Crush Online was a concept that I ultimately wanted to buy into, an MOBA and MMO combination style game? I couldn't wait to see how the two different genres would mesh together, unfortunately, there are some realities to this specific style of gameplay. To put it bluntly, the game just doesn't work. It has a lot of technical and weird game design flaws that I feel were maybe implemented either too early in the games development cycle, or the game just was not ready to come out yet. Lack of character customization and very few reasons to buy any of the in-game currency just felt really off to me. In the end, Crush Online feels like a really cheap game with just a few options to really sit down and enjoy the game.
Crush Online can be downloaded on Steam and is a free-to-play game with the ability to buy premium currency.
The gameplay being so cookie-cutter would be okay if there was an engaging MMO story or world that was inviting but there isn't. The problem is that you are never introduced to the world or setting. Not once in my time playing did I feel introduced into any kind of world. The only real place that story even starts to develop is the character you play.
This is where the game starts to fall apart for me. Your character's attitude is picked for you and unfortunately, it comes off as one of the worst attitudes of all time. Every quest and mission that was completed had my character reading my mind about how stupid fetch and kill quests are and making some comment about how beneath him it was. This type of character commentary is fine if the character evolves and makes realizations or there are characters who make up for it, being that it is an MMO and MOBA mash-up, there is no such luck. After 3 hours of the negative quest text, I did what most MMO players do, I quickly clicked my way out of all text just to get to the sub-par combat. The one positive is the introduction to the MOBA style lane gameplay. You are just a soldier and you are fighting for your faction. Your teammates are other players and you are defending your faction in that particular area of the map. It's a great concept but because you know nothing of your faction or given a reason to care it just falls flat.
Crush Online is an MOBA. There is no real MMO aspect to the game unless you count the fact that there are other players in the world or the fact that there is an in-game auction house. I don't think that is enough, but it can always get bigger. The developers claim that it is a persistent game world that is an MMO with MOBA style combat. Sounds great on paper, not so great in execution. There are multiple areas in the game, but they don't feel persistent and just feel less like a world and more like random portals leading to other parts of the map, they don't actually connect, because of these weird decisions and claims gameplay in Crush Online is a mixed bag of weird. In all MOBA's you have abilities, these are typically tied to Q,W,E, and R. Each ability is a little different with R being your typical overpowered kill everyone ability. In MOBA's having a few abilities is okay because there is typically dozens of characters to pick from, however, in this game that variation doesn't exist and ends up holding it back from its true potential.
From the very beginning, the game allows you to choose an alliance, which you know nothing about at that point and on top of everything the game itself doesn't tell you anything about. Then you move on to picking your class, with an MOBA-style combat you would think there would be multiple classes and races and so on so forth, right? Wrong! There are three classes. Three. Does someone want to explain to me why you would put an emphasis on MOBA style combat and only give me 3 real options for abilities? However, as you go on you get to pick your hair color, several face options, and 3 overall themes for your armor colors. Oh, what about gender? Yeah, you don't get to pick that! Every class has a specific gender, so if you wanted to play their rogue or warrior class as a female, think again buddy boy, you can only be a female mage. With only three classes and this not being an option, it feels weird to reduce player choice like this, especially when there is not a lot of choice in the game as it is.
There are actual MOBA style arenas in the game, and it seems to be more of the star of the game over what they call their persistent world. The problem quickly becomes the MMO concept. There are quests in the game and they are some of the most simplistic and basic quests you can imagine. Go kill ten rabbits and so on so forth. With only 8 abilities per class, 4 for each weapon style, these abilities become old and outdated within an hour. The abilities are overpowered and don't add any fun or real graphically impressive concepts to the game. Combat really comes down to you clicking on an enemy and watching your character attack while you get to watch their life bar fall and you slowly fall to sleep.
The PvP combat is the best aspect of the game. This entire concept just works. It may not be extremely deep, but it works. My only wish is that there was more of it. For example, when you pull up the map you see the entirety of the world and who controls certain regions at those times. This is good because then you can go into an arena style combat and fight for control of that specific fort. These battles can get pretty intense, however with a lack of variety in amount of skills you are going to be seeing a lot of the same animations and abilities across the board. It does end in a pretty fun boss fight each time, so the end is worth it.
There is a lot of unique aspects to every player though. That is because of the skill tree system. There are two different skill trees for every class, and they act as a way to make your character just a little bit different from everyone else's. These skills can do a variety of things such as the amount of damage certain abilities can do, speed of attacks or even how much damage is done to you. It adds some much needed diversity to the game, then we can talk about the equipment aspect.
In a MOBA you acquire gear by buying it in the match, in Crush online, you acquire gear by doing missions and crafting outside of PvP. This gear is then upgraded via a special currency that is acquired by killing enemies and completing objectives. The gear upgrades are temporary though and only last for one round of PvP or in a single area of the game. So that is a lot of build up of your stats as well. So every characters uniqueness is going to come from the gear and skill trees but abilities will stay the same.
The last part of the game is the dungeons and the connected world. The single player content is only there to push forward the end game, which is primarily PvP focused. The dungeons and single player content is really used to grind for those materials for use in crafting. You delve into dungeons, kill some creatures, complete some objectives and then presto you are done. It's not bad by any means, just a little boring.
I am usually all for free to play, for most gamers, it is a nasty word that should be avoided, for Crush Online, I don't think I would play it if it was not free-to-play, though. Usually, the advantage is a free game, but it comes at the cost of premium content being hidden behind a pay-to-play wall. In this game, there are gems that act as the currency, and you get them slowly during combat. The only problem is that the gems are useless for most things in the game. First is the inventory slots. The more gems you have the more inventory slots you can purchase which is okay, and inventory management is pretty easy even if you don't invest in the gems. The other thing you use gems for is the auction house. This AH has two parts: a developer AH that has premium items like costumes that you can purchase for gems, or the public AH. The public AH allows players to put items up on it for sell for gems only or the in-game gold. So essentially, don't worry about the free-to-play model, it is pointless at the time of writing and does not add anything to the game, or more importantly take away.
Crush Online's presentation teeters on the okay to bad scale. The game itself looks okay, but it's not something to praise the game for either. On the 26-inch TV screen it looked pixelated at time, but if I windowed it, the appearance was much better. Character models look good, but they don't emote and show no type of detail other than they are male or female and they exist. In fact, this game really looks like it should be on a mobile platform like Android or iOS. For a free-to-play MMO or MOBA game, it's not bad but looks like a mobile game.
Crush Online was a game I really had to push myself through. On paper, this game had a recipe for greatness, but as it stands now, it is just a cake that is still raw in the center with burnt edges. This isn't an MMO in any way, shape or form. It is an extremely poor man's MOBA. In a world with League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite and Heroes of the Storm, you would be better off playing one of them over this game.
|+ No visible bugs||– Lack of customization|
|+ It plays||– Terrible story|
|+ PvP is a blast||– Lack of variety|
|– Not enough content|