Basement Crawl Review

By Spencer Pressly on March 23, 2014

New releases have been quite sporadic since the release of the PlayStation 4, something which presents a real opportunity for a developer like Bloober Team. Basement Crawl represents their first foray into PS4 development and with inspiration taken from classics such as Spy vs Spy and Bomberman, you would think the game would be able to make a name for itself. And it has, just not in the way Bloober Team would have expected.

On paper, Basement Crawl looks like an interesting and creepy take on the Bomberman. It has many similar gameplay elements and the opening movie does a great job of setting the mood for all four of the creepy characters you can play as. However, once you get past that and venture into the menus, any hope you had of experiencing a story has already vanished. You are also only limited to local multiplayer and online multiplayer.

Local multiplayer doesn't allow for single play and it requires multiple dualshock controllers, something which represents a bit of a problem this early in the console's lifecycle. The developers have promised to add in a single player option, but why could this not have been included for the game's release? If you don't have more than one controller, it means you are restricted to only one game mode, online multiplayer.

Playing online would not be an issue if it wasn't for the fact that there only seems to be a small handful of games going on at one time. The game launched on a brand new console with well over 4 million users, but it's difficult to envision how many people Bloober Team expected to buy the game. With such a small online community and local multiplayer only for now, it means so much if the game isn't fun to play.

Basement Crawl is a bit less disappointing when it comes to the actual gameplay. As stated before, it plays just like any other Bomberman game before and for those who don't know what that means, you essentially drop a bomb in hopes to blow up the other players while avoiding to get blown up yourself. The controls and mechanics translated over just fine, but the main issue is the game does nothing original to make it stand out. Bomberman games have faded significantly in recent years and there's reason for this "“ they just don't hold people's attention like they use to anymore.

The presentation in Basement Crawl also continues along the road of ok, but overall is not that impressive. While stages and characters are creepy and interesting looking up close, the camera is so far back and action is so hectic you don't even get a chance to admire the work that clearly went into this world. Also having only four characters in an eight player match can make things rather confusing to see who is who on the map. At least there are plenty of different stages to choose from so getting bored of map design should be the least of your worries.

Final Thoughts

It's a real shame that Basement Crawl couldn't do a better job of making itself seem more appealing on a brand new console with tons of hungry players looking for games to play. Instead all we end up getting is a game so light on content that it feels more like you are paying for the demo that will be expanded over time. You really have to put in way too much work to make this game even remotely fun and that's just not right.

Interesting character designs
Good map variety
At least Bomberman is faithfully represented
Requires two or more controllers offline
Overall lack of modes
Offers nothing new or original
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