Certain Affinity has blamed the poor market performance of its isometric action-RPG Crimson Alliance on reviews that compared the game unfavourably to Blizzard’s Diablo.

Speaking with Game Developer Magazine, director of product development Phil Wattenbarger said, “Crimson Alliance is neither Diablo nor Torchlight. We knew this from the onset, but we didn’t do a very good job of letting the world know about this before release.”

Wattenbarger went on to say that while the fixed isometric view and fantasy dungeon-crawling action were similar to those titles, the gameplay itself was removed.

“The game is much more similar to a modern version of Gauntlet than it is to a classic loot-based dungeon crawler. Monsters don’t explode like pinatas when killed, and the character advancement is streamlined for fast-action and couch play.”

“The amount of vengeful passion behind some of the more polarised scores and forum posts have led us to conclude that to many people, we’ve committed a nearly cardinal sin in the RPG world: We let them believe they were getting a ‘real’ RPG, when in fact, they were getting an action game with RPG trappings,” he concluded.

Gameplanet’s Matt Maguire said of Crimson Alliance, “Although it will be categorised as an action-RPG, Crimson Alliance covets only half of such a tag, preferring to minimise stat-juggling in favour of good old-fashioned dungeon brawling. Reductionists will call it Gauntlet 360 or Diablo-lite; a sexed-up remake for a new generation – but they may struggle to be heard over the clatter of buttons being mashed and foes getting trampled.”