This game features a cooperative mode where you work in a team of up to five players to take down the Blackwood forces. This isn't the easiest task, as it is heavily dependent on the competence of you and your teammates along with a general knowledge of how the game works. Each player is encouraged to fill a role, becoming any of the four classes available: Rifleman, Medic, Engineer, and Sniper. When starting out, you will only have access to Rifleman and Sniper and you get the other two after leveling a couple of times. It's best not to think of this as a cooperative game, though. There is a good PvP mode available, too, for just shooting your fellow man without an scenario to go along with it. However, I should go into specifics...
Cooperative missions are surprisingly well-designed, taking advantage of the abilities of all four classes. Rifleman can restore ammo, Medic can restore health, Engineer can restore armor, and Sniper can snipe. Co-op maps are built in such a way that players won't have an easy time getting through without taking damage, and snipers will be best at killing roughly half the enemies that spawn. They aren't spotless, of course. One of the main failures of the cooperative mode lies in the lack of available maps.
|This is your entire selection for the day.|
Difficulty: Just Right
I am talking strictly about co-op again here, as PvP is a different issue. There are three difficulty modes: Regular (Easy), Skilled (Medium), and Hardcore. Regular will leave you wondering what the big deal was. Skilled will have you yelling profanities at your teammates. Hardcore will have you yelling profanities at the developers. Hardcore is the real challenge, as it turns on friendly fire and enables enemies to do headshots. Which they will do as often as possible. Players such as myself may want to play only Hardcore mode, but only one Hardcore map is available per day (same as the other modes). This goes back to the lack of co-op options, but there is still a meaningful challenge to be had.
There is very little customization starting off. You choose from an array of faces and begin the tutorial. However, as you play, you will get "Vendor Points" which are separate from experience points. Vendor points allow you to purchase equipment in the shop. All of the guns, gun customizations, and armor equips must be unlocked through the vendor system. Once you get some stuff unlocked, you can press the "C" key and customize your gun on the spot.
|Or just look at the locked options and sigh.|
Pay-to-Win Status: Negative
The weapons you start with are noticeably bad, with minimal stats and a lack of customization options. However, you can upgrade permanently to better weapons relatively quickly. Cash allows you access to VIP which boosts gains, and boxes. These are items from the shop that give you a small chance at something really good. Similar to them are crown boxes, which use "'Crown' Money" gotten primarily from doing co-op mode. These are much harder to obtain and they give different items. This leads me to believe that you can't quite get everything without paying cash, but you should easily be able to compete without paying a dime. Now let's look at this game's real issues...
There are a few obstacles to immersion. First, there are the movements and animations. While nice to look at, both tend to be a little sluggish which makes dodging difficult and reloading frustrating. Keep in mind that you can not move through people but you can push them around, including your own teammates. If you want to keep a tight formation you will likely find everyone getting in the way, and if a grenade comes along then you don't move fast enough to be able to avoid it.
The other obstruction to immersion is the bosses in Warface. There are currently two bosses and one mini-boss in the game: The Helicopter (Apache map), the Mech (Mech map), and the Heavy Gunner (all maps). To destroy the Mech you need to shoot the glowing weakpoint on the cockpit and on top of the mech. For the Heavy Gunner, you need to destroy the glowing weakpoint on its backpack. The actual hitboxes for these weakpoints are deceptively small, causing you to miss shots that you thought were right on-point. When the rest of Co-Op mode plays so smoothly, you may begin to just sigh every time you have to fight a Heavy.
One thing I neglected to mention earlier about the different classes is that they also each control a specific type of weapon. Rifleman can only use assault rifles, Medic can only use shotguns, Engineer can only use smgs, and Sniper can only use sniper rifles. I should also mention that all classes can use their abilities on themselves. This means that the same class that holds the shotgun, the Medic, can also heal itself. Unsurprisingly, if one person survives a team wipe-out in co-op and proceeds to get to the next checkpoint, saving everyone, then they were most likely medics.
