Review – Warface: Xbox 360 Edition

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Review – Warface: Xbox 360 Edition
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Warface: Xbox 360 Edition
Shooter
April 22nd, 2014
Review based on Xbox Live Arcade version
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Developer: Crytek
Website
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Warface originally premiered on the PC in October of 2013. Since then, Crytek has been working on a freemium version of the title for the Xbox Live Arcade. After a good deal of private beta development, the title went into public beta on the console’s digital marketplace, joining the ranks of other free-to-play games like Happy Wars and World Series of Poker: Full House Pro. But is the title really ready to make it’s public debut, or should Crytek have kept it in the shadows just a little bit longer?

The story behind Warface is your generic world at the edge of economic collapse tale that plays very little role in the overall experience. A super-powered corporate army named Blackwood exists to protect the interest of the rich and use brute force against the rest. You, however, are part of a maverick underground army created to put a stop to Blackwood’s tyranny. This story plays out largely in Co-Op mode with various missions and two training levels that can be played out between one to six players. But you wouldn’t really know much about this due to the title’s major fault: Connection issues.

At this time, Warface is still being worked on and only just entered open beta. However, Co-Op mode is simply unplayable due to those network connection issues. I have a fluctuating connection speed of twenty-seven to thirty megabytes per second (though I rarely seem to have one bar of connection speed according to the lobby and in-game player list menu), so these “connection issues” are not due to my connection. Given the amount of frustrated vulgarity of the other players, I’m surely not the only one experiencing this.

Warface: Xbox 360 Edition

This may not sound like a major issue, but as soon as the match starts, you get hit with this problem. And when it happens, it freezes you and most, if not all other players until it’s finally resolved forty-five seconds to a minute later. This also happens throughout the match, but I’ve pegged it down to being either every other minute, or when a player enters or leaves. While you may get ten minutes of game time, you’ll be looking more at five if you’re lucky. When in Versus matches it isn’t the biggest problem, though some other players may not be hit as bad or unfreeze earlier than you pending how it leeches through he ranks. While it leaves you easy to kill, the respawn time is quick. In Co-Op this doesn’t affect the a.i. characters, so unless you’re in cover your squad dies in the bay of your airplane just after landing, making you start over in the mission of the literally broken mode.

But that comes after you finally get everything installed. Before you begin you need a good deal of memory in order to play and save your progress. Warface requires 3.1 gigabytes of memory in order to download the title, and another three plus in order to download mandatory updates that make it possible for you to save your progress. This alone will eat away at your hard drive, especially given the system’s recent “games with gold” campaign that, chances are, have been building up on your hard drive. So, if you decide to grab this edition of Warface, prepare to make some room.

Warface: Xbox 360 Edition

Once you finally manage to download everything, you are given the chance to “customize” your character, which is essentially an assortment of pre-designed characters that look horrible. The same can be said for the in game graphics. Thankfully when it comes to team play, you can tell the difference between you and your enemies, though for some reason the developers chose to violate the common red versus blue template for yellow verses blue. It’s a cosmetic thing, but when you’re programmed to customarily look for red any change to that formula really throws you off, leaving you firing on allies or dying because you thought that one guy you passed was on your team.

And then there are the very few maps and modes. For a strictly on-line MMOFPS title, variety is key. Warface offers a broken Co-Op, Team Versus, and Free-For-All with a handful of maps. If that’s not bad enough, the maps themselves are as small as they as cluttered. Yes there’s little open space to be found, but at the same time you can’t take more than a few steps before you run into a destroyed car, fruit cart, barricade, or door to a one or two story building. The compressed scale keeps the game moving, but you barely have time to even find cover in large player matches. When you respawn, chances are good you’ll see someone to kill run by you in two or three seconds, or you’ll pass by someone else in as much time.

Finally the in-game physics must be addressed. The obstacles are not destructable, but bullets can sure pass right through them they don’t even exist. Even if you hide behind a concrete slab or a wall of rocks all cemented together you will still die. The right stick moving faster than before almost at random as well. You can also shoot opponents multiple times in the head in addition to unloading a clip into someone’s stomach won’t kill someone but getting a melee hit to the stomach once will take you out. Of course when you respawn those rules can seem to change and it’ll take five or six hits while a freshly spawned enemy takes one pistol shot to the skull and dies, that is if you can properly aim. When running around the reticles appear in the center of the screen, and logically when you aim that’s where it should zoom in. Instead it zooms in to the right. This puts the Sniper class at a major disavantage compared to the other classes. It’s like playing House of the Living Dead in an arcade that has been beaten up and never had the guns repaired or replaced.

Warface: Xbox 360 Edition

Other than the random moving fast camera, the controls themselves are pretty tight whenever you actually get to control your character. Of course the training program doesn’t highlight everything you can do, and learning things like sliding, how to bring up your gun when you press any of the directional buttons, and various other things need to be learned through experimentation. There needs to be a little more detail in training camp than what is there, as some of these tactics can help make or break your kill streak.

The audio is really the only thing that works right in this game. The score in the lobby and title screen is okay, and the lack of the music during battles helps to pinpoint your enemies or hear a grenade being thrown. Even the gunfire effects sound impressive and help give you a general idea of the distance of the fire fight from you. There are some spoken word parts, but that’s only to give direction and objectives to complete.

Right now, Warface is nearly impossible to play, but when you get a dedicated group in a Versus match, it is relatively fun despite the character freezing issues that make you a sitting duck. Why Crytek even bothered to release this title with these sort of network issues is confusing, and definitely hurts the replay value, as well as the gamer’s head from trying to cope with the abrupt sitting duck syndrome that occurs. But, again, I need to stress this is a public beta right now, and a lot of this could change anywhere between tomorrow to two years from now. But, as Warface stands, it’s a bland, minimal, broken title that should have stayed private until most of the game-breaking glitches were completely worked out instead of rushing a faulty product that most gamers will get fed up with after four or five matches if that.

Overall Score: 2/10
Digital review copy of this title provided by personal funds.