I've never really been much of an outdoorsy person, which is why I get my "outdoor sports" kick out of virtual experiences rather than actual ones. I suppose it's no surprise that Crux: The Great Outdoors appealed to me at first glance thanks to its visuals alone, but is Mindgames Studios' premium sequel to its free-to-play climbing game worth the time and effort?Table of contents:
This, of course, is my biggest gripe with the game, because while the visuals look absolutely stunning, the timers kick in eventually and it all goes downhill from there. But I'll get to that later.
When it comes to the game's aesthetics, it's pretty enjoyable to see the minimalist graphics and to listen to the totally chill background music. I absolutely loved ogling at the beautiful scenery on every stage while the Zen score serenaded me in the background. If only I could stay that way - holding on for dear life - forever, I would.
There are certain points that serve as your checkpoint, however, so all you really need to do is to get from one checkpoint to another before you need to plan your path all over again. But as easy as that may sound, doing so in the actual game is complicated as heck. In that sense, it becomes a very contradictory experience - on one hand, you've got the lovely visuals and music lulling you into a false sense of security, but on the other, you need to race to the top of the mountain in perfectly positioned placements or fail the game. It doesn't help that you've got a move counter too, so spamming those buttons won't work to your advantage here.
In the end, the premium title might be worth a go if you enjoyed its free-to-play predecessor, as it now features revamped visuals and lovely landscapes you can unlock as you progress through the game. Given its stressful nature disguised under a chill cover, however, you might be in for a surprise - whether or not it's a pleasant one is entirely up to you.