In PvP, players frequently take advantage of Warface's sweet combat slide. The slide puts you close to the ground, looks awesome, and lets you shoot with high accuracy as if you're standing still. This makes it most useful for shotguns. However, I don't want to give the wrong impression. All classes are equally represented in PvP... except for Rifleman. Snipers are always a popular class because they're easy and get a lot of kills, Medics have the slide-shotgun monopoly, and Engineers have claymores. Yes, claymores are in this game. Riflemen, however, don't seem to have any special advantages in PvP. They have the advantage of using arguably the best primary weapon, but that skill is mainly useful for their role in co-op (along with their infinite ammo). After all, an amazing rifle isn't going to help you against a bullet to the brain or a claymore to the shins. My point is that if you are deadset on playing Rifleman, you are going to have play quite a bit better than your fellow soldiers.
GFace: Go Away
Here is a simple, controversial fact that you may not be aware of: Warface is not a browser game. It's not. It pretends to be one, but it belongs as a standalone download. If it was, there would probably be fewer instances of you waiting around for loading screens and browser lag. A browser game should not be this inconvenient.
GFace is the website you have to go through in order to play Warface. Crytek will post updates on the GFace page and you are encouraged to accrue GFace "Connections" to chat and play Warface with. The reason I say "Go Away" is because I have a feeling that the reason Warface is in a browser at all is just so GFace will have an easier time interacting with it. However, the two entities are separate. Adding someone in-game does not add them as a connection on GFace and vice versa.
I also have a problem with GFace's user interface, but this is a review about Warface, not GFace.
Safe House: Empty
There is a button at the top of the main menu enabling you to enter your safe house. However, besides testing weapons, there isn't much to do here. Even being able to just hang with friends in this area would be nice. I'm confident that Crytek will improve this area with time, though.
|...how did I even get here? Was I that high last night?|
In the interest of order, I'm going to list the rest of the problems in a bullet point format. These problems aren't large enough to devote a whole section to, but they are too numerous. I do apologize for this wall of text.
- Tutorial: Certain key aspects of the game are not explained until you have leveled up and unlocked the rest of the classes.
- Tutorial (2): Unlocking the next class automatically boots you from your room to take the tutorial.
- Bugs: Players have frequently complained of bugs that stop them from doing various things until they die.
- Hackers (Few): Hackers are a rare event, but they are definitely in the game.
- No Solo: There are no solo missions in the game, and you can't start a co-op mission by yourself.
- Announcer: The announcer is Warface gets very repetitive in the PvP mode "Storm", and can simply be very annoying in Co-op as she tells you to shoot the Heavy Gunner in his back.
- Mouse Acceleration: It is built into the game but there is no way to turn it off. Attempting to move the mouse too slowly will result in your crosshair moving excessively slow, if it moves at all.
- Uninstallation: As said before, it installs at least two gigabytes of data, but there's no option to remove it. To uninstall the game, you have to delete the browser plugin and delete the Program Data file manually.
- Contracts: You can accept "Contracts", which will bestow a small reward if you complete them. However, you can only accept one at a time, you can't cancel them, and there is no confirmation dialogue on acceptance. Time to expire? 24 hours.
- Assists: Don't give any points in any mode. Causes complaints of stolen kills.
- Enemy Spawns: Enemies in co-op don't all spawn at once. In a couple of instances, an enemy won't spawn until you get very close to their spawn point, making some maps artificially more difficult.
- Starting Customization: There was only one black avatar? D:
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5
Warface mainly just suffers from a lack of options. The game has tremendous potential and I really want to see it go places. With support and an influx of players to fill out its population, it could grow to be the best free FPS available. Right now, however, it has a lot of wrinkles to iron out and a lot of content that needs to be added. There is still more than enough there to keep you interested, so I would encourage people to overload their servers as often as possible. Just make sure to keep an extra window open so you have something to do during the loading screens.
|Bonus! Of course I cropped the sidebar chat off these images for a reason. I was Engineer this game.|
- You can help other players up designated ledges. It's a nice animation, but you are locked into it for the duration. Pressing "E" again lets you boost another player up without going up yourself.
- If your team gets wiped in Cooperative, then you must restart from the beginning. Checkpoints just refill resources and revive players.
- Maps don't change with difficulty. There are, however, different versions of the same map. For some reason, they aren't labeled differently. Two different versions of the Mech stage will both just say "Mech".
- There are "Commander's Orders" your team can complete every Co-Op mission for 10% more earnings.
- There is a First Win of the Day bonus. You can get it for each Co-Op mode every day.
- There are 148 challenges you can complete to earn "stripes", "marks", and "badges" to customize your username.
|Achievements ARE the modern age of video games.|