Crawl Review | Local multiplayer, how it should be. It’s the first thing that comes into my mind when I think about Crawl, a mix of dungeon crawler, RPG and action game in a way you have never seen before. Come and check our impression as we go deeper and deeper exploring the dungeons of this Crawl-tastic game.
- I must confess: I have a crush on pixel art games. This one delivers a rich and elaborated atmosphere, with very detailed level design. You may think it’s a little monochromatic in shades of brown, but remember you’re in a dungeon, so it makes perfect sense.
- The animations from characters and monsters are really smooth. They run, dodge roll, bleed and use dozens of different weapons. You can see how much talent and effort the designers have put on this game. There’s one particular situation that became my favorite: when your character is afraid off his surroundings: he crouches, trembling, trying to hide from the horrors he’s about to face.
- The gameplay is superb – an original experience I doubt you have already seen before: you’re one of up to four characters that can be controlled by you and your friends or the AI. After an initial clash, only one of you will survive. All the others will be wandering souls trying to prevent you from escaping the dungeon by killing you (so lovely!). To do so, they can possess and use traps or summon monsters to fight you. If they manage to kill you, the character who dealt the final blow will steal your humanity (Darks Souls feeling here) and revive as you become another wandering soul willing for revenge! As you progress, the character who is alive gain levels and can buy new weapons and abilities while the wandering souls, between floors (that work as stages), can evolve their monsters in stronger and fiercer ones. When the alive character reaches level 10 (does anybody know Munchkin?), he can use a portal to access a specific area where he can fight the final boss. Beat it and you’ll be free from this dungeon, winning the match. If you fail, you will return to the dungeon to try again in another floor.
- The control scheme is simple and efficient, with one button to your main attack and another to your special ability. In this case, that statement that says ‘the simple, the better’ really worked.
- There’s a good number of monsters, weapons and abilities for you to discover. Every time you finish a game, a new monster or trap becomes available. And all the weapons and monsters you find will be registered on a vault that can be accessed later for specific challenges. There’s great replay value in here for you to always return for another match.
- Did I mention the dungeons are procedurally generated so matches never feel the same
- Some people may find the game a little uncomfortable: despite being on pixel art, there’s a good amount of gore on it. You’ll see some sacrifices, dismemberment and a lot of blood on it, not to mention some demonic figures. Remember this is clearly not suited for all audiences.
- Except for the easy level, the artificial intelligence is very challenging. You’ll really have a difficult time to beat the game on the hardest difficult. For the Souls series veterans, it’s a full plate. Others may find it very punishing.
- There’s only a limited number of final bosses. You’ll end up learning the best methods to kill each one after some matches. I wish they can add more of these epic fights later in the game.
- Even being a truly awesome game, after some matches you will get tired of it. How many matches you can play before getting that repetitive feeling depends on how many players are with you.
- Local multiplayer is where the game shines, but an online multiplayer mode would be welcome to those who doesn’t have or can’t play with friends.
Score: 89% | Australian developer Powerhoof found a unique way to, in matches that take no longer than 30 minutes, deliver an experience so fresh and exciting! Crawl has a good amount of content to keep you interested. A perfect game to play with friends on that pizza night. Like we did back in arcades and the developers helped us remember, insert a coin and enjoy the fun!
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.