Crowfall is a recently released crowdfunded hardcore MMORPG with a PvP focus. Set in a fantastical colourful world, the game skips most of the usual RPG-style questing and instead directs players towards its endgame land-grabbing siege warfare.
While Crowfall was never going to be on the same scale as the upcoming big-budget MMORPGs like New World and Ashes of Creation, long before its release it had established a dedicated fanbase and a fair amount of excitement. And yet the reviews of Crowfall have not been kind, with big reviewers like IGN giving Crowfall a measly 5/10. Ouch.
We started creating our own standard review but after a few weeks of playing realised that giving a straight score out of 10 would not do justice to the great elements that do exist within the game. Instead, we thought that it would be fairer to the fledgling title to examine the good and the bad, the pros and the cons. So, sit back and enjoy our Crowfall strengths and weaknesses review.
The Strengths of Crowfall
Character Creation (9/10)
Crowfall features an outstanding selection of unique and reimagined races. Players are justifiably limited to certain combinations; some like the Duellist, can only be chosen by one race. While limited individual character customisation options prevent a full 10/10 score, the creativity of its classes and races is Crowfall’s strongest aspect. Do you go for a Fae Frostweaver gliding down from the skies leaving a glacial trail in your wake? A Guinecean Duellist hopping out from the long grass? A Minotaur Myrmidon trampling all in your path? A Centaur Cleric? An Elken Templar? A Nethari Fire Assassin? The combinations are impressive, exciting, and all very tempting.
Crowfall PvP (8/10)
As a PvP-centric game, Crowfall really needed to get this right. And some of the PvP is undeniable (albeit frantic) fun. The three options for PvP include Skypoint wherein individual players scrap it out in a combat area, as well as guild vs guild warfare, and faction vs faction warfare (The Shadow). While fun to test out your mettle against others, it doesn’t take long before the limitations of Skypoint stagnate the experience. The team-based modes are a lot more enjoyable, and the high-level sieges can be excellent, engaging, and dramatic. Still, wait-times for sieges coupled with weaknesses in the combat mechanics (see later) restrict the tactical cooperative gameplay that most PvP players enjoy in MMORPGs.
Crowfall Manoeuvrability (8/10)
The first class I tried out was an adorable Guinecean Duellist. As soon as the game began, I instinctively tested my double jump and dash actions and my first thought was “Oh hello!”. Movement, both as the more agile classes as well as on the creative mount options is a delight. It makes a simplistic colourful world so much more enjoyable while adding new combat options for the classes that can easily get to high ground.
Crowfall Guilds (7/10)
I soon found myself recruited by one of the oldest guilds in Crowfall, Corvus Citadel [=CC=] and was very pleasantly surprised by the friendly members and organisational levels. Crowfall would be a better game if it was easier for casual groups of friends to form guilds and work their way up, but in reality, that would require a huge time commitment. While it is a shame that it’s so challenging to be in a meaningful guild without joining one of the established ones, the reception I received was warm enough that I didn’t mourn for too long.
The Weaknesses of Crowfall
Crowfall Class Cohesion (5/10)
We spoke in the strengths section about the brilliance of Crowfall’s dynamic, fun, and generous character creation options. Well freedom always comes at a cost, and in this case that’s strategic combat. With so many classes and different ways to play each class (coupled with Crowfall’s reliance on text chat) combat becomes chaotic and organizing your team to play to each other’s strengths is frustrating at the best of times and impossible at the worst. We all would love to see tactical castle sieges organized by class and regiment; instead we get a great horde of players of all types charging in as an unruly mass.
Crowfall Combat (6/10)
In addition to the lack of strategy that results from the generosity of class options, Crowfall’s combat all too often falls into button mashing your abilities. The manoeuvrability of the agile classes seems wasted when holding down left click in an enemy’s proximity is likely to hit them anyway. As a Guinecean duellist, it was fun to dart around but less clear whether my precision strikes and flashy moves had much of a meaningful payoff. Team combat is further hampered by the lack of workable in-game proximity voice chat, resulting in teammates that must rely on the impractical in-game text chat option or external comms.
New Player Introduction (6/10)
I suspect there are a few holes in the tutorial’s imparted knowledge, though it’s hard to say for certain. Without any voice actors, NPCs just grunt and send up endless text boxes. I found myself skimming the dialogue and sometimes skipping it completely. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and it’s certainly a deterrent to hooking in new players to Crowfall’s lore. Still, Crowfall by-and-large does a decent job at introducing new players to their world as well as explaining the crafting, building, and combat mechanics in a fun and safe setting. After playing a game like Mortal Online 2, however, I often found myself wishing it would all just hurry up. I didn’t want to have to run for 5 minutes to get to the next destination to learn a super intuitive lesson.
Crowfall PvE Quests (2/10)
We’re not going to mince our words here, the quests found in the PvE tutorial area (the only real quests of the game) were generic, boring, and at times excruciating. Go here. Walk. Talk. Chop wood. Walk. Talk. Go there. Walk. Talk. Kill that. Walk. Talk. Repeat. There were a few exceptions, I enjoyed guiding a caravan of pigs through a jumping spider laden ravine. Then again, Crowfall makes no allusions of catering to PvE players; so, you have to cut them some slack here.
Closing Thoughts in Our Crowfall Strengths and Weaknesses Review
Starting with proper voice chat integration, the developers need to work on quite a few aspects of their game. It’s a shame because when I first started playing my instinct was that the previous poor reviews were unfounded; the more I played the more work I realized the game needed if it was to achieve mass appeal. The late game faction vs faction and guild vs guild combat is good fun but the most fun elements of it are lost on casual players. Until developer ArtCraft make the world-shaping guild-creating throne-warring aspects more accessible, Crowfall will not reach its 8/10 potential.
Still, it is a game that rewards its dedicated players who are willing to see things through. Especially when compared to other crowdfunded MMOs, Crowfall should not be regarded as a failure. It has a cutesy colourful and simplistic appeal that players of all ages will enjoy. There are plenty of nice surprises in there too, including amazing mounts, some strong writing (an Elken man named Dawnchild telepathically communicated quite an empathetic and complex point to me about the plight of refugees), and some creative abilities. Another six months of pre-release development could have made all the difference. And that just leaves us with two pieces of housekeeping:
Will I be playing the game again now I’m done with my review? Not for some time, but if the developers made sufficient changes, then yes.
Score out of 10? Given that it’s still early days for Crowfall and that the game does have strengths…6/10
MMOGames.com is committed to bringing you all the freshest, funniest, and most insightful MMO news. If you enjoyed this content, why not share it with your community? And make sure that you never miss our updates and exclusive giveaways by following and favouriting us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.