It’s been a hot minute since the Crossfire game series and I had been this close, so it was a big nostalgia factor to see how well the franchise has been going since its original first-person shooter game Crossfire back in 2007. Most of the recent related news is about CrossfireX, which is the console version that is expected to drop sometime this year as well, expanding the universe even more. But now, the same company that introduced me to one of my first online PC FPS games is creating a new game called Crossfire: Legion.
The presentation was led by two members from the development companies, Global Brand Manager of Prime Matter, Robert Wozinski, and Blackbird Interactive (BBI) Game Designer, Maurice Grela. The introduction reminded me how far Crossfire has statistically come from its humble beginnings to becoming “the number one online FPS game with 698 million players from 88 countries.” The presentation also noted that the game has had 8 million concurrent players to date and even had a TV series based on Crossfire that had “over 1.8 billion views.”
“Crossfire: Legion will be another RTS I will be adding to the list upon its full release.”
While I took in all of those massive numbers backing up the announcement of the new Crossfire: Legion, I was also excited to hear more about this game’s design and plans to take on the real-time strategy (RTS) genre. I have not played a good RTS game since Age of Darkness: Final Stand or Halo Wars 2, with Age of Empires IV on my list. I will say now, Crossfire: Legion will be another RTS I will be adding to the list upon its full release.
Fans of this series will be glad to know that the two factions, Global Risk (GR) and Black List (BL) make their return from the established lore in Crossfire: Legion. Each faction has a specific playstyle and specialties. For GR, their specialty is that their ranged attack units are powerful and for BL, their units, in general, are fast as they specialize in guerilla tactics.
Each faction also has one playable commander for now. The developers said there will be more commanders available in the future. For GR, they have the commander—Cardinal—whose special abilities are Fire At Will and the Rally ability. Fire At Will launches a barrage of missiles over a targeted area, dealing a lot of damage to units in the blast radius. The Rally Ability allows a targeted area of units to gain a limited buff to rate-of-fire and heals friendly units as well.
The BL faction’s commander—Phoenix—has two abilities to match its faction’s playstyle as well: Ghost Core Ability and Ghost Recall Ability. The Ghost Core Ability essentially grants the player an Outpost that can provide passive healing to nearby units and the Ghost Recall Ability allows a player’s forces to teleport to one of the Ghost Core Outposts where the units enter stealth mode and cannot be targeted by enemies for a certain amount of time.
Overall, Prime Matter and BBI are ready to announce general future plans for Crossfire: Legion as they have created a roadmap to track their progress of releasing new content steadily up to its testing phases from January to April—when the Public Open Beta is planned to launch. The teams were able to share that a third faction is going to be revealed in February.
On top of that, we also know that the Army Card System is something that will allow players to customize their armies; there is going to be a Campaign mode upon the full release of the game; co-op scenarios for friends to play together and problem-solve certain battle situations; there is a plan to have Steam Support Workshop integration for the level map editor, allowing players to create their own levels; and more maps and online modes are expected.
As for my experience with the first Crossfire: Legion technical test, I was able to face AI bots in the Custom Games mode. The Standard Versus custom games can have 2-6 players in a map. The two available maps so far are Predator and Mountainside. Predator can hold up to 6 players, whereas Mountainside is limited to 2 players, meaning it is a straight-up 1v1 to the death.
Fundamentally, the base-building and gameplay were solid when I loaded into my games. The display and controls are similar to other RTS games—nothing was too foreign to me. Although, I was surprised that the AI worked very quickly to send units to attack me on both maps. This meant lots of defeats, but after a couple of attempts of trial-and-error I survived longer by learning how to manage how I mined resources, erected buildings and created my military units.
The lifeblood of building and creating units are the two resources that Workers (little robot units) can extract near their respective zones: materials and fuel. The resource deposits are very close to the main base and players always start with 5 free Workers to begin with. I really liked this because it eliminates the hassle of farming resources for a long time before progressing the research tree.
Each building, like many RTS games, has different purposes. The Depot is used to increase the population, the Barracks are for creating ground units, an Armoury helps to research upgrades for existing units for Ground, Vehicle and Air. The game ends, like in most RTS games, when all the opponents’ bases have been destroyed.
I hope there will be a bit more uniqueness and stand-out features for the types of units and commanders in the future. I felt like most of the available units were standard and were easily attainable through researching. I am very curious to see what the player-versus-player matches will be like in comparison to the methodical and ruthless AI. While the difficulty seemed like the AI was set to Super Hard, I eventually felt like it was at a normal difficulty setting once I understood the pacing of the game.
If you loved the Homeworld games from BBI previously, Crossfire: Legion is making its way to building a great world in its own universe. Currently, there is no planned release date, but there is a First Look Demo expected to come out in February and the Public Open Beta is planned to go live a few months from now in April.