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Crucible, Amazon’s team-based MOBA/shooter, launches today

Crucible, Amazon’s first video game, is out today, and the PC shooter is taking aim at giants of the genre.

The game is a team-based multiplayer shooter that draws on some familiar elements from popular games like Overwatch and League of Legends. Here’s how Crucible adds enough of its own ideas to keep things interesting.

Choose your fighter

At the core of the Crucible experience are the characters.

As in Overwatch, players choose from a selection of “hunters,” each with their own distinct abilities and appearances. There are 10 characters as of launch, filling a variety of roles. If you like to keep your distance, Ajonah has a grappling hook to reach good positions and snipe people with her harpoon gun. For those who like the face-to-face approach, there’s bulky brawler Drakahl. Players who want to support their teammates can pick someone like Mendoza, who can create cover and has medkits.

The hunters start each game with their particular weapons and abilities, but Crucible also has RPG elements, as players choose upgrades that they can unlock as matches progress.

Players aren’t your only enemies

Character-based shooters are common these days, so what sets Crucible apart will probably be the flow of the game. There are three game modes, all set in a massive jungle map, but the main one is Heart of the Hives, where two teams of four race to collect three hive hearts. Unfortunately, the only way to get the hearts is to loot them from hives that spew out wild enemies.

By tossing in a faction of monsters for both teams to deal with, Crucible creates an element of chaos that other team-based shooters might lack. It’s reminiscent of multiplayer online battle arena games like Dota 2 and League of Legends that continue to dominate the Steam charts.

In addition to the hives, there are other objectives around the map that teams can make a run at to level up and better arm themselves for their next fight.

The other two game modes are Harvester Command, where teams generate points by controlling “essence harvesters” around the map (like king of the hill), and Alpha Hunters, where eight teams of two fight until only one remains.

Crucible is free to play and available on PC, and has cosmetics that players can purchase. It’s one of two big games coming from Amazon Game Studios this year, with the 17th-century MMO New World set to launch in August.

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