Crucible is Amazon’s answer to Valorant and Overwatch, launches May 20

After years of development, Amazon will launch free-to-play team shooter Crucible on the PC on May 20.

In Crucible, players choose from a roster of aliens, robots, and humans, and work with teammates to hunt opponents, take down hostile creatures, and capture objectives. The science-fiction game takes place on a rogue planet at the edge of known space. They’re all pursuing Essence, a resource that amplifies hunters’ powers. Players begin each match by selecting from a lineup of 10 hunters, each with distinct loadouts of weapons and abilities.

It’s an important game that will provide competition with Overwatch and Riot’s new Valorant game, which is in beta testing. And it will help determine whether Amazon, which is at its heart an e-commerce and data services company, can be taken seriously in games.

This game comes from Relentless Studios, a Seattle-based development team of Amazon Games. The studio is led by Louis Castle, who previously was cofounder of Westwood Studios and a veteran of many games such as Command & Conquer. The team includes industry veterans from Activision Blizzard, ArenaNet, Electronic Arts, and Xbox. Castle joined Amazon in 2017.

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Crucible will be the first of two major titles from Amazon Games in 2020, followed by the launch of New World in August 2020. Previously, Amazon released The Grand Tour Game, a racing title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2019. Before that, the company worked on various mobile games for the Amazon App Store.

Crucible has a hunter for most playstyles—such as Earl, an interstellar trucker who’s built like a tank (and a gun more appropriate for a tank, too), Bugg, a robot botanist whose primary concern is protecting his plants; and Summer, a champion fighter and former welder who wields flamethrowers.

As players collect Essence, their hunters level up, increasing their power and abilities. Crucible’s fast-paced combat requires players to constantly re-evaluate and adjust their strategies, adapting to their opponents’ moves and the ever-changing planet.

Crucible will launch with three modes: Heart of the Hives, Harvester Command, and Alpha Hunters. In Heart of the Hives, two four-player teams battle giant boss Hives that spawn throughout the world. Each Hive contains a Heart, and the first team to capture three Hearts wins the match, making each match a dangerous balance between racing to defeat the opposing team and battling to survive the powerful Hives.

Above: Crucible

Image Credit: Crucible

Harvester Command challenges two teams of eight players to capture and hold Harvesters spread across the map, vying for control of the Essence that drew them all to the planet. The first team to deplete its opponent’s resources wins. In Alpha Hunters, eight teams of two fight to be the final team standing.