REVIEW: Crimson Keep

I first had some mixed feelings about Crimson Keep. The trailer didn’t really warm me up for it so I had some weary thoughts about it. But when I finally got to experience it, I thought “Hey, this actually isn’t half bad”. Sure it needs some getting used too. But after that initial curve it becomes quite pleasant. I was even more impressed that it was brought to life by just 2 people. You got to love these dedicated Indie Developers, right? The story of the game revolves around an ancient evil curse destroying your hometown. You were captured and put away in a mysterious dungeon, namely the Crimson Keep. It is your task to find the exit and escape these dangerous halls and caves. Will we be able to survive you reckon? Or are we as good as dead in these dreary times? Let’s grab us some survival apples, sharpen up our dullest kitchen knife and find out, this is Crimson Keep!

Damn she’s flanked by some big boobs… The horny ones… WITH THE AXES! Sheesh…
  • Replayability!: Perhaps Crimson Keep’s strongest point is in its high replayability factor. First off the game has 3 main classes for you to chose from. Each class plays totally different and has different character builds that you can test around with. But that’s not where Crimson Keep truly shines out from. The best part is reserved for the randomly generated dungeons. Each playthrough will be a totally different experience. Other layouts, changing enemy spawns and mixed loot every time. So on the value department, they really got everyone covered!
  • Challenging: Don’t let yourself be fooled. This game is hard, like really hard (that’s what she said). There is no one holding your hand along the way nor will there ever be one. Well, maybe… But that’ll be someone ready to chop your head off and eat your jiggly bits. So be sure to keep in mind that you’re not going to be in for a cake walk. If you really want to progress, you’ll have to put the time in and learn this RNG fest ‘s mechanics!
  • Very versatile: I went into some detail already about the classes. But you’ve got 3 sorts of playstyles. The first is the warrior type. Big and strong, broad shoulders and handy with anything that cuts cleaves and mangles. Each level you gain you’ll be able to put an ability point into your character tree. And that’s also the case for the 2nd class. The mage character. My best guess is that your last character is somewhat exclusive for the hardcore players. You play as a weak and frail homeless/prisoner type. You get no skills and a smaller health pool. But for the other 2? this means you can test and try out all sorts of builds to find the one that is suited just for you!
  • Not mindless at all: To greed, or not to greed. That’s your question. You’ll be given some opportunities to go into a loot room. And it’s your choice if you activate it, and get the sweet loot that will be granted if you successfully complete the room’s challenge, OR if you’d rather skip it to preserve life and ammo. But remember, if you die? You lose everything and it’s back to the start with you. Not only that, you can skip some battles as well by just running and finding the exit. Just don’t forget. Each kill gives you experience and has a chance into dropping some items that you might actually be able to use.
This big hammer isn’t to compensate anything, truly!
  • Hitting Hitboxes: The way the combat system works, is that you get different damage rolls on your hits relative to where you hit them. You can aim your hits to some extent but you’ll have to get lucky. Because if you are using melee weaponry, the swings are (for what I experienced) RNG based. If you aim for the head, you’ll have to luck out because more often than not, your swing won’t go the way you planned or intended it to go. Something to keep in mind as well is standing close enough, but not too close. Otherwise, you might not hit them, but they get a free cheap shot in. It’s like these guys thought that putting RNG on like literally everything was an awesome idea… It’s not. It really isn’t. I’d like to have some control over my own god damn SWINGS.
  • Vr…Questionmark: The graphics, and the way your movement handles, just scream VR. I can’t shake the feeling off of me that this was meant to be a VR project in mind, but things were too far in the pipeline to overhaul the entire thing. If you look at the hands and how the hitboxes work, it actually wouldn’t be a bad VR game. But to play this on a console just feels a bit weird, and off-ish. Now, I do have to admit that it has some OK graphics, but still, that overall VR vibe is just something you’ll have to deal with.
Now that’s an angry kitty…
  • Heals PLEASE: By god, what is probably the worst part of this otherwise decent game, is its healing mechanic. You’ve got to seriously luck out in the RNG department to find some health restoration items. Sometimes you’ll actually just be better to immediately reset instead of trying to find, for instance, AN APPLE. I mean, is it that hard to ask for some “PILLS HERE”. I don’t mind the game being hard, but this sometimes makes progression gaining next to impossible.
★ Score: 71%
Crimson Keep surprised me more than I thought it would. Granted, it’s not a perfect game, but that doesn’t mean its any less enjoyable. On the contrary, I enjoyed it more than some of the bigger AAA games that were released last year. And again, I got to emphasize this. Created by 2! people. What they delivered to us in this amazing package is amazing, especially when you look at some of the bigger indie companies that deliver, well… Games like Creepy Road. Blegh.

Developer: Ben Rog-Wilhelm & Ian Atherton  Publisher: Merge Games
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Yasutokoo delved the dungeons for 5 hours before writing this review.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Honestly, best guess? Is you could spend up to 20 hours or more to unlock all the achievements.
Perfect for: Sadists, Dungeon crawler enthusiasts, Action RPG fans.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here