Arcade is where the heart is.

After the disappointment of the lack split screen in Dead Island, we found ourselves without a new co-op game to play. So as we have started to do more and more recently we turned to the XBOX Live Arcade for help, in between grabbing levels of Gears of War 2 😉

After trying a few demos which show promise for future purchases, namely Toy Soldiers Cold War and Space Marine Kill Team, we decided on the dungeon crawler Crimson Alliance. The pay structure is a little odd, the game itself is free and then you pay for character packs, which are even more oddly done in that a single character is a rather hefty 800 MSP whilst the all 3 character pack is just the usual Arcade game price of 1200 MSP. Given there is an achievement to completing the game once with each character type I’d advice most people to go for the full pack. Another oddity is there are three characters but the game is set up for four player teams, perhaps a sign for future character types to be released?

The game play seems fun, if relatively standard fare. Linda took on the role of Assassin, which was an easy choice given it’s the only female character (seriously male/female options for all classes would be nice if it became a standard feature in games) and I took on the caster role. Our friend @Woodoggies will become the tank like fighter once he has the game downloaded. Linda and I played through the first five or so levels to get a good feel for the game, the combat is quick paced and the block function essential yet tricky making building up a multiplayer tough. So far we’ve managed a x5, somewhat short of the x8 required for the achievement. Loot drops are controlled by finding chests rather than killing enemies, and in general are less impressive than the items you can buy from the occasional caravan stop, and we seemed to have more than enough money to buy the best item at each stop.

There are also some puzzle sections, however from what we have seen so far they require all the brain power of a clever mouse, so we’re picking up health boosts and ‘soul anchors’ at a quick pace but presumably these will increase in difficulty. They may hinder a solo play through though, as some favour being in a multi person party so worth baring in mind it you plan to play alone.

All in all a jolly fun game, including what appears to be some replay value with score attacks and leader boards being present and correct and a medal system for rating each dungeon run you make with an achievement based incentive to gold them all.

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