Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: Creed Arena

Creed Arena is a futuristic fast-paced 3D shooter that's extremely addictive and extremely entertaining. With four different game modes like Deathmatch or Survival and multiple Challenges to be completed solo, co-op, or online, Creed Arena has guaranteed replayability. I would like to thank Safari Studios for creating one of the best Indie Games on the market, and especially of the shooter genre. 

Creed Arena 240 MSP

  •  XBLIV Rating - GOLD
  • Developer - reedake2 (Safari Studios)
  • Genre - Shooter
  • Release Date - 1/1/2010
  • Price - 240 MSP
  • XBL Marketplace URL Creed Arena
  • XBL Indie Dev Site Safari Studios
      "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Become a futuristic gladiator and impress the crowds with your skills. Feed off the spectator's cheers to unleash your CROWD RAGE! Switch between top-down and over-the-shoulder camera modes. Compete in unique challenges like Collect the Kegs, and Survival. Play the campaign in solo or co-op, or go online and fight your way up the popularity chart. Gladiator, I salute you!"
                                                           --Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace Description

      I. Summary

      As far as plot-lines go, Creed Arena is somewhat lacking--basically you are one of the Wildcats, a team of gladiators that compete not with old-fashioned medieval weapons, but with futuristic rifles and guns.
      You are the essential hero in the story and the main character who has entered the Creed Arena tournament in an effort to gain the confidence and the heart of the people. You fight your way through the Challenges and eventually when you reach the top rank in any one of them you are crowned Champion.

      What it lacks in story this game makes up for in gameplay--there is so much chaos that can ensue during a match, especially a Keg Collection match with three teams of two, or a game where Rockets are the default weapon. This game also rewards those that do well (or steal kills) by unleashing the unique Crowd Rage function which makes a gladiator into a berserking juggernaut.

      With the Live Multiplayer function this game becomes infinitely replayable. Although the multiplayer isn't streamlined like a retail X360 title, it's still enjoyable and you can play as much as you'd like. Local Co-Op also offers a new edge in either competitive or co-operative Challenges, and it's much better to have an actual player on  your team rather than the Bots.

      Image from Creed Arena

      The graphics for this full 3D shooter are amazing for an Indie Game and are impressive even compared to some XBL Arcade Games. Fight on many well-made, graphically-enhanced maps and admire the meshes while you cut down your enemies.

      With 17 different maps and four different game types Creed Arena is vastly entertaining from start to finish--and really this game never ends, even after you climb to rank 1.

      II. Game Mechanics

      This traditional gladiator arena shooter has unique features such as an arsenal of impressive and dynamic weapons to use against your foes and an engrossing playing experience with Bots as teammates and enemies. I've always enjoyed shooter games where there were Bots because it allows people to practice and to actually learn the game without getting their asses handed to them from the start. The Bots in Creed Arena can be aggrevating sometimes, especially if your teammates shoot you in the back (yes there is friendly-fire for all co-operative gametypes).

      There are four different Gladatior Teams in Creed Arena:
      • The Androids - These sentient cyborgs are deadly and accurate with most weapons--they are nearly unstoppable when they get ahold of the Rocket Launcher.  

      • The Wildcats - There will be some Challenges that require you to compete with a fellow teammate in order to win--during these games your fellow Wildcat can seemingly be more useful than he is during a co-op match.

      • Kremlins - The Kremlins are Russians who are well versed in the art of slaughter, and the very last Challenge (Tomb of Karthus) involves a 3 on 3 deathmatch with these deadly adversaries.

      • Death Knights - The Death Knights are total badasses--they are accurate and incredibly deadly with the Shotgun or Rocket Launcher...however they're not so good -against- Rockets.

      III. Weapons/Items

      All weapons in this game have unlimited ammo, however single-shot weapons such as the Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, and secondary charge shot on the Pulse Cannon all have cooldown times.

      Assault Rifle - The default spawn rifle capable of devastating short-range attacks and long-range shots as well. fully automatic fire from two or even three teammates can overwhelm any enemy.

      Shotgun - The shotgun is the most powerful one-shot weapon other than the Rocket Launcher. It usually takes up to two shots to kill an enemy at moderate distance, but up close one-shots are lethal. It is rather useless for long-range shots, however.

      Lightning Gun - Very awkward at first, but once you understand how the weapon works it becomes quite powerful. Short-range only, accumulating shock damage per second.

      Plasma Cannon - This weapon is one of my personal favorites--it has two fire modes; a rapid-fire series of shots and a high-powered charge shot that kills in two hits. This gun is useful up close and far away, and the charged shot will launch across any level.

