Crossfire: Legion brings back the RTS genre while offering something for newcomers too

Crossfire: Legion
(Image credit: Prime Matter)

There’s not a gamer who lived in the late '90s or early 2000s who doesn’t remember blockbuster real-time strategy (RTS) classics like Command & Conquer, StarCraft, Age of Empires, and countless others. The ability to dump countless hours into crafting the perfect strategy to destroy every last enemy on the map certainly consumed many a young (and young at heart) gamer’s after-school hours. 

While the genre has lost some popularity in recent years, mainly due to the rise of console gaming (the mechanics of RTS games don’t translate very well to consoles), there's still plenty to love about the genre. Blackbird Interactive developers and Prime Matter publishing are bringing it back in a big way.

Crossfire: Legion

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

Not simply a remake or a sequel, Crossfire: Legion is an entirely new entry into the RTS battlefield that combines a story-driven single player campaign with action-packed co-op battles and competitive multiplayer encounters. 

The game developers know well the history and significance of trying to bring a completely new franchise into the RTS space and have worked hard to stay true to what made the genre so special in the first place while still making it easy and accessible enough for newcomers to learn quickly and become just as immersed in the world as long-time RTS players. 

They were also careful not to make the game simply look like a rehashed version of a game made in the 2000s. While certainly taking inspiration from the classics of old, Crossfire: Legion makes use of the latest technology to provide a truly cinematic gameplay experience.

Crossfire: Legion

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

As befitting of all the best RTS games, the different strengths and weaknesses of the playable factions lend themselves to distinct strategies. Each faction has two commanders with special abilities and up to 45 units with unique traits. In cooperative battles or multiplayer team fights, team members can choose which units and generals make up their army, allowing every player to specialize in whatever role and tactics they feel most comfortable in. So whether you’re a quick striker or you prefer to turtle, each player can find the strategy that best fits their playstyle.  

Let's get to know Crossfire: Legion's  three distinct factions:

New Horizon

The armies of New Horizon rely on advanced technology to vanquish their foes. Energy shields make New Horizon’s units tough defenders while futuristic projectile weapons like railguns give them an edge in offensive operations. Instead of traditional tanks and infantry, New Horizon uses hover vehicles and cybernetically enhanced fighters.

Angel | Commander

Ability: Null Field – Shields friendly units in the target area, making them take less damage.

Ability: Radiation Field – Enemies in the target area take radiation damage over time.

Vampire | Infantry

Ability: Life Steal – Recharges shields with each attack of their energy swords.

Ability: Dash – Short sprint to quickly get into or out of combat.

Orion | Support Vehicle

Heal: Heals the target's health and shields. Can be set to auto-cast.

Null Void: Creates a void that pulls enemy ground units towards its center.

Global Risk

Global Risk relies on traditional combined-arms tactics and a mix of time-tested arms: Foot soldiers, tanks, trucks, helicopters, fighter aircraft and bombers that remind observers of the equipment used by contemporary armies. Global Risks’s motto seems to be, victory through superior firepower – they love artillery and missiles.

Cardinal | Commander

Ability: Rally – Gives a temporary fire power boost to targeted forces and heals them.

Ability: Fire at Will – A massive artillery barrage that deals significant damage to ground targets.

Marshal | Rocket Artillery

Ability: Cluster Rounds – Temporarily slows enemy units that are hit.

Ability: Non-Tracking Projectile – These rockets do massive damage but may miss moving targets.

Imperator | Tank

Ability: Artillery Mode – Makes the vehicle stationary but extends its firing range considerably.

Ability: Non-Tracking Projectile – Great against stationary targets, not so great against moving targets.

Black List

Black List’s forces are a ragtag bunch of soldiers fielding sometimes out-dated, sometimes highly innovative but always capable weapons and vehicles. They rely heavily on infantry, although their fledgling air force is a growing threat to their enemies. Their EMP guns ensnare or disable targets while flamethrowers and chemical weapons do damage over time.

Freefall | Commander

Ability: Ghost Zone – Makes allied units in the area temporarily invisible. They can attack but not be targeted.

Ability: Acid Rain – Slows enemy units In the target area and makes them more vulnerable to attacks.

Chameleon | Support Vehicle

Ability: EMP Burst – Traps enemy soldiers and vehicles for a short duration.

Ability: Liquefaction – Pulverizes a section of the terrain for a short time, slowing units passing through it.

Condor | Helicopter

Ability: Projectile Drones – Suicide drones that home in on their target but can be shot down.

Ability: Mass Drones – Increases the number of drones launched per salvo.

Crossfire: Legion

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

The conflict between these three factions and their charismatic leaders serves as the backdrop for Crossfire: Legion’s story-driven single player campaign, leading players through 15 immersive levels across four chapters. 

In addition to the solo campaign, there is a wealth of multiplayer maps and co-op scenarios available, engaging competitive players as well as collaborative gamers, who want to enjoy the experience together with their friends. 

And there’s more to come during the Early Access phase. Blackbird Interactive has committed to monthly game updates and transparency with their player community. Already they have listened to an implemented player feedback directly into the game. Their roadmap highlights that the store-like progression system has been removed, while new units, game modes, maps, and balance adjustments are routinely being added. For the creative strategists, a custom map making tool and Steam workshop will be unleashed August 22nd. 

Even professional gamers are taking notice of Crossfire: Legion as the first champion in the ESL was crowned in June of this year. 

There’s quite a lot to explore in Crossfire: Legion. Long time fans of RTS games as well as those new to the genre will find something to love and explore across this unique, fresh take on the beloved landscape. Jump in and start playing today with the early access available on Steam