Crossout - A Free to Play Vehicle Mayhem Game

From the boffins that created the massive online game War Thunder comes a new exciting take on the genre of making things to blow things up in a post-apocalyptic land. Currently, Crossout is in the "Closed BETA" testing phase of development which means that it's still being tinkered with while people like myself play it and effectively test it out. While there are some things that might need some attention, there's a hell of a lot that is just right and will make this game into a successful free to play game.

Free to play games that I have played in the past fall victim to the same issue that usually kills the experience for me over a short few moments or hours of play. I am referring to the ever so unfriendly grind that is required to progress through the game without spending real world currency. Essentially this is the intent of most of these free games so as to encourage people who play the game to donate their hard earned so that the creators of the game get paid. My stance on pumping money into these so called free games is simple. If I enjoy the game enough without paying for it, I will put money into it for two reasons. First of all because I want to get further into the game that I am enjoying and secondly, if the creators deserve it based on their work being of great quality, then I want to pay them back. I'll get back to this point a bit later on.

To explain it simply, Crossout is a game where you drive a car around an open multiplayer map and shoot at other cars until they explode, or you capture their base or objective. It could have been as simple as that and still would have been a great game, however there are so many other aspects added to the game. The cars or vehicles are completely modular and like a LEGO creation, you can snap on pieces of your car wherever you like (within reason) and create the simplest of designs, to the most creative monstrosity that you can. As the subtitle suggests, you will craft, ride and destroy. You are given a simple set up vehicle to begin with which has a pickup or Ute style to it. It has a gun mounted on the roof and a spring like jack underneath it to help you roll back over if you manage to land on your roof. You may immediately move the gun to a different mounting position and remove and replace panels on the vehicle as you see fit. Adding parts like guns/cannon and radar equipment will require battery power which will limit the amount of these parts you can add early on. The best part about this is that the only limit to your creativity with the parts that you have on hand is your imagination. Moving parts around and adding your own bits and pieces as armour is extremely rewarding and fun. This not only can make your car more efficient on the battlefield, it will give each and every player car out there a unique identity.

So you've removed the jacks from underneath the chassis and added another two machine guns and you think you're ready for battle. Ready up and jump into an online match. Here you will be thrown into the ring with other players as well as AI controlled bots with the express intent to blow each other up and complete objectives in order to level up your avatar and earn precious scrap metal and the all-important parts to add to your vehicle. Winning a game will reset your vehicle's damage while losing a match will inflict lasting damage to your parts until you fork out the coin to repair it. This is a welcome mechanic and really rewards a win on the battlefield. Simply put, Crossout is amazing fun to play and even more enjoyable with your friends when you party up and play as a team. Bing a free to play game, this will be something that will be accessible to most people for obvious reasons.

With the good however, there are a few things that need to be tightened up or changed for the final release. Without full understanding of how the delicate workings of how an online video game streams across the world for multiplayer matches, I will comment on the facts. There's a strange lag in the controls of the vehicles when accelerating, steering and shooting. It's a different kind of lag that I haven't really noticed in any other games. The so called lag feels constant and doesn't really vary from game to game. At first I thought it might have been the way the controls were designed but this was defunct when I tried out the "Test Drive" feature which throws you into an offline map on your own. The lag that I refer to was gone. This proved to me that it must be a network thing. Now I am playing Crossout from the land down under, Australia which is a long distance from pretty much everywhere so this could be a major contributor for these issues. Not being the expert in this area leaves me unsure but hopefully when the full game launches we might see some servers that are more "local" to where we all live.

The design of your vehicle becomes more obvious the more you play the game. You will see some of the outlandish designs that other players have employed and that will give you ideas on what you can do to your own ride. Creating, modding and upgrading your vehicle can be very daunting when you first start trying to mess around with it. The menus are confusing and it's sometimes hard to work out what you need to do to make something work. Often the only explanation the game would offer me was to pay with real world currency to purchase the parts I needed. I feel this is intentional at this stage of the game's development but I would really like to see the free ways to earn parts explained clearer. I don't mind the grind if the game is fun, which it is, but it's just not clear what my goals are to earn the bits and pieces I am chasing. 

It's still a little early to make final comments on a game that is still being made, but from where I stand I think if things remained the way they are at present, Crossout is set to be a fun game to play but the grind will still be extremely real for players without the funding to pay for forward movement. Also, whether Crossout will be another classic "Pay to Win" game is also still in the air. Sadly, from where I am standing it looks like it will be, but there may well be some balancing acts in the works to try and settle this down a bit. 

I have had an excellent time playing Crossout regardless of the small parts that weren't so great. The game play is strong enough that those things just don't matter much for a free to play game. Would I recommend paying for the early access? Probably not. As for playing Crossout when it goes live for everyone, I would most definitely recommend playing it. I don't play many free to play games but this one will be on my regularly played list for a while to come now. Brilliant.

You can currently get access to the Closed BETA of Crossout by purchasing any of the Premium Currency packs. Click the image above to see what is included or go HERE to see all the details on the official website. If you're not keen on paying for the access, you can sign up HERE to be placed on the waiting list for access to the Closed BETA. Please note that joining this list does not guarantee you access whereas paying for the premium packs will.

  • Excellent vehicle modding/building
  • Simple keyboard and mouse controls
  • Addictive and fun gameplay
  • Well implemented physics
  • Confusing vehicle building menus
  • Laggy online experience
  • Typical free to play grind
SCORE: 8 out of 10
  • Platforms: PC
  • Genre: Free to Play Online Multiplayer
  • Initial Release: 2015 Closed Early Access
  • Developer: Targem Games
  • Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Lucas Aurelius
Aussie Gamers Express

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