PAX East 2016: Crossout Preview

Some of my favorite gaming moments involved myself, my best friend and a PlayStation 2 title called Armored Core. We would each build a giant robot of destruction in our homes, then meet up to pit them against each other. Crossout, a vehicular combat game from Gaijin Entertainment and Targem Games, looks to be something that could capture that feeling.

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I was shown the game by Alexander Trifonov, head of PR for the game. Our time together mostly was spent in Build mode and Test Drivie mode, but he explained the overall concept and some of the features.

Crossout is a post-apocalyptic game where you get to custom-build your own murder vehicle, Mad Max style. The base of each design is a Cabin, which all have varying amounts of energy reserves and health pools. After that, you have a huge swath of weapons to slap all over your chassis, from machine guns to cannons to chainsaws. If you have space for it and the right amount of energy, you can place it on any open flat surface.

As one would expect, each weapon has a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Machine gun turrets, for example, have no ammo requirements but have cooldown times. Cannons do have ammo and can only face in the direction you place them, but they deal devestating damage. Additionally, placement of weapons is just as important. Alexander put two machine gun turrets on the roof, and then went in to Test Drive to show how turning the aiming reticle made them twist in to each other, rendering both unable to fire.

Additonal pieces for building are all earned by gameplay as random drops, and each category of item all have different levels of rarity. If you get an item you don’t want, you’re not sacked with it – there is an in-game marketplace where players auction off equipment. Finding the right kinds of metal to build your perfect Road Warriormobile isn’t all based on chance.

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Gameplay involves either PvE modes where you and a team of others can play missions or raids, or PvP mode which lets you pit your vehicle against others in open combat. Item drops in either mode are unique to each other, and all items can be sold on the market, allowing players of one mode to not miss out on gear from the other.

According to Trifonov, balance strategy seems to be a “wait and see” approach. He described one vehicle a player built that had a rocket booster attached which set the player’s vehicle soaring in to the air. So it appears that the devs are taking a generally hands-off approach and letting players make their own fun. After seeing some of the player-built vehicles, I’m both impressed and terrified of what designs people have come up with.

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The game is currently in closed beta, with an anticipated release of late this year. It will be free-to-play with an in-game store that will sell marketplace currency. When asked if anything else will be added to the store, Trifonov shrugged, stating that they weren’t sure.

If this game feels the way I think it does, then we could have a very fun piece of multiplayer action on our hands. The creative potential of the testers already looks to be amazing. Crossout could be one of the sleeper combat games coming out.

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About Chris Hughes

Chris is a literal wolf who has managed to learn how to use a computer. He enjoys cooking, roleplaying, writing, and reading those who do the same. You can find him staring at Twitter or read more of his attempt at humor at his blog, or in-game primarily on WildStar, Blade and Soul or Final Fantasy XIV.