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Flaws aside, I'm finding that I'm having a difficult time turning off CrimeCraft. Sure, it has its rough edges, and you will certainly curse every time someone with an LMG sprays you down from across the map or when a queue pops up without you noticing, but CrimeCraft delivers on its premise of instance-based and easy-to-play combat tied together by a persistent backend. It's surprisingly rewarding to climb in levels and get a new gun only to trick it out with some mods and a new paint scheme, and for what the game lacks in complexity or a plot, it definitely makes up for it with its fast-paced and enjoyable gameplay.
There’s no doubt that CrimeCraft has significantly improved since our first review when the game went free-to-play. The free play experience is almost unlimited, and the cash shop seems relatively balanced in the game to only enhance gaming quality for the individual – enough so that a player pumping money into it is barely distinguishable from one who hasn’t spent a dime. The game is beautiful, runs generally well, and has enough variety in missions, game modes, and equipment that playing is truly rewarding. Despite its flaws, CrimeCraft still stands out above the rest of the free-to-play shooter competition as one of the best.
The game's initial MSRP was $49.99 US plus a $10 a monthly subscription fee (the first two months are free). This was quickly lowered to $39.99 but even at that price, the game raises more expectations than it's prepared to fulfill. You'd think that a "persistent world next-gen shooter" would have a persistent world. What you get instead is a static universe filled with traditional non-player character vendors, crafting facilities, auction houses, and a distinct lack of adventure. Players can form themselves into gangs to compete against other gangs, but this is nothing more than a ladder and scoring system. Nothing the player does effects the world one iota. There's no fighting over turf, and nothing you do will actually affect the city. As fun as the PVP battles are, they're ultimately meaningless in a larger sense. What CrimeCraft offers is available in a lot of other shooters that give players their endless battles without the monthly fee.
There's not a lot about CrimeCraft that would encourage me to recommend it as an alternative to the wealth of cheaper alternatives in the PC catalog. Yes, it's true that most PC shooters don't have the persistent element found in CrimeCraft and, yes, even the upcoming persistent shooters like Combat Arms and Parabellum don't have MMO standards like crafting or guilds, but those additions are so irrelevant in CrimeCraft that it's hard to justify the cost of the disc, the vanity-driven micro-transactions, the in-game ads and the subscription fee. The shooter element may be fun in the short term, but it's ultimately forgettable and not nearly strong enough to make you ignore the unfulfilled potential here.
Vogster is giving players an extra month's free subscription while it adds more content and more story elements but we suspect that won't be enough to recommend the game over the other online shooters already available.
So, as a result, you get an atrocious MMO wedded to a fleetingly enjoyable multiplayer shooter. Had Vogster just focused on the latter component, it might have had something worthwhile on its Ukrusserican hands - Modern Warfare meets Saints Row, say. But as it is, HalloweenJack's inclined to hang up his nondescript firearms and retire to a life of Sangria and quiet Mexican oblivion. Don't cry for him, Sunrise City: the truth is, he never loved you.