Amazon Game Studios (AGS) have finally released their first major title, a free-to-play multiplayer game named Crucible! It’s similar to other competitive shooters, borrowing elements from games like Overwatch and Battleborn, trying to combine PvP and PvE features succesfully. In turn, they’re also competing against heavyweights, and we saw what happened to Battleborn, didn’t we? So, it’s important to come prepared as it’s a difficult market to breach, dominated by loved and proven commodities. While some may give Crucible a fair shot, others may simply prefer the experience of CSGO, Overwatch and Warzone. I mean, it’s still subjective, as the proof is in the pudding, right? So, if you’re mildly interested or unsure whether it’s worth your time, give it a download on Steam. It was released on the 20th of May.
I must say, it’s odd how Crucible was released amidst COVID-19, without any public events or any real advertisement? Considering that the game’s been in-development since 2014, it wouldn’t have hurt to push the game’s release forward and not drop it at the end of May. It’s not only about COVID-19, but that the market is currently dominated by Warzone and Valorant, with other proven competitive games still going strong today. So, with that in mind, why couldn’t Amazon Game Studios simply wait a few weeks and release the game in July? I mean, there was no reason for them to rush the release of the game, unless they were hoping for good numbers during COVID-19. Whatever the reason may be, I just found it to be quite odd… considering how poorly this game was advertised. It could’ve had a much better release party!
Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes, shall we? Crucible offers a total of 10 playable characters (Hunters), meaning that there’s not much to choose from, which is why I created this list! I simply felt compelled to rank the base Hunter designs, finding some to be quite noteworthy. Considering that Crucible was released merely a few weeks ago, it wouldn’t be fair to rank the customization options (skins). With that being said, I chose and ranked the very best Hunter base designs (models) and hopefully the list is worth your time!
5. Rahi & Brother
The majority of competitive games have a character like this, with a heartwarming personality, accompanied by a large stature and a comforting appearance. It’s much like the overprotective big brother or the heroic uncle type, similar to Winston in Overwatch and Gibraltar in Apex Legends. Therefore, it’s not a new or creative concept. Quite the contrary, it’s something we’re familiar with and have grown used to seeing. Whether it’s a good conept or not is entirely subjective, yet I’d argue that familiarity is a powerful tool that’s often utilized beautifully. In this particular case, I find Rahi & Brother to be quite the wholesome couple, having a welcoming color-scheme and a solid design overall! It’s obviously simplistic, yet the robotic companion adds a small twist, which I wholeheartedly welcome! While that’s a bonus, Rahi’s base design works because it’s cohesive, with the cloth adding much-needed color and flavor to counter the gray, white and beige colors. It’s a simplistic touch but the highlight of the design, adding character and drawing focus to his well-designed facial features. However, Rahi’s still somewhat bland compared to other Hunters, with the beige pants and boots being the bigger question mark. It’s lackluster and could’ve been improved with a different color palette all together, which would highlight some of the detail. While simplistic in essence, it works well enough when not compared to characters from other video games.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, okay? It’s obvious that Tosca is pandering to the audience that loves animalistic (furry) characters that have a spunky and feisty attitude towards the world. So, with that being said, it’s still easily among the best Crucible Hunter designs! Surprised? Well, it’s difficult to compare base models in a video game where most concepts are common/familiar, so when a concept is executed well, doesn’t it deserve some praise? Whether it’s paying homage to other furries or ripping them off, there’s a distinct look to Tosca, making her stand out among many of the generic Hunters. While she obviously resembles a feline, the decision to cover her entire body gives room for some personal interpretation, with a good (albeit monotone) color-palette. It’s good enough to warrant someone’s interest, yet generic enough to make people long for future skins, which is as good as bad to be honest. However, the eyes do look a bit weird, stretching unrealistically, and they could’ve gambled on a more adventurous design. In turn, it doesn’t rank higher but does land on this list.
If you’re looking for the heavyweight, with a large frame and powerful attacks, look no further! Drakahl’s like the archetype you’ll be playing, as he’s visually the most intimidating and badass of them all. There’s nothing inherently wrong with his concept or design either. If anything, he serves as a solid example of a concept well executed. Albeit, the khaki slacks don’t fit Drakahl thematically, making me wonder if they simply prioritized storytelling over design cohesiveness? Either way, there’s a good level of detail, with the prominent scars and metal garnish giving him enough depth creatively to have a memorable appearance. While simple in essence, it works to make Drakahl quite the beast and when things come together well, it gets a high placement!
This Hunter’s a great example of storytelling and design coming together, saying more visually than vocally! While Summer’s got a lot to say, it doesn’t compare to how much her appearance reveals about her personality, showing that concept is key. It’s not necessarily always like this, as characters tend to evolve during the creation process, especially when it comes to color-scheme and clothing. Although, most characters obviously benefit greatly from competent and creative concept artists, who put effort and energy into their designs. Therefore, it’s sometimes easy to tell whether the concept or the creation is to thank for the end result, good or bad. In this particular case, the concept was the real MVP.
Summer’s design oozes personality, with her well-crafted facial features topped off with that cheeky smile/smirk, like a cherry on a sundae, right? Well, let me be enthusiastic about it so you don’t have to, alright? Anyways, it’s the great color-scheme that ties the outfit together, with the flamethrowers looking like a cohesive part of the overall design. However, it’s a bit odd how superb she looks on the front page (image: left) and how she’s completely low-resolution when inspecting her (image: right). Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful design all around.
In all honesty, Shakirri’s design was the primary catalyst for this entire list! Simply because she looks absolutely excellent, from her tippy-toes to her golden locks – the design’s worthy of Overwatch and Apex Legends. It’s quite weird, isn’t it? I mean, some Hunters look washed and outdated, while others look polished and well-detailed. Where’s the consistency? It’s obvious that every game has their poster characters and main attractions, but it’s rarely this apparent, with Shakirri looking far better than other Hunters. It’s almost like a breath of fresh air, right?
Shakirri’s physical features are accentuated by the well-designed clothing/armor, with the sheer craftmanship being noteworthy, tied seamlessly together by a great selection of colors! It’s borderline oversexualized, considering the features it highlights, yet even if you’d cover Shakirri up differently, she’d still easily have the best overall design as concept is king. However, sexuality is commonly a positive feature if utilized properly, yet it’s always a thin line between good and bad when it comes to oversexualizing a character, so it’s all dependent on the situation. So, with that being said, I wholeheartedly believe that Shakirri’s design comes together really well! While it could be improved, it doesn’t necessarily need major changes, already looking like a premium skin. In turn, it means that they did a darn good job!