BattleCrew Space Pirates is a competitive multiplayer platform shooter, developed and produced by DONTNOD ELEVEN, the game bets in a great and fun concept, space pirate multiplayer battles to the sound of techno/dubstep music with very good and detailed graphics, but the development of this concept falls short as you play through the game, and leaves you with a bitter taste of expectations not met.
Be aware that this game is still in early access; so probably, and hopefully, many more options and content will be added later to it.
The game is currently available on Steam as early access for $6,99.
BattleCrew sets you in a very vibrant environment called Orbital Tortuga, a space station that has become the lair and meeting-place of the worst buccaneers in the universe,and it's also the game's lobby/main screen, in which you'll be able to select and change heroes, practice with them, access the bounty ranks, your crew panel, your ranking of the day, and one of the game modes, because the second one is not yet available.
Whenever you're not actually playing in one of the game's modes, you'll be in Orbital Tortuga, that's really the only environment out of the modes, because even when you're on a screen, a second lobby, called Tortuga Crew, the screen itself is basically the same.
To be able to play in the modes you have to go to the second lobby, the Tortuga Crew, and there you'll be able to invite your friends to set a crew or play by yourself with other people who also don't have a crew or couldn't form one.
The main objective of the whole game is to finish quests to lower the score displayed on the big skull in Tortuga and unlock the latest bounty, but there's really only one quest.
What really happens is you going over and over the same maps, with the same music, just to get more coins, and keep leveling up. So after that, you can get a skin, a different voice line, an advanced skill or emote, but none of these seem to be motivational enough for you to spend too much of your time in the game.
The skins are basically just changes of color, the voice lines are fun but nothing really special, the advanced skills are the only ones that just might be a good use of your efforts placed in the game, so your character can become stronger and win more easily against others, and there's the emotes that are just like the voice lines, fun but there's just not much to it.
Even though this part of going through the same maps with the same music just to get more coins so you can unlock items can make the game repetitive sometimes, the whole atmosphere of the game is actually casual, fun, colorful, vibrant, sometimes attempting to be comic, and light.
The gameplay is a combination of the basics of platform mechanics, mixed with character's skills from games like Overwatch, and the multiplayer factor.
The platform element is shown in the way the maps are structured, displayed, and in the many portals in each of the maps that lead you to different parts of them, and also you have the various hidden chests and trap activations throughout the maps. The trick is how to best combine your character's skills within each map structure and possibilities, to take the most advantage of it.
Even though this element might not be very common in shooters nowadays, it does fit the game very well.
Other than that you supposedly have two game modes, Gold Rush, which consists of two teams battling to see the one who can get more treasure, and Team Death Match, that consists of both teams battling to see which team can get more kills, but unfortunately, this one is still not available for the early access.
Once you are in one of the maps of Gold Rush, the camera automatically zooms in and out in different moments, making the matches look a little more dynamic, the mode also has, at this point in the early access, 4 different maps, and in these maps you can always change your hero during the battle.
The maps are Monkeylus, Minesteroid, RazorBow, and Tageolithic.
Monkeylus is an aqua planet map, it depicts an abandoned underwater ship worthy of a Jules Verne novel, and a giant machine with monkey head leads. It's also the map that has most traps and portals, as well as the most complex structure.
Minesteroid is an engine room area of a giant ship called RazorBow, which has been moving towards an asteroid field. The RazorBow was the property of Skullbone, a legendary pirate.
This map presents a moderate number of portals, a small number of traps and lots of possibilities on how to attack or use its structure.
I'd say this map is the second hardest/complex one.
The map RazorBow, of course, shows a bigger area of the ship that used to belong to Skullbone.
This map doesn't have too many portals or even traps, but the design of the map is not very easy either.
I'd say it's the third hardest/complex map.
Tageolithic is a map about a whole planet made completely out of organic matter and is also the most simple of all maps, there's no traps and just a few portals, really the map here is just a background.
In the game, you are presented with four heroes, John Trigger, Janger, Tiburon, and Comet. Each one of these heroes has different sets of four main skills, and also advanced skills, skins, emotes and voice lines, all to be unlocked over time.
John Trigger is a human male that uses a plasma rifle as a weapon, his damage skill is called Rocket Launch, his movement skill is Magnetic Climb, that allows you to ride walls, and as a fury skill he has SLOMO, that slows all the enemies nearby.
Janger is a lion who uses an electric saber-cuff as a weapon, his defense skill is Energy Shield, that protects him from enemies attacks ( yes, just like Overwatch's Reinhardt skill), his movement skill is Roaring Dash, a boosting move that hurts the enemies (just another little familiarity with Reinhardt skills), and his fury skill is called Berserk, he instantly kills if touched.
Tiburon is an enhanced shark that uses a repulsion stick as a weapon, his defense skill is called Wall Builder, that build walls to protect him from enemies ( are you noticing any resemblance to Overwatch's Mei skill ?), his movement skill is called Aqua Jet, a jet pack that allows him to run off quickly, and his fury skill is Grenade Madness, which can launch tons of grenades on the opponents ( Do you remember Overwatch's JunkRat skill ? ).
Comet, the only female character, uses wave guns ( identical to Overwatch's Lucio guns) as weapons, her damage skill is called Floating Mines, it places mines on her path, her movement skill is Sonic Sprint, an astonishing speed that allows her to appear and disappear from a spot in just a blink ( yes, just like Overwatch's Tracer skill), and her fury skill is called Supernova, a bright ball of light that kills her enemies.
While John Trigger and Comet have a more offensive, long range and fast-paced play style, Janger and Tiburon have a more defensive, close combat and slower style.
The game's whole soundtrack is inspired by techno/dubstep music, it doesn't have a big variety of tracks,so it does get a little repetitive after a while but it is good, even more, if you're into this kind of music, and it does provide the game's atmosphere with a great sense of action.
BattleCrew graphics are an incredibly good and very detailed 3d, all the maps, characters and everything basically that you can find in the lobbies and the whole game itself is very visually polished, clean and made to give you a specific and distinct futuristic vibe.
The environments, characters, and the whole interface are very colorful and vibrant while also staying clean and simple. The game is packed with many pirate-themed visual references in a space-age environment.
The game is fun and action-driven, although there's a big lack of content and it does have important elements that resemble other, bigger games, but this part aside; the colors, the music, the fast-paced battles, and the gorgeous, detailed maps, make this game good for chilling out and having a good time with your friends and people around the world.
If you are looking just for a brief, multiplayer casual play session then BattleCrew Space Pirates will do just fine.
However, if you are looking for a more engaging, complex, or story-driven kind of game, then I'd sincerely recommend you pick something else.
|+ Multiplayer in Early Access.||– The final release only expects two game modes.|
|+ Great graphics and visuals||– Weak motivations for leveling up and acquiring coins|
|+ Fun, and light atmosphere||– Important elements that resembles too much to other games.|