Thursday, 15 November 2018

Warface ★☆☆☆☆

Originally released in 2013 (in the US and UK, I believe), Warface was intended to be the game that pulled Crytek out of a financial crisis (I’ve avoided making the obvious Crysis joke. Wait.) The marketing put the gameplay as somewhere between Call of Duty and Titanfall. Unfortunately, I wish I could say that Warface has any amount of polish comparable to those series. From presentation to movement, Warface feels… unfinished, for lack of a better word. Mechanically, it boasts a couple of features that, in theory, adapt and advances the military FPS formula, but in practice, they simply hinder the experience.

For example, snipers benefit from height, providing them with an overview of the battlefield to pick off targets. To accommodate this, and encourage a class-based style of play, there is a mechanic which allows players to reach high vantage points by being boosted up by another player. The player providing the boost can select whether or not they wish to be pulled up afterwards. The problem, however, is that if your teammates don’t respond to your boost prompted (a frequent occurrence) you’re left on the ground with a sniper rifle and no tactical advantage.

Additionally, there is a slide maneuver which (admittedly) feels fluid; practicing in the tutorial I was anticipating its usefulness. During multiplayer, however, it proved useless. I’ll admit to even having forgotten about it until I started rebinding my controls. Shocked at my oversight, I set out with the intent to implement the slide mechanic in as many firefights as possible, expecting to dodge incoming fire and catch my opponent off guard. It didn’t go particularly well. I assumed that this was a result of my own lack of skill, with my intention being to improve. What then struck me, however, was that no one else ever used the mechanic because the time to kill was bizarrely slow.

As previously mentioned, the gameplay in Warface attempts to mimic that of the Call of Duty series, yet the time it takes to kill another player feels almost doubled. And this is where the problems of Warface being free-to-play surfaces. Yes, it takes a surprisingly long time to kill another player… with the standard weaponry (you can see where this is going.)

With my suspicion of the games’ balance rising, I found a weapon from a dead player that had clearly been paid for; FAMAS F1, red-dot sight, foregrip. Here we go. What followed was, what I can only describe as, an obnoxious killstreak. That speaks for itself. Warface isn’t worth playing on its own terms as a result of the, both derivative and unnecessarily “innovative”, gameplay. Factor in that a financial investment will give you an objective advantage, and, well… 

Lewis Hill

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