Crea PC Review
Arguably, gaming is one of the easiest ways to escape reality. And wanting to escape reality isn’t necessarily a bad thing: sometimes we all need a little mental vacation from whatever it is that’s been driving us to distraction on any given day. A couple hours spent in a fantastical world can be the best medicine for a stressful (or criminally boring) day. Crea, from developer Siege Games, drops players in a randomly generated fantasy world, then encourages them to fight and learn their way through its strange locales, molding the world and their character to their own desired image as the game progresses. And, thankfully, it’s a fun and engaging process indeed.
The basics of the game are nothing shocking: you start out with a simple tool for gathering resources and a simple weapon to defend yourself with. Fighting strange beasts, gathering natural resources, and crafting new items gain you experience in various categories. Experience points can then be spent on unlocking new recipes and abilities to make the game more enjoyable as well as more customizable. There’s also a neat combat ability system that allows you to adapt your fighting style to what feels comfortable, a feature that allows for a decent bit of experimentation. There’s not a massive range of weapon or spell choices, but there really doesn’t have to be to keep the game fun.
The randomly generated worlds themselves are fascinating 2D vistas with highly varied terrain, going from the darkest underground dungeons to the highest crystal hills, full of marshmallow trees and flitting songbirds. There’s a functional night and day cycle which (at least to my mind) sets a nice schedule for resource gathering and monster hunting during the day, followed by recipe research and homestead construction in the evenings. The worlds Crea presents are also full of surprises: I’ve unexpectedly found countless hidden caves and mysterious resources while basically goofing around on my adventures.
Crea isn’t focused on survival but instead on play and exploration. Tools and weapons don’t wear out, and you don’t have to worry about your protagonist starving to death or going insane. In this sense, Crea is an almost childlike experience. I couldn’t tell you how many strange underground mansions I built during my hours-long playthrough, setting convenient teleport crystals as I went in order to go back to former abodes and to gather resources that were needed but maybe a little too far from my current digs. There’s an element of Mindcraft style construction here that works really well within Crea’s sidescrolling maps and I really enjoyed losing myself inside these weird and epic projects.
The loose story included in Crea is stumbled upon through adventuring. It’s less a grand plot than subtle world building, an element that instead adds to the feeling that you are adventuring inside an actual living environment. Monster spawn sites and boss fights present themselves in a similar fashion, again drawing more attention to the detail of the world around your avatar than to any grand overarching narrative.
On the aesthetic side of things, Crea delivers everything it needs to. The music is nice and full without being distracting, and the sound effects are not overly cutesy. The graphics are nothing mindblowing but are pretty. As with games like Minecraft and Terraria, Crea looks good enough for your elaborate fortresses, or giant robot statues, or whatever you decide to build to still look pretty bomb.
I usually rate how enjoyable a game is by how lost I can get in it. There are lots of different way to lose yourself in a game, and Crea’s trick is its encouragement of exploration and construction. While building my second outpost I literally fell into a vast underground cave network that went from water to fire to ice. Each of these different subterranean areas offered its own monsters to fight and unique resources to collect and haul back up to the surface. The materials found deep underground allowed me to expand my builder’s pallet and bring an extra bit of strange into my second construction project, which just made me want to do more and more exploring in order to see how big and strange I could make things. Suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
Crea is a fairly deep sandbox game that’s capable of keeping a person entertained for hours, and as a bonus can also be played cooperatively for a further nuanced/social experience. It doesn’t present anything truly groundbreaking but is still a highly enjoyable experience. If you’re already a fan of similar games I’d recommend checking this one out. Even more so if you’re new to the genre and want a pleasant entry to start out with. Crea’s definitely a game I’ll be going back to in the future, to explore new worlds and build new goofy castles that look like gods-know-what, again and again.