Thoughts and impressions on returning to the wastes of Crossout on Xbox One X and taking the Inventor Pack for a spin
For those of you who have jumped into the world of Crossout, you’ll likely have found yourself spending hours of your time with one of the most creative and destructive titles available on the Xbox One. For me the opportunity to explore a game that looked to combine Robot Wars with Mad Max (minus the dusty wastes) was an instant winner and one I enjoyed from its initial release.
If you’re looking for more on Crossout in general, you’d be wise to check out Trysten’s review. My latest venture into the world of custom killing machines however was purely to take a look at the latest changes brought about by the Xbox One X enhancements, exploring the delights of Crossout in 4K, and taking in the Inventor Pack DLC in the process.
By this point, unless you’ve spent the past several months under a rock, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be aware of just what Microsoft’s latest Xbox One X console and its fancy new Scorpio chip can do. For me though, all the talk of specifications doesn’t really mean all that much when it comes to what a console can do. Instead my interest lays in the changes I can see straight off the bat.
Unlike some of the other games that have been given the Xbox One X enhanced treatment, Crossout doesn’t immediately advise you of all the differences you can expect to see upon starting up. There’s no option to choose between visuals or performance and to the untrained eye – or someone who hasn’t played Crossout on anything other than an Xbox One X – it would probably be rather difficult to notice any immediate changes.
Having played Crossout just a few days ago on a standard Xbox One, the first notable change from the update was just how quick the loading times are now. Although they were never exactly long originally, playing on an Xbox One X has seen my time waiting for loading decreased dramatically and even loading into games is now at least twice as fast as it ever was before. Generally, this isn’t something I’d pick up on as I’m not usually fussed by a little wait to get into a game – excluding GTA V’s ridiculous waiting time of course – but as someone who often uses the Xbox One’s quick start feature to jump into my games quickly, quicker loading times will always be appreciated.
Another notable change is one that originally I had just passed off as a bug and had come to forget about for a while. Having joined several games in progress, the awkward lag that can sometimes accompany those who fill in the roles of the bots has now become non-existent. Whether that’s due to a fix in the latest patch or the increased power of the Xbox One X I can’t be sure, but it is something that certainly makes a difference and is a worthy mention.
The biggest changes for me though are in relation to the visual improvements – as you’d expect. After jumping into my first game, it’s very apparent that we’re looking at a new and improved visual performance all round on the Xbox One X. With colours now much more vibrant than before, and the general quality providing a much sharper image, it’s fair to say Crossout is a beautiful experience on the most powerful console. Of course, the changes made visually aren’t anything that is going to affect how you play, but as someone who usually finds it hard to notice the difference between HD and 4K – despite owning a 4K setup for a few years now, the differences in the latest update were something that my eyes picked up on very quickly, and generally make for a better visual showing. Even the damage output numbers from each shot now look better and with tire tracks now more defined, this is certainly a visual improvement to get behind.
As well as the 4K update, I also got the chance to check out the Inventor Pack that is available for Crossout. Whilst Crossout is a completely free-to-play game, there are many different content packs available to buy in to.
The Inventor Pack is one that fits in perfectly with the recent Dawn’s Children patch that also released alongside the 4K update. Dawn’s Children is the associated new faction that has been brought into the game but represent just one of many new additions into play. The new Dawn’s Children faction is one that’s focused heavily on scientific technology and to join them players will need to be at least a Nomad reputation level 10.
As for the Inventor Pack itself, it’s fair to say the price is probably the first thing many have noticed given the exceptionally high cost tied to it. £51.99 isn’t cheap, but what do you get for you money and is it worth it? Well, that will all depend on how much time and effort you like to put into your games, as the content included is certainly nothing to scoff.
The first addition is the boost to in-game coins, with 4200 coins included for players to use as they wish at the in-game market to buy new parts and weapons. Coins aren’t the be all and end all of the game, but without an already impressive vehicle and a large collection of decent parts to ship out, it’s the sort of sum that many players can spend hours trying to amass.
The main inclusion with this latest content pack though is of the new vehicle. With the Dawn’s Children update bringing the new hovering Icarus IV engines into play and some new rare and epic parts, the Inventor Pack is the place to go to bring all of these together in one bundle. The ‘DeLirium TMS’ is a hovering vehicle complete with unique and armour, and is made up from the majority of the new parts brought into play with the update.
The parts included contain the new cabin in the form of the Epic grade Quantum, as well as the new and exciting Icarus IV engines – that allow your vehicles to hover above the ground – and a new weapon to cut through the opposition with two rare Synthesis Plasma Emitters, which release a dense bundle of heated plasma at enemies – parts which proved great for destroying enemies quickly.
Other new additions include the hero portrait of Lloyd, unique paint cans with the Red Moon and White Sun colours and an increase in the maximum number of parts that can be used to 60 parts.
After taking in several games using the new DeLirium TMS, a couple of things became clear. The vehicle holds a great balance of power and speed and is something to be feared by those who go up against it, especially if the player in control has any serious skill behind them. Even as someone who rarely finishes amongst the best players when playing Crossout, I was often finishing on top whilst using it. The new vehicle certainly provides users the upper hand over those with limited quality vehicles, but the DeLirium TMS isn’t a typical case of a pay-to-win addition. Despite finding better fortune on the in-game scoreboard, it doesn’t come without its weaknesses, and anyone found running into the fight without a game plan can quickly find themselves as nothing more than an expensive crumpled mess in no time.
Unfortunately, though, no matter how impressive the vehicle, parts and weapons may be, it’s hard to find a good way to justify what is undoubtedly an extortionate asking price. As someone who frequents DLC purchases for my favourite games, I’m usually one to push for a good reason to jump in with an extra purchase, but even though Crossout is a free-to-play endeavour from the start, £51.99 for a new vehicle and some in-game coins is not a price that we should expect – no matter how good the quality of the parts may be. Whilst the parts at present may be tied to the Inventor Pack DLC or progression through the Dawn’s Children Faction, there is no way to recommend buying into things at such a high price.
Overall and even though the Inventor pack doesn’t offer content that is worthy of its price, no matter how impressive the parts, the 4K update is certainly worth checking out. With a fresh level of visual beauty spread out over the otherwise unsettling wastes of Crossout, and notable improvements seen right off the bat, this is one update that brings out the power of the Xbox One X and delivers a new level of immersion to one of the year’s great indie adventures.