The first few months of the year are always mildly depressing for gamers. Few big names release in the beginning, which makes it difficult to find fun games to play. Titles like “Call of Duty,” “Assassins Creed” and other blockbuster hits don’t usually come out until late October or early November, leaving gamers to play old games or squander for mediocre games to find. However, there are usually an abundance of January releases that fall by the wayside that deserve every gamer’s time. The best release in January, in my opinion, is “Crashlands.”
In “Crashlands,” you play as the galactic space-trucker Flux Dabes. During a trucking run, your ship is blown to smithereens by the villainous Hewgodooko, who tears your ship apart looking for new technology. Thanks to him, you are now crashlanded on Woanope, an unfamiliar planet where you only have one primary goal: live long enough to get off of there. With only your trusty sidekick JuiceBox, you are tasked to retrieve the lost packages, find a way off the planet and fulfill your quest. But everything isn’t quite what it seems on Woanope.
As you scramble to retrieve your packages, you stumble upon a plot of world domination. Being the protagonist of this unusual tale, it is your job to stop the world from being dominated. While this may seem like every other space-hero game ever made, things aren’t nearly as straight-forward in Crashlands as they are in games like “Halo.” In the more mainstream titles, there is a set path for you to take in order to save the universe from its imminent demise, which consists of collected quests, shooting aliens, getting the girl and making everything hunky-dory in the long run. “Crashlands” isn’t like that.
In “Crashlands,” you have to figure everything out yourself. In order to save everyone, you will need to utilize the different resources on Woanope to craft weapons, make shelter and stay alive. This takes a bit of time to learn but is incredibly rewarding when you get it all figured out. Crafting a powerful weapon to destroy things feels a lot more satisfying than walking around and comically slapping everything until it coughs up juicy resources. Apart from crafting, there is a lot more you can do. The various citizens of Woanope will have an abundance of quests for you to accomplish that will cause them to aid you in your travels with resources and other various perks. You can also tame aliens to help fight for you or just become friends with you if you’re some sort of pacifist or something.
Crashlands provides an overwhelming amount of variety and fun to a time of year where there simply isn’t a lot to be had with video games. There is a ton to do, from fighting aliens to building a shelter that’ll make everyone else jealous. It is a highlight in what could have been an incredibly boring month.
Crashlands is available on Steam for $14.99. For more information about the game, visit crashlands.net/.