By: Justin Redmon
In the world of video games, FPS’s are a constant. If you’ve had a controller in your hands at all during the last few console generations, you’ve probably slogged through more war-torn battlefields and shot-gunned an almost countless number of unsuspecting campers than memory can recall. Well, Warface by Crytek is yet another multiplayer first-person shooter, but unlike the current deluge of shooters on the market, this one comes with no cover charge, letting F2P transactions make up its income. Truth be told, it’s not that bad, but Warface‘s main problem stems from it being just too much like what we’re already accustomed to.
Control wise, you’ve probably already got it figured out. Left trigger to point at enemy team, right trigger to go bang. Besides mapping quick switching to the d-pad, you’ll more than likely fall into Warface with more than enough experience to get straight into the action. Really the only two things to look out for are context sensitive co-op actions, which let you climb walls with the help of a buddy, and a nifty slide that turns you into a MLB player toting a firearm. Really, as far as FPS’s go though, Warface‘s controls just feel off for some reason, and they don’t feel as snappy or responsive as the games it’s trying to emulate.
In presentation, Warface gets by, but just barely. Guns look and fire okay, but nothing really has as satisfying of a punch or feel as you want. There’s plenty of faceless goons to shoot down in multiplayer and co-op missions, but you’ll never really remember what they look like expect for their special versions like Gatling gun guy or riot shield guy.
Locations you visit are somewhat varied, but you can’t shake the feeling you’ve seen it before. Almost everything Warface does in shaping its experience feels familiar to somewhere else; other games that have tread the same ground before, and it’s not that it’s necessarily bad for doing so. The real issue being that those other games have done it so much better that Warface ends up feeling like a Frankenstein’s Monster of “Me Too!” and completely forgettable as a result.
At least the fun of running around maps and blasting people in the face with various firearms isn’t lost on Warface, and though it’s a little rough it manages to eke out a decent experience with a few changes to what you expect. Probably the coolest thing Warface does is let you add and remove attachments to your weapons on the fly during matches, so you can change a weapon to your liking as the situation demands.
As far as game modes though, you get the standard fare: Team/FFA Death Matches, and two others that resemble Search and Destroy and Battlefield‘s Rush mode. You’ll probably be best off staying in Search and Destroy though, as maps’ small-ish sizes and awkward spawning systems tend to turn into spawn killing frenzies far faster than you’d like.
Who you jump into battle as matters a bit more than usual, as each class is decked out with specific weapons and abilities; with differences like an assault class replenishing ammo and toting machine guns, while others like medics wield shotguns and repair health. Oh, forgot to mention, Warface doesn’t have regenerating health. Both armor and health have to be replenished by a teammate or yourself, so sticking with your team is encouraged.
These differences become even more relevant when you jump into co-op, where a well-rounded team with medics can be the difference between winning and losing. As for micro transactions, this game has a bunch with boosters, weapons and armor for your classes — armor that gives you buffs like reloading quicker or surviving headshots. Warface seems to dole out drops of items somewhat often, so you never are in too much need of gear, although its often unclear whether you actually unlocked something or simply unlocked the ability to purchase it.
This is where Warface runs into a bit of trouble though, because when it comes to actually purchasing things, you have to grind and grind hard to earn enough cash to come close. Even when you do, there’s a item degradation system in place to steal resources away.
The grind wouldn’t even be that bad if co-op missions were more fun, and though they change daily, they’re chock full of bullet sponge enemies and barrages of shotgun- or shield-wielding foes that seem to pop up out of thin air, as well as unfair boss type characters that add nothing to the experience but frustration. Even when everything in Warface is going well, its gameplay isn’t superior to any other shooter its aping, and if you already own those instead, there’s honestly not a lot of reason to switch to this one.
Warface is familiar enough to get you interested in the concept, but ultimately it doesn’t offer enough to differentiate itself from its obvious inspirations, leaving you with no overly compelling reasons to play it over them.