CrimeCraft's shooter component is completely unimaginative, but it works, and it works better than some of its lower-budget rivals. Vogster might have thought to integrate it with its pointless hub world, though, because the two sides of its first MMO don't really make sense when sutured together. Explain to me, for instance, how I can be walking through the neon-lit CBD of a crime-beleaguered metropolis, stride through a gate, and suddenly be in a rural sawmill, or on an offshore oil platform.
The whole thing is almost adorably ham-fisted until you notice the avarice lurking in the shadows. CrimeCraft requires a monthly subscription of $4.99 a month, or $9.99 for a Premium subscription, which nets you some potentially controversial bonuses like a faster level gain and better loot drops. You could also play for free, but the already-limited experience is so hobbled there's no real point in doing so. Weirdly, it appears that regardless of which subscription you have, Sunrise City's billboards are still plastered with ads for real-world products.
On top of your subscription, there's also the 'gold bars' currency, which is separate from in-game 'credits' and allows you to purchase premium items. In other words, you have to pay for monthly access to CrimeCraft, and then you have to pay for things that, in any other MMO, would come with your subscription - the full range of selectable faces for your avatar, for example, or the ability to change your gang's colours. You do get a few bars each month to tide you over, but if you want the good stuff, you'll need to pay. It's a needlessly complex and exploitative business model, and, quite frankly, I can't see it flying with the non-lobotomised.
Perhaps in an effort to offset any dissent, CrimeCraft includes a passable weapon customisation and crafting system. In addition to swapping around purchasable "skills" and other performance boosters, you can slot upgrades into your existing guns, or build one of your own from raw components. It's not particularly meaningful, though, because every gun looks pretty much the same, and when some pimple from the opposing team can instantly knock you out with the all-powerful knife attack - thanks, Modern Warfare - do the few extra damage points on your shotgun really give you that much of an edge? You can craft clothes, too, but you're working from boring templates. Vogster could have at least let players run a bit Second Life in Sunrise City's lifeless streets - you know, let them tweak their appearances, enjoy a few "Want to see my vagina? I made it myself!" moments - but I guess they wouldn't make any money from doing that.
So, as a result, you get an atrocious MMO wedded to a fleetingly enjoyable multiplayer shooter. Had Vogster just focused on the latter component, it might have had something worthwhile on its Ukrusserican hands - Modern Warfare meets Saints Row, say. But as it is, HalloweenJack's inclined to hang up his nondescript firearms and retire to a life of Sangria and quiet Mexican oblivion. Don't cry for him, Sunrise City: the truth is, he never loved you.
4 / 10