’ and ‘Valorant’ (which also, curiously, it is a mix of genres, this time from hero shooters, but with the precision and teamwork requirement of ‘Counter-Strike’).

However, the mechanics are close to MOBAs: the speed at which the heroes move (distributed in two teams of four players), for example, is essential to develop strategies, stay as a team and decide how to collect elements that best suit them. characters.It is essential to plan well the encounters and routes to fit the characteristics of the players: as usual, the team’s tank, Earl, is as resistant as it is slow, and to compensate we have a character capable of teleporting, but at who should not get into too many fights.

Also, the development of the combats has more to do with traditional MOBAs than games more oriented to pure action like ‘Fortnite’, where strategy takes a back seat. In ‘Crucible’, the combats are not settled so much by the skill that must be had in the action itself, but by how well the Warriors have been improved and prepared previously, annihilating smaller rivals controlled by the AI, which allows improving to our characters … all to try to depart in the often confusing and chaotic battles from an advantageous position.

Other game modes

And then to make it clear that ‘Crucible’ looks in various directions, there are the aforementioned more action-oriented modes. There’s the 16-player battle royale, Alpha Hunters. In it, eight teams of two players face each other. And then there’s a traditional deathmatch titled Harvester Command, this one with two teams of eight players, where you earn points for controlling zones, up to a hundred points. Two styles of play that we all know in depth because we have seen them in dozens of other titles, and that are clearly inclined to the more direct multiplayer action.

Among the complaints that have been read of the first games of the game are the scarcity of maps or how unfriendly it is for players not hardened in this type of title. These are questions that will have to be analyzed from now on, when this hodgepodge of Amazon styles arrives on Steam, exclusively for Steam and in free-to-play mode.