Is Crossfire Legion the RTS to Look Forward to in 2022?

Crossfire Legion zooms out and gives you direct control over different factions on this RTS take of the FPS series. Is it successful? Check out our Crossfire Legion preview.

Published: January 18, 2022 4:00 AM /

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Crossfire Legion

For those itching for a new and fast-paced RTS in 2022, Crossfire Legion is a brilliantly designed RTS with inspired units and extremely fun gameplay. Crossfire Legion offers a fresh RTS perspective on the popular first-person shooter series and puts you in direct command of different factions as they battle for control of a world in the not-so-distant future. For our Crossfire Legion preview, we got hands-on with this new project and got to see just how fast-paced and tightly designed this strategy game is.

On the field of battle, your worst enemy is often not just the opposing faction, but hesitation. Memorizing your preferred keyboard shortcuts is imperative for a swift victory, as well as learning the unique skills and abilities of each unit on the field. Like most RTS games, Crossfire Legion comes with a bit of a learning curve, but after a few games, you fall into the rhythm that Smilegate Entertainment and Blackbird Interactive have so expertly designed. There are some limitations that hold Crossfire Legion back, but it is still a welcome addition as an RTS newcomer later this year. Read on to learn more about our Crossfire Legion gameplay impressions, Crossfire Legion release date information, and more!

Who Are the Crossfire Legion Factions?

Crossfire Legion base building

The Crossfire Legion factions are committed to opposing ideologies, each one battling for the world they wish to live in. At the moment we know about two factions: Global Risk and Black List. The Crossfire Legion Global Risk faction is a coalition of national governments fighting for control of the planet's population and its resources. They're committed to maintaining peace and order and possess well-trained units, powerful vehicles, and a formidable air force. The Fire At Will ability allows you to launch an artillery barrage that's devastating against enemy units, or you can activate a Rally ability to increase the rate of fire and heal friendly units. Their defensive capabilities can also help players gain early-game advantages.

The Crossfire Legion Black List faction could be considered to be terrorists or freedom fighters. They're a private military company fighting on behalf of the underprivileged nations of the world, looking to upset the status quo and create equality for all. They rely more heavily on stealth and guerrilla tactics, including a Ghost Core ability that deploys an outpost to heal nearby units. With the Ghost Recall ability, players can teleport friendly units to the Ghost Core Outpost and have them enter stealth mode. Each faction can also have customized abilities based on which commander they select.

As we get closer to the Crossfire Legion release date, more commanders will be announced, as well as a third faction.

What Is the Crossfire Legion Gameplay Like?

Battling in Crossfire Legion

At its core, Crossfire Legion is a classically inspired RTS. Select a faction, build a base, manage resources, draft your army, and attack or defend as enemy forces march across the map. The Crossfire Legion gameplay was designed with the true fast-paced nature of real-time strategy in mind. Each faction has worker units that can collect materials, fuel, or select drop sites for new buildings. What's nice about this element is the worker doesn't need to statically stand by as construction is underway. Instead, you use it to select a location where a dropship will come and deploy the structure. Once the structure deployment is underway, you're free to move the worker to any other task, meaning that a single worker unit can quickly establish an entire base anywhere on the map so long as you have the resources.

Your structures can be upgraded to unlock additional units and abilities, whether that's the Global Risk Rocket Trooper in the Barracks or the Black List Crocodile, a laser-mounted truck that deals stunning damage to enemy vehicles and structures. Unit classes can be upgraded as well, offering temporary or permanent buffs that range from fire rate increases to additional damage and more. As we near the Crossfire Legion release date and open beta, a card system will be available for players to customize their armies before each battle. This makes it more important to strategize what kind of build you want to work with before even entering the map.

To win, you must eliminate all enemy core bases. Some of the Crossfire Legion maps are massive with many resource depots available, enabling you and the enemy factions to expand out quickly. A single worker can set up multiple operation bases quickly, but these workers are also the same units that are gathering your resources, so you don't want to commit too many away from your home base too early. Having workers in reserve is also key to repairing your structures quickly when under attack. To speed up the repair process, you can assign multiple worker units to a single damaged structure. To come out victorious in Crossfire Legion, you're going to have to manage with limited unit numbers and resources to make a dent in enemy defenses, ensuring you train new units throughout each wave of attack. The Crossfire Legion population cap means multiple attacks are the way to victory, instead of methodically building up your army over time, but we'll get more into some of the strategic limitations of this game in a moment.

Little Visual & Audio Details In Crossfire Legion Are Instantly Immersive

Barrage in Crossfire Legion

Graphically, this game looks beautiful and sustains a smooth framerate with my Geforce RTX 2060 Super GPU 8GB running the game at 1440p. There aren't as many particle effects as some other RTS games, but the streamlined gameplay adds to the fast-paced nature of Crossfire Legion. Another standout detail is the incredible sound design. If you've got a nice set of speakers (and especially a subwoofer), you'll feel the satisfying boom and shake of your floor with every tank shot or explosion.

From the brilliant smoke and flames that erupt from structures when they're about to be destroyed to the rockets and gunfire from ground and air units, there are a lot of auditory and visual joys to behold in Crossfire Legion.

Crossfire Legion Population Cap & Other Limitations

Crossfire Legion gameplay

The Crossfire Legion population cap is both a strategic feature as well as an arbitrary limitation. Population caps are nothing new to real-time strategy games, but it does dictate the way you need to play the game vs. making your own strategy. To start each game, the Crossfire Legion population cap starts at eight, but you can upgrade that to up to 200 by building Logistics Depots, which each add 15 to the population cap. However, you reach this limit very quickly. Every worker you construct (of which you use 15 just to max out gathering resources at one base), counts as one unit. Heavy-duty tanks can count as 14, fighter jets as eight, and the Global Risk Morningstar aircraft will count as a whopping 16 units toward your population cap.

The Crossfire Legion early access builds are a technical test, and countless updates are sure to come to the game even after release. But currently the population cap is a huge part of the gameplay and tied to the Logistics Depot structures, so we'll have to wait and see if that cap is expanded or removed altogether under certain game modes. BBI is looking to listen to player input and make improvements based on what the community is asking for. Crossfire Legion will also offer Steam Workshop support, so the content in this game can be heavily influenced by the players, which means Crossfire Legion may be on of the biggest hits of 2022.

When Is the Crossfire Legion Release Date?

Base defense in Crossfire Legion

The Crossfire Legion release date has not officially been announced yet, but it is aiming for an early access beta with a full release later this year. Whether you're a longtime Crossfire fan, are excited for the new Crossfire X first-person shooter, or love RTS and are looking for something new in that genre, you'll find Crossfire Legion is a much-anticipated game that's worth looking out for.

Are you excited to play Crossfire Legion? What kind of updates do you hope to see to this RTS from Blackbird Interactive and Smilegate Entertainment? Let us know in the comments! We'll see you on the battlefield when the Crossfire Legion open beta release date reaches us later this year.

TechRaptor previewed Crossfire Legion on PC with a copy provided by the publisher. Early access will be available on Steam later this year.

Previews you can trust: To ensure you're getting a fair, accurate, and informed review, our experienced team spends a significant amount of time on everything we preview. Read more about how we review games and products.


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| Staff Writer

Dan is a Boston-based writer who has been with TechRaptor since the end of 2020. He has been working in the online writing, editing and SEO space for nearly… More about Dan