Geek Preview - Crossfire Legion Evokes That Classic RTS Nostalgia

Geek Preview – Crossfire: Legion Evokes That Classic RTS Nostalgia

As the number one online first-person shooter, the tactical FPS known as CrossFire boasts over 698 million players from 88 countries and is undoubtedly a bonafide success. However, for developers Smilegate Entertainment, that is not enough, which is why we find ourselves focusing on Crossfire: Legion, a classic real-time strategy title developed alongside Blackbird Interactive under the Koch Media/Prime Matter publishing umbrella.

Classic RTS action in Crossfire: Legion

So how does one go from an FPS to the RTS genre and make a smooth transition? For Crossfire: Legion, it all comes down to paying homage to the franchise’s legacy while charting a new course forward.

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Both the Global Risk and Black List factions are back, together with special Commanders boasting special abilities to help turn the tide. A third secret faction is also joining the party, and a big reveal is to be expected in February as Crossfire: Legion continues to shape up.

However, all of that matters little if the gameplay is not up to snuff, and thanks to an early preview of the upcoming multiplayer technical test, we got a better understanding of the game and where it could potentially go.

Just like most RTS games, players begin each match with their chosen faction, outfitted with an HQ with a few workers. Resource gathering comes in the form of fuel and minerals, paving the way for more advanced buildings, upgrades, and of course, units.

The experience and expertise of those at Blackbird Interactive, made up of former developers of Relic Entertainment (Company of Heroes) and EA Canada, will most certainly help, and what perhaps sets Crossfire: Legion apart the most is an overt focus on its units, upgrades, and powers.

Even for the lowliest of foot soldiers, they can be upgraded to have better damage and unleash abilities that can increase their survivability. Sure, the opponents might have air superiority with an army of attack helicopters, but they are helpless against fast-moving buggies that can impale these helos and bring them to the ground.

Every unit can develop another way of fighting the battle, whether it affects the enemies or themselves, and applies to both factions. The need for micromanagement is definitely higher in Crossfire: Legion, but it also helps in making sure players proceed with caution and tact when engaging the opponent.

Victory or defeat can also lie in the clever use of your Commander abilities. For Global Risk, that comes in the form of the Cardinal’s Fire At Will and Rally abilities, The former allows for a powerful artillery barrage in a targeted area, perfect for dealing the finishing blow, while the latter grants a temporary rate-of-fire bonus and healing for a targeted area.

Crossfire: Legion Roadmap

As for the Black List, the abilities of Phoenix fits well into the more stealthy approach for the faction. The Ghost Core ability deploys an outpost that uses Ghost Kit technology that grants passive healing to all nearby units. It becomes even more useful with the Ghost Recall ability, which teleports forces in a selected area to the Ghost Core, and grants stealth that prevents enemies from targeting them.

It remains to be seen just how unique Crossfire: Legion will be, especially when entering a genre that has plenty of classics to compare it to. It is important to note that the game will be entering Early Access later in the year, with only the multiplayer portion available. Other features, like a single-player campaign, co-op scenarios, additional maps, commanders, and the third faction will come later.

For what it is worth, there is fun to be had in Crossfire: Legion, even at this early stage. With players all starting from scratch, there is room to develop strategies and nuances when engaging in combat, which is usually what can keep an RTS game alive and ongoing.

Interested players eager to try out the technical test should keep an eye out this month, and hopefully, the game turns out to be yet another awesome addition to a storied genre.