CrimeCraft revealed

We don’t usually get excited when we hear the words “free” and “MMO” in the same sentence. That is, until we saw the free-to-play third-person shooter/MMO, CrimeCraft. The game’s rather straightforward title doesn’t do much to distance itself from the glut of second-rate free-to-play games flooding the online market these days. But after checking out an early build, we have to admit that it’s the best looking free MMO we’ve ever seen.

It doesn’t really take a lot of graphical horsepower to outshine the crude polygonal avatars common in the many generic grind-a-thons that have been popping up left and right. But look at this juicy screenshot. On the visual front, CrimeCraft raises the bar and puts most of today’s aging MMOs - with monthly fees - in their place.

Above: CrimeCraft makes World of Warcraft look like a free-to-play MMO

So why does CrimeCraft look so damn decent? The detailed character models and environments are rendered with the help of Unreal Engine 3. The game takes place in a fictional city filled with instanced zones where you can team up with or challenge other players. So you could group up with some friends to rob a bank or sign up for a game of capture-the-flag or control points with your gang. As of now, developer, Vogster Entertainment is aiming to support up to 16 players in a match/mission at the same time and 4,500 concurrent users in each realm.

CrimeCraft has a tentative release date penciled in for March, 2009 and we’re especially interested in seeing whether Vogster Entertainment’s upcoming shooter/MMO will land on target. Both Hellgate: London and Tabula Rasa took a shot at melding these two genres and while they looked incredibly promising, both games turned out to be a bit of a let down for a lot of fans.

Our friends down the hall at PC Gamer also took some time to check out CrimeCraft. You can expect to see more exclusive screenshots and in-depth details on the game in their next issue, which hits stands on April 29. But be sure to come back here for more exclusive details on this project soon.

Apr 9, 2008