Skip to main content

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Will Nicol
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Nicol is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends. He covers a variety of subjects, particularly emerging technologies, movies…
Number of Amazon’s new holiday recruits equals population of Pasadena
amazon is scanning warehouse workers with thermal cameras worker

Determined not to get caught out by a sudden influx of orders this holiday season, Amazon says it’s planning to hire as many as 150,000 extra workers across the U.S. The figure is the same as last year, and 50,000 more than the company took on during the same period in 2020.

Equal to the entire population of Pasadena, Texas, the massive intake of extra staff will take up full- and part-time roles that include everything “from packing and picking to sorting and shipping,” the e-commerce giant said.

Read more
Ubisoft opens registration for Project U, a mysterious, ‘session-based’ co-op shooter
ubisoft opens registration for session based co op shooter project u

Ubisoft revealed a mysterious new "session-based" co-op shooter called Project U in the most low-key way possible: by quietly launching an official website and opening registration for the closed beta. The website went live on Friday, with the French publisher saying that the game will explore an entirely new concept in the shooter genre.

"Code-name Project U explores a new concept of session-based co-op shooter, where many players unite to prevail against an overwhelming threat!" Ubisoft wrote at the bottom of the website. The statement implies that Project U is a working title in the same manner that Project Eve was a working title for Stellar Blade. As such, the game is in early development, and the company is looking for people to play the closed beta on PC.

Read more
Dead Island 2 supports experimental Amazon Alexa voice controls
A screamer yells on a beach in Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2 was the final announcement of Gamescom Opening Night Live, and it made a solid first impression with its cinematic and gameplay reveal that highlighted a zombified Los Angeles. But did you know Dead Island 2 also features Amazon Alexa voice controls?
Shortly after Dead Island 2's announcement, Amazon unveiled Alexa Game Control via a developer blog. With Alexa Game Control, players can say specific phrases to trigger in-game interactions. Supported phrases for Dead Island 2 span weapon swapping ("Swap to my best weapon."), navigating ("Where is the nearest workbench?"), and gaining the attention of enemies ("Hey, zombie!"). Alexa Game Control will work for North American players who speak English when it launches alongside Dead Island 2. 

Interestingly, Alexa Game Control won't require players to own an Echo device or say "Hey, Alexa" beforehand. Players can just say these phrases right into the headset they are using to play the game. Two caveats exist: The Verge confirmed that players will have to be connected to the internet, and Alexa Game Control's website says that players will have to connect their Amazon account to the game they're playing first. Dead Island 2 is the only game to support the technology, but Amazon has a form for interested developers to fill out. 
I can't help but think back to the Kinect days and how developers poorly added voice functionality to games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I then recalled my playthrough of Ryse: Son of Rome a couple of years back, where the Kinect voice-driven sections stood out like a sore thumb and could be circumvented with a button press. Voice-driven video game controls haven't worked out thus far, but Alexa Game Control is attempting to bring it back into fashion. I'm curious to see whether it will enhance Dead Island 2 or add nothing substantial to the experience.
We'll be able to see if Alexa Game Control lives up to its promises soon, as Dead Island 2 will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 3, 2023.

Read more