Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
God. Capital G. The big person that made everything. Well if that’s what you believe as I personally think it’s a combination of everything or that it’s really Alanis Morissette (See Dogma). In either case, Crest has you filling in these enormous shoes while simultaneously not being able to do anything directly as you guide your peoples and civilizations through the years.
Crest is more hands-off than anything that I’ve ever had… my hands on. You are quite literally an observer and an idea more than an actual force of nature as you would be in the likes of Black and White or Reus. The only “contact” that you have with your peoples are decrees that you can issue through the form of keystones that expand as time goes on. Whether or not the people on the ground actually listen to you is entirely up to whether or not they believe you are real. It’s a little bit of a catch 22 and you’re going to have to test the waters a few times before getting it right.
The interface to Crest is a simple one. You see your people, you see the lands that they live on and you see the periods and the cycles of the years and the seasons as time passes. Available to be brought up are the two windows that allow you to issue commandments and to see what commandments are currently in place. That’s it. It really is a nice and clean interface that lets you cleanly observe your people as you hope that they carry out what you deem is worthy in order to continue their survival.
Probably the most interesting and frustrating feature to guiding your people are your influence points. These are granted as the periods move through the cycles and are not to be used lightly or stupidly because bad decisions will both bring down your actual influence for the people believing in you as well as be a waste if you got it wrong.
The reason that these are frustrating is because sometimes you’ll want to issue three or four separate commands but you’ll have enough for one or two at the most. As a god it would have been nice to simply throw as much as you want out there but then where would the challenge be? So as much as I found it frustrating at times as I saw cities dying off, I can appreciate that even a god can have limitations and need to think things through before simply making a decision. Hence waiting these points if you get it wrong.
Commands can be anything from making babies to fishing out on the sea or farming. Issuing these commands other than requiring the influence points are going to need a bit of trial and error as you put them together using three keystones. Two of the three act as your variables while the third acts as the action. For example, you can say that “Desert” “Produce” “Farming” which will translate over to the people living in the desert need to start farming. “Savannah” “Eat” “Antelope” will translate to people in the Savannah head out and hunt antelope for food. Other combinations could be “Old People” “Produce” “Socialize” and that would make it that old people are going to head out and socialize with others.
The keystones themselves are basic but the actions that they can lead to are numerous. Hell, being a god you could actually state that people living by the cost should eat people who are mining for resources. You really want to take a look at your commands before issuing them because sometimes what you think is a good idea… isn’t. You can also suggest that people migrate from the desert over to the Savannah for example as it can be easier to survive just as you could ask them to start tending their own territory to make it more inhabitable.
Once you’ve issues any of these then it really is sitting back and watching how things unfold. If the people believe that you’re a real thing then they’ll gladly jump to it and make babies, go fishing or hunt animals for meat. Other times they may decide to ignore you and start a war against another city. Because you’re hands off you can only hope to dissuade these people and try to get them to get along but sometimes it won’t happen and cities will perish because there are not enough children being born or too many people died and the last simply moved over to the closest city because you suggested it’s a good idea.
Crest really is an interesting title and is currently still in Early Access. I’m not sure what can be really added at this point since it’s very stable and runs smoothly but the developers do keep adding features and seem active with their news updates. That said, seeing people rise up and advance only to crumble to dust inside of this ecosystem is quite interesting and a good test of whether or not your fit to guide people as your decisions really are the basis of life and death. On the assumption that they believe you’re real of course.Score: N/A