      Rocket Launcher - King of all guns, the Rocket Launcher has a slow cool-down rate but is capable of killing a group of enemies in one shot. Devastating close-range power as well as longe-range capabilties make this weapon the most desired frag earner out of them all.

      Outside of weapons there are no items or powerups to use--this game is your classic fragfest game similar to the Quake games minus the health and other drops.

      Image from Creed Arena

      IV. Story Line

      This game starts off with an announcer (presumably the Gladiator you play as under the Wildcats) pledging himself to win the Creed Arena tournament. His motives are to gain the crowd's favor and to win the people over so that he can overthrow the dictators that are in control.

      As you get farther and farther in the game and attain more and more fans, you're eventually hailed as the Champion of the Creed Arena--once you have beaten the game our hero announces to his sister that he has won the people and the time for revolution has come. Outside of this snippet of story there really isn't any reinforcement to a main quest or goal other than completing the set Challenges and accumulating more and more fans and supporters.

      This is one of the types of games that doesn't require an expansive story-line to be fun and awesome, however. These shooter games are mostly about the deathmatches and insane chaotic action not the intricate and complex machinations of a deep storyline--we save those things for RPG's.

      Play as the Wildcat and climb to glory by defeating enemies in the various game types in the various modes like Solo and Co-Op Tournaments--annihilate all the rival gladiator teams to win the tournament and become the Champion!

      Image from Creed Arena

      V. Unique Features

      There are a few unique features that Creed Arena possesses that aren't found in any other game of it's type--the Crowd Rage mechanic, for instance. Crowd Rage is what allows players to kill and kill--and then kill some more.

      To unlock this frenzied state you must gain Fans by killing enemies in creative ways--the more creative the kill, the more Fans you'll get. Multi-kills, huge damage shots, and even melee hits can gain massive amounts of fans to build your Rage meter. Once under Crowd Rage, you do more damage, jump higher, move faster--basically you're enhanced in every way to become a nearly unstoppable juggernaut of death.

      This game is also one of the first games to have a two-person view that incoporates both a top-view and a third-person view. Both views provide a dynamic way to play the game, however the top-view is quite challenging and is recommended for experienced players.

      Bots are another feature that adds a new level of gameplay, as you can practice and get better by playing against them. The game also has seventeen expansive maps each tailored to a specific gametype.

      There are four different gametypes in Creed Arena:

      Deathmatch- The standard fragfest that inspired all classic shooters out there. Can be played in either Teams or 1 on 1.

      Survival - This gametype pits you against a swarm of enemies that spawn in waves. Loosely similar to Firefight in Halo ODST in dynamics. Can be played in solo or teams.

      Collect the Kegs - Self-explanitory--the team must collect a set amount of Kegs into their zone. Kegs can be taken out of a team's zone at any time. Kills are the way to keep a team from scoring--usually 3-5 kegs collected to win. Only playable in teams.

      Popularity - Gametype that involves gaining fans by getting kills against enemies. Get a set amount of fans to win--either in teams or competitive.

      There is also another gametype called "Hunting", yet it only has one Challenge. Hunting is based on killing a certain amount of creatures (usually the raptors) before your teammate.

      Every gametype is entertaining and fun, and Collect the Kegs can get pretty crazy especially if it's the 3 teams of 2 Challenge. My personal favorite though is Deathmatch--simple killing is always the best.

      VI. Wrap-Up

      It's easy to see why Creed Arena is a great Indie Game, especially in the shooter genre. The game itself has many unique features and gametypes to keep even the most dedicated of gamers entertained. This fantastic gladiator battle will go on and on over Xbox Live and will give players all around the world the opportunity to rise to the top of the global scoreboards.

      Combined with all the features, the amazing 3D environments and character graphics, and with the amazing replayability that's guaranteed with Solo, Co-op, and Live gameplay, Creed Arena is a steal at a mere 240 MSP. This game is truly a gem in the XBLIG Marketplace and is a quality fragfest that everyone can enjoy.


      VII. Developer Info

      Safari Studios is the development team behind this ultimate XBLIG shooter; namely reedake2. This game studio has an official website for their game, Creed Arena:

      The website itself features a contact page where you can speak to the developers themselves, along with screenshots of the game and a link to the official Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace page where you can download the Free Trial or Full Game for Creed Arena.

      Safari Studios can also be found on Twitter and Facebook, below are their official links, respectively: 

      Well that's about it! I'd further like to thank Safari Studios for developing this awesome game and redefining the entire shooter genre on XBL Indie Games. This game is fantastic and higly rating for all fans of shooter games--it's sure to please!

      Skeptical? Want to try Creed Arena out for yourself? Visit this link for a Free Trial to this amazing shooter:

       Creed Arena


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