A fun \'lunch break\' game
Quite a small download
A little repetitive
Crossfire reloaded is a brilliant little game that you can play in any amount of time from minutes upwards, it wouldn't be too hard to play for a day solidly. The basic idea behind it is that your headquarters is being attacked by a cloned army of soldiers, with a few tanks thrown in. All you have to defend it with is your wits, some mines, a few special abilities and a whole load of turrets. You start an operation off with a little bit of money and then get some more as the missions go on. You buy your turrets, mines and special abilities with this money and hope that you win.
The enemies themselves are quite varied. They range from grunts who will attack your base with nothing more than a knife and a death with to tanks bristling with cannons and missiles to aircraft carriers. They will always come from the pretty much same place on the map, though, so if you play a level too many times then you're going to know what's coming next and from where. This isn't a major flaw though, as the game really rewards patience at some points.
All of the maps have little concrete blocks for you to put your turrets down on and the amount of these blocks varies wildly from mission to mission, which presents a different challenge every time. On some maps there are only three concrete blocks to put turrets down on, on others there will be nearly twenty. On the more cramped maps it really creates a sense of foreboding as you don't know what enemies you will face and on the larger maps you are always asking yourself which way the enemy will come from and where you should aim your guns.
The turrets are again varied. There are (technically) four types, all of which are very different. There three types of player controlled turrets and also AI-controlled turrets. You might ask yourself now 'why do you want AI-controlled turrets - surely a person can shoot better?' To those people all I can say is - play the game first. Fine, a person will know which targets to prioritise and also which to ignore for a bit (which the AI turrets don't) and may also shoot more accurately, but on the other hand, the computer needn't get nervous about where to shoot when three hundred clones start running at your base. It just shoots. The AI also gets the very tasty shotgun turrets, which fire (as you might imagine) a spread of bullets. This is very useful when large clusters of soldiers are running at your base, as are the minigun turrets. On the other hand, the AI doesn't get the wildly overpowered rocket turrets, nor does it get pulse turrets that fire quickly and have excellent splash damage.
There are also two other types of turret, artillery turrets and railguns. Both of these serve different purposes. Artillery turrets can, as expected, rain down hell upon enemy soldiers and vehicles. There are two kinds of artillery : One which just fires a single, powerful shell and another that fires slightly weaker shells, but fire a few of them at once. They can also be used for shooting down aircraft and do it very well if you get good with them, but that's really what railguns are for. The railgun turrets fire a quick burst of energy that hits instantly and does a great deal of damage, but they take a while to charge back up. This issue is removed, however, if you buy more than one of them, the same goes for artillery.
Your weapons are fired by dragging the mouse around, as most of the weapons just fire at your crosshair. Artillery is fired by clicking the left mouse button and railguns are fired by clicking the right mouse buttons. Mines are obviously just laid down and (hopefully) walked over by your enemies. That's as hard as the controls get, other than that Q, W, E and R fire your different special abilities. These are arcade-style bonuses such as an airstrike that will kill most of the enemies on the map, a small lightning storm and an unpredictable but handy rocket storm. There is also, vitally, a special shield that stops your HQ taking any damage and repairs it a bit too. Some missions require heavy use of these powers and they must all be used very carefully.
The replay value is quite good and there are a few game modes to play with. There is also a fairly good map editor that comes in the download.
Overall, the game deserves a mark of a straight 4. The gameplay is fun, but a little samey after a while. Still, it's not bad for a break from the more conventional style of game. It's great fun after a game of something really deep to relax with this back-to-basics game. Sometimes that's just the most important thing.
Review by: PrejudiceSucks
Safe for ages: 13+
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