CrimeCraft Updated Hands-On - New Mode, New Details

We give this gang-violence-inspired online shooter another shot at E3 2009.

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E3 2009 is still underway, and many games, including Vogster's massively multiplayer crime-themed shooter, CrimeCraft, are still on display. CrimeCraft lets you play as a virtual gang member in a gritty, urban-themed setting and customize your character's clothes and hair, as well as your weapon with attachments and color modifications, as you engage in various online missions that require you and your buddies to shoot, smash, and grab.

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Who's Making This Game: New Jersey-based studio Vogster, which is also responsible for the Robocalypse games.

What the Game Looks Like: CrimeCraft looks like an urban-themed first-person shooter in which gangsters (player characters) decked out in baseball caps, T-shirts, and tattoos carry around assault rifles and shoot at each other.

What There Is to Do: Shoot enemy players on opposing teams in a few different match types, craft "boosts" (the game's tongue-in-cheek term for performance-enhancing drugs that will increase your speed, health, and other abilities) and "deal" them to other players on your server, customize your character's appearance and weapons with up to five different attachments and various color modifications, and join "gangs," CrimeCraft's version of guilds.

How the Game Is Played: When you're not gunning down someone, you can congregate with other players in one of three neutral "lobby" zones where you can buy or sell weapons and items. When it's go time, you can dive into one of 14 combat instances to play in one of a handful of different modes, such as Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Robbery, a modified version of capture the flag that tasks you with stealing the opposing teams' money stash, a wad a time.

What They Say: Most of CrimeCraft's official specifications are now finalized. Vogster will work with THQ to bring the game to retail exclusively at Best Buy, though the game will also be available for digital download. The studio hasn't yet finalized the monthly subscription-fee rate, but has decided that it will "definitely be lower than World of Warcraft," and that players who purchase the boxed version will likely get two months' worth of subscription included. Vogster also plans an "aggressive" postlaunch content-update schedule to add more weapons, combat instances, and other content to the game after it ships.

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What We Say: CrimeCraft seems like a competent-enough shooter; but it remains to be seen whether the game will catch fire, especially considering that there are many online shooters scheduled for launch this year, just as CrimeCraft is.

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