Crimson Alliance is a four player coop that can be played locally or over Xbox Live. The game was officially revealed at RTX 2011, a Rooster Teeth fan event, but was leaked through Australian trademarking.
The game takes place in Byzan which use to be a thriving capital of the Crimson Empire that has now fallen. It tells the tale of 3 characters who have come to Byzan for their own reasons. Cutscenes are delivered through still art alongside voice acting and narration.
Max Hoberman, founder of Certain Affinity, has stated that Crimson Alliance is the type of game that he has been longing to create for quite a while.
"One of the reasons I started Certain Affinity was because I wanted to make a game like this – an action RPG with clever AI, fantastic physics and deep emergent gameplay that can be enjoyed with friends in the living room or halfway across the globe. Crimson Alliance is that game, finally!"
Certain Affinity plans to release episodic content for the game after its initial release to continue the story. Players who have bought every game released during the 2011 Summer of Arcade ( Bastion, From Dust, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Toy Soldiers: Cold War) will get Crimson Alliance for free.
Crimson Alliance's gameplay mixes fast paced action " hack n' slash" elements with light RPG character progression. There are three character classes to choose from: the mercenary Gnox, the wizard Direwolf, and the assassin Moonshade. The mercenary is primarily a melee class, the wizard is primarily a ranged class, and the assassin is a middle ground between the two.
While the game has similarities to Torchlight and Diablo like the isometric view, many of the RPG features in those games are not present within Crimson Alliance. In fact, it has more in common with dungeon crawlers like Gauntlet. The game is light on loot pickups, lacks a skill tree and leveling up. Instead, the focus is the fast paced combat. Each special move is linked to the face buttons of the controller, allowing the player to quickly switch between each style of attack.
The level design is filled with hidden areas that hide secret weapons for the player to explore, and each level lasts anywhere from 10-15 minutes. There are special areas littered throughout that can only be accessed by an individual class. Despite this, there is still a very obvious critical path that the player can take, and because the game is tightly scripted, events occur the same way each time you play the game.
Gold doubles as experience, as much of the character progression comes from upgrading weapons through gold. Equipment is graded on a simplified star system which shows a rating for each of the player's special attacks. For example, a weapon could increase the damage on the player's Y(button) move, while at the same time lowering the effectiveness of the character's A(button) attack.
Certain Affinity has incorporated a scoring system tied to leaderboards. Scoring is handled by a score multiplier that increases as you defeat more enemies in succession. When you chain attacks together without taking damage you can obtain multipliers such as "kill spree!" and "kill orgy!".
|B||Shield Bash||Dagger Throw||Storm Stun|
|X||Slash Attack||Slice||Fire Bolt|
Crimson Alliance features a pricing option that has not been seen on the Xbox Live marketplace. The title can be bought at full price for 1200 Microsoft Points, which gives you the complete package of three classes. A second option allows you to buy the game at 800 Microsoft Points, which will give you access to one character class of your choosing.
"This is a bit of an experiment, but we're hoping to get as many people as possible playing the game - hopefully lowering the barrier to entry will make it an even easier decision for anyone who's still on the fence." - Max Hoberman
At the moment there is no way to upgrade from the 800 point version to the 1200 point version without re-buying the whole game. Certain Affinity founder Max Hoberman clarifies this in the game's official forums.
"If you buy one of these class-specific versions and then later you want to play as a different class you'll have to buy another class-specific version, or pay full price for all three classes. (Sorry, we were unable to offer a less expensive upgrade option for technical reasons.)"
In addition to this, Crimson Alliance will have micro transactions where you can buy 40,000 in game gold for 80 Microsoft Points.