It was last week. The day was hot, and the raging hate-fire inside me regarding the Big Bang Theory burned even hotter. And then Geoff kicked my door down, spoke Benoni to me by slashing me in the face with my favourite Pretty Pegasus glass before dropping a smoke bomb and leaving me bleeding on the ground with a download code for Crimsonland.
Message received, loud and clear.
A few megabytes later, and I was rocking through Crimsonland. Slaying aliens, and spraying more arterial blood than a first-year medical student left unattended, I jammed my way through the various levels of this top-down shooter. Sure, some gameplay mechanics were a bit archaic, but it was strangely addictive as well. Just like cat photos on the internet.
Crimsonland is basic enough. You’ve got movement from an eagle-eye viewpoint, guns, a flat field and plenty of bullet-sponges to plow through. But it was also oddly familiar. And then it hit me: I’d played this game before. On PC. A decade ago. It came flooding back to me, with Triple H sledgehammer levels of a nostalgia blow to the face.
The afternoons spent perched in front of an ancient CRT monitor, while my PC wheezed and gagged when the screen flooded with enemies. Playing until my mouse hand was nothing but a withered claw of carpal tunnel syndrome, and ignoring the fact that I had homework due the following morning. Good times man, good times.
Years later, and Crimsonland was re-released on PlayStation 4. Zoe still reviewed it on that platform, and while it was no Helldivers, she found that it still had some charm. A year later, and now it’s on Xbox. And in the right circumstances, it’s actually a damn good diversion.
Look, Crimsonland still feels old. Sitting for a few hours with it, and I felt like I needed to add an unreasonable amount of gel to my hair, wear denim clothes and watch an episode of Jackass.
There’s nothing wrong with that however.
Crimsonland is never going to be the kind of game that can sustain your attention over several hours. But as a quick slice of mindless shootering during a quick lunch-break with a few pals in co-op, I dig it. It’s massively addictive to just disengage the cerebellum, and focus on painting the battlefield red with plasma Gatling guns and the power-ups from Batman And Robin.
It’s not the next Call of Duty or a Halo-killer. It’s a straight-up blast from the past, a bare-bones bloodbath for couch buddies. And that’s ok.
Last Updated: October 23, 2015