This half-arsed first-person shooter is out of place and out of its depth on consoles, says Matt Martin
If a screaming, twisted war face is intended to strike fear into the enemy’s heart, I would imagine Crytek’s opponents are staring back stoney-faced at its effort like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.
Bullshit, you didn’t convince me. Let me see your real war face.
Known for its high-end PC and console games like Far Cry, Crysis and Ryse, Crytek was one of the first European developers to jump onto the online free-to-play bandwagon with Warface (why didn’t they call it WarCry?).
Creating a new game from scratch originally for China, South Korea and Taiwan – where microtransactions and renting items are the norm – was a brave and ambitious thing and looked like it would open a whole new market for the developer. Maybe it did, but as Warface has gradually rolled out a beta in Russia, the US and Europe, I can’t help thinking it became less targeted and more of a scattershot approach.
Now Warface is available on Xbox 360 it feels like Crytek’s just waving a shotgun around pumping it into anything that moves.
First impressions are clunky. There’s a 23 page user agreement to click on before you go anywhere and once you’ve chosen a character you’re instantly given an Achievement. There’s nothing more needy and patronising that handing out free stuff for pressing X.
“It’s the roughest beta I’ve played for a while – almost like it’s been chopped with a hatchet and duct taped together”
Beyond that, my first 5 minute training session went FUBAR. One of the static targets wouldn’t fall despite me emptying three clips into the motherfucker. I carried on regardless, finished the training and watched as everything went blank. A quick restart later and I got my achievement and $1000 for completing it. Well done soldier, here’s another cheap reward.
It’s important to remember that Warface is in beta, but playing it there’s no way you could mistake it for anything else. It’s probably the roughest beta I’ve played for a while – almost like it’s been chopped with a hatchet and duct taped together. Music clips in and out, games finish abruptly, and multiplayer maps have the feel of being thrown together with the simplest of editing tools.
World of shit
Why do I play my beloved first-person shooters? To kill. To feel like a minister of death praying for war.
It’s easy enough to kill in Warface. Skillfully, clumsily, accidently – just because you’re holding a gun in someone’s general direction. The Versus modes are played out on small uninspiring maps, where flitting between fast sprinting and hiding behind foliage or other obstacles will net you plenty of kills.
Unfortunately these hangers, train yards and villages are too small for anything resembling advanced tactics. They’re just filled with crossfire and grenade spam, cramped snipers and blundering foot soldiers. Stand still for half a minute and someone will fumble into your sights for an easy kill. It’s goofy gunplay at best – the equivalent of raw recruits attempting an assault course, struggling to climb obstacles, shooting themselves in the foot and blowing up the enemy without realising they’ve sat down on the big red button labelled “NUKE”.
This being a free-to-play game there’s an unnecessarily confusing currency system stinking up the place. Players can purchase perks, weapons and cosmetic stuff with Warface Dollars, Crowns and Kredits. Dollars are earned during versus and co-op play, Crowns are “special currency” awarded in co-op missions and Kredits are real-world money.
“I’d question spending real money on different guns in Warface because it’s such a bloodbath that an average player can blunder through successfully.”
You can get 400 Kredits for £3.99 or 1760 Kredits for £15.99. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the 8400 Kredit option that costs £49.99 is there to catch idiots, Russian oligarchs and people with stolen credit cards. A “rare” gun such the FY-103 rifle will cost you 990K or 38,400 dollars for example, or the M955A semi-automatic rifle will set you back 21,000 dollars. You’d be insane to pay these prices.
I’d question spending real money on different guns in Warface because it’s such a bloodbath that an average player like me can blunder through, hitting limbs, headshots, melee kills and everything in-between with regularity and ease.
If Crytek is known for visually impressive games then Warface is the worst advert for the company. Not just in terms of graphics, where compromises for the game’s original play through browsers are understandably made, but this is a game with icons, badges, flash and nonsense stuck all over the screen. Menus and the user interface are nothing short of ugly. As a result, one look at it and it’s got “budget” stamped all over it.
You don’t scare me. Work on it.
Co-op missions are a curiosity and are worth a play through if you want to hoover up some XP, Achievements and a bit of in-game cash. Up to five players run across a mostly linear map taking down AI enemies that either hold their position or advance to a designated point. It’s not a massive challenge unless you’re matched with a bunch of lump-headed Gomer Pyles, and it’s no real training for playing online against real people. It soon descends into farce when bosses have buggy health bars resulting in the ridiculous spectacle of five soldiers shooting bazookas at an enemy helicopter for ten minutes like school kids with cheap fireworks.
Warface is free to play but that doesn’t excuse it for being poorly made. And just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s worth playing. I have no problem with free-to-play games on console. I’m cheap and welcome them when they offer me something I can’t get elsewhere, like Wargaming’s World of Tanks. Unfortunately there’s plenty of FPS alternatives on the Xbox 360 that you can pick up for second hand prices that are worth your time and will provide many more thrills. Warface is a good advert for buying games outright with real money.
“Warface is a good advert for buying games outright with real money”
Warface is going to be measured against Call of Duty and Battlefield and ten other games and they’re all much better than this. I would love to see what Crytek could really do if it tried to take on these big boys of the genre. Maybe it doesn’t have the opportunity, but if you come into DICE and Infinity Ward’s backyard you’re going to go up against them regardless of your business model or origins.
In this beta state (and it’s worth nothing that the game is still in “beta” on PC too, despite being released two years ago) it’s a redundant offering on the Xbox 360. Bugs can be ironed out, but it’s still a poorly constructed, confusing, ugly and frankly primitive experience that feels at least a couple of years out of date.
There’s no real challenge here, and none of the bombast you’d expect from a game with such a ridiculous title. If the Warface beta is basic training, it won’t live for very long on the real battlefield.