Crossout is the new title in the works from veteran team Targem Games (Day Watch, MorphX) and with it they’re looking to knock the battle-car subgenre up a gear.
Crossout’s cars are not happy, in fact they are simply mad. Hoverjets, gigantic wheels, spikes, cannons, and buzzsaws are the order of the day here – all bolted together into a messy, Mad-Max-esque, motor vehicle. It is, as you might expect, a post apocalyptic settting that you’ll be playing in, and what you’ll be playing is (currently) one of two modes; an 8v8 capture-the-base experience where you’ve got to push up as a team at take the middlegrounds – or in some matches the enemy base.
The other mode, “Raid” is PvE. Teams are half the normal size and you’ve all got to work cooperatively to complete mission objectives around the map while battling off waves of enemies. Currently you can only attempt the Raid a limited amount of times, this is because each attempt uses up fuel, a resource which replenishes every 24 hours – in that World-of-Tanks or Warthunder (made by Gaijin Games, who happen to publish Crossout) fashion,
Both of the modes, and indeed the game, sets you out with no glue or spare bolts to repair your vehicle, meaning that you’ll be losing bits and pieces as you take damage, and once you’re out for the count you’re out until the match ends – a single life, that’s it. No respawns.
Now, here’s the most interesting part of the game, and it’s pretty unique too. The building of your vehicle; you can collect scattered parts while in the PvP matches and then at the menu you can bolt them onto your existing vehicle in a very cool, modular design. These parts, weapons, armour, wheels, melee weapons, are all scattered around the ruins of battle, and can be added with almost no structure. This means, if you want to go for a massive tank, smothered in armour, and piled under mounds of cannons then you can; you’ll just face the issue that you move as slow as you might expect with all that weight. On the counter, if you want to go full Mad Max and build a flighty rapid thing with lethal blades to dice your foes up close, you totally can, you’ll just have sacrificed armour for speed, and be completely susceptible to a well placed blast. That this does is, well, it completely transcends conventional class based systems; gone are the bombers, attackers, or fighters; the artillery, scouts, and heavies; the DPS, the ranger and the tank.
The various arenas of the game are fantastically varied, lush, clear-skied forests thru decayed industrial areas, thru rocky, uneven desert canyon settings. Music and sound effects are currently nigh on perfect too – the music rattles and rumbles, deep banging reverberates, it is -as one would hope- a solid earful of the post-apoc setting.
The controls are running on a combination of WASD and Mouse-look, which was extremely easy to pick up and play, although I did notice that controller support is currently absent from the build – I can’t understand why as it would have suited the game just fine — hopefully it is going to be included pre-launch.
The UI is very clean, minimalistic, only showing a few buttons you might otherwise forget and a health and temperature rating. It would have been nice to have a damage meter showing each part of your vehicle – as other than watching it fall off, there is no feedback on which parts of your beasty are weakest and most prone to be left behind. Temperature is in as your weapons have unlimited ammunition, so you only need to attempt to them overheating.
So, the finished game will have quite a lot to offer. As well as collecting scraps from the battle you can actually make your own parts, with a factions system which gifts out blueprints as you represent them in the deadly duals. All of these parts, and the ones found, can be sold and transfered between players using an in-game marketplace — it’ll be interesting to see how this is balanced in the final version. Obviously there’s going to be daily challenges, including attempts at the PVE mode, among other unannounced things.
In closing, there’s a lot on the horizon for this game, I really enjoyed my time with it, and massively look forward to the full game. It’s nice to have a battle-car type game that has quick, single-life PVP, and to have damage actually reflected on the body-parts of your vehicle and affecting it’s performance from there-on.
There’s no estimated launch date, or confirmation of formats, for Crossout. However you can sign up for the closed beta on the developer’s website [here].