Official artwork for Amazon's Crucible without the logo

[Update]: Crucible has now been officially launched, though not without a whole bunch of problems.

If you're a fan of team-based shooters, you might want to keep an eye on Amazon's upcoming free-to-play game Crucible. Once it arrives on May 20th it'll bring with it a colorful cast of characters, each with their own abilities and playstyles, as well as a variety of reasons to go out and throw fireballs directly into someone's face.

The launch version will feature three distinct game modes, all of which are twists on the genre classics. Heart of the Hives will be a 4v4 mode that challenges you to collect hearts left behind by monstrous hive creatures, which means a lot of running around and sabotaging your enemy. In Alpha Hunters you and a partner will need to square off against a myriad of enemy teams, all in an effort to be the last man/robot/alien/plant-thing standing alive.

The final mode, Harvester Command, will be a 8v8 slaughterfest where teams will need to duke it out over the control of various harvesters (read control points) sprinkled throughout the maps. As you can see, these are fairly familiar game modes once you remove all of the abstraction, but for a team-based shooter, that's probably for the best as the focus should be on the interactions with the other players.

If you're still somewhat confused, you can get a pretty good idea of what all of this nonsense looks like in-game through the recently posted trailer. Have a gander, it's a rather informative one:

Team-based shooters seem to have an uncanny ability to lose their entire playerbase within a couple of months if there's even a slight problem with the gameplay, so it's certainly going to be interesting to see how Crucible will fare. On the surface it does look pretty fun, and it is entirely free, so who knows - maybe it will manage to stand the test of time!

Whatever the case may be, you can keep an eye on any further announcements over at Steam or the official website.