Crowfall: Throne War is an online RPG with numerous strategic elements. A player creates his own character, which then sets off on numerous campaigns taking place across many peculiar realms. After some time, each of these worlds is irreversibly annihilated forcing our protagonist to search for the necessary resources and glory in other universes. The game received significant funding on Kickstarter. It was developed by ArtCraft studio, comprising of developers such as J. Todd Coleman (creative director of Shadowbane, Wizard 101, and Pirate101), or Gordon Walton (executive producer of Ultima Online, the Star Wars Galaxies series, and Star Wars: the Old Republic).
At the beginning of the game, a player has to create their own character – one can select the race and initial skills, however not the class. The initial skills can be freely developed and changed throughout the game, which offers players much leeway in the character development process. Another important decision a player has to make is the faction affiliation – there are 12 groups divided into 3 categories, each one with different objectives. The Chaos factions aim at burying the prevailing rules; the Order factions want to preserve peace and prosperity on every existing world; the agents of Balance factions guard the equilibrium across the entire universe. Like in every other fantasy universe, the factions present herein wage eternal wars against each other.
A feature distinguishing Crowfall from other games of the same genre is the approach toward the realms where players fight for domination. Each world represents a separate server and at the same time the base for a special campaign. Players have 1-3 months to explore a world before it is completely annihilated. During this time, all players who found themselves on a given world, fight on numerous planes for resources and better equipment – the longer the campaign, the more difficult these items are to get, thus it is in everyone’s interest to fulfill their objectives as soon as possible. After a world is destroyed, one has to choose another campaign in which he competes against other players; however, it might turn out that the rules governing this new world might be completely different from what one has experienced during the previous campaign. For example – spells can deal much less damage, or certain groups of monsters might prove resistant to a given type of damage.
All the gathered resources can be then used in special areas called Eternal Kingdoms – each player can design, manage, and improve their own indestructible Kingdom. Should he prove himself to be a good leader, other players might visit his Kingdom – however, they have to obey the rules imposed by the ruling player. Taxation and permitted trade branches are only the exemplary fields, which the owner of a Kingdom can control. Another interesting aspect of the game is the fact that with the expansion of one’s realm, we can assign particular areas to other players by making them governors, assistants, and so on. The player, who organizes his own court, has to stay vigilant all the time – players who one entrusts with his or her domain might at some point go rogue. The strategic aspect of Crowfall is visible not only when managing the realm – it is also present during combat. The implemented combat system boils down to aiming at the enemies and dodging their blows, which forces players to stay extremely mobile even during simple fights.
Crowfall: Throne War features neat visuals, which do not deviate much from most PC MMORPG productions. To allow players with less efficient computers to play the game, creators went for rather simple and comic book-like graphics. This, however, doesn’t mean the game looks bad – the graphics are quite aesthetic and the continuously changing seasons throughout all the available worlds are a nice touch.