Artistry in Games 2014-07-07_00027 Warface Preview Opinion  Warface Shooter Online multiplayer FPS Crytek CryEngine Cooperative Competitive Co-op

Dear Reader,

If you just want a yay or nay on whether to try the Warface open beta on Steam, I’m going to save you a lot of time here. Nay. Nay to the highest power. Never touch Warface. Never glance at it, never consider it, do not believe any of the marketing behind it. Do not give it a second thought. Pretend it never existed in the first place. I normally would consider such a statement diverting from professionalism, but unless you want the gory details, just know now that there’s no point in looking into this game. I spent time with the game’s open beta, and I wish I could get that time back. I wish I could erase the memories. Short of a complete redesign, I don’t see this game improving at any point. This was one of the most painfully bad games I’ve had to play in my entire career (and I’ve played some bad ones). I cannot think of a single thing that this game has worth praising, other than that it runs without crashing or any other major bugs of similar caliber.

Still here? Okay then! Let’s get into it…

Artistry in Games 2014-07-07_00027-1024x576 Warface Preview Opinion  Warface Shooter Online multiplayer FPS Crytek CryEngine Cooperative Competitive Co-op
There be completely unimaginative level designers here…

Warface (no, not Warfarce, as accurate as the title would be) is a shooter. There’s not really much else to it other than shooting. You can slide… and you can customize your gun on the fly to vaguely improve functionality, if you grind long enough to unlock something genuinely substantial that won’t disappear in a puff of F2P smoke. You can shoot people and they die. You can throw grenades. You can ride in a military helicopter, so I guess that gives the gameplay the depth of a pulp fiction novel you buy yourself at the airport. In theory, at some point, players will get to fight people in mech suits despite nothing about this game being futuristic in the slightest. There are also four classes, but only two are available right away, Support and Sniper. Since only one of those is good for beginners, expect lots of free ammo lying around.

Actually, wait, no, there is one thing other than shooting, different classes built around shooting, and riding in helicopters — stabbing things! Because nothing says “gritty realism” like the ability to get a twelve-kill streak with a beginner class knife wielded against foes armed with modern weapons while yelling BANZAI! Before you ask, yes, twelve kills at least, by my count. After that I stopped counting because it wasn’t until the literal last enemy getting a lucky blast of enough ammo into my chest that I needed an ally’s revive over the course of the entire mission. The reason being that unlike the CQC shotgun soldiers, his gun’s collision detection didn’t send him turning away from me as he fired, so he actually took a shot at me. That’s after at least a three second pause of me running up as he tried to comprehend what was happening, apparently forgetting where his trigger and trigger finger were. This was actually fast reflex time for the game’s AI as I once had a sniper take a highly accurate shot at my Road Runner-esque outline of where I had been a whole yard or so back across the open ground I had run across. I then proceed to headshot him as he failed to even turn to shoot me in the other visible space opposite the cover I had run to. He must have been so insulted that he’d missed his first shot that he just wasn’t putting up with this anymore and wanted an express elevator out of the game via my bullets.

Before I realized how vastly superior knifing enemies was, I found there was actually no substantial difference between my pistol and my rifle. I was just as accurate with both considering aiming down iron sights seems to negate almost any ounce of recoil and bullet deviation. Attach a scope and it becomes even more absurdly accurate, like something out of Rogue Warrior. There’s no need for cover as enemies run headlong at you well before they remember they have guns in their hands — to the point that it just starts feeling like you’re shooting down a conveyor belt of Call of Duty cosplayers instead of an actual evil PMC’s elite troops. Levels are linear to the point of just being a twisting and turning line surrounded by buildings. Missions on average take less than nine minutes to complete. No context is given other than “Blackwood people are here, shoot them”, since apparently making a c*** joke and a reference to a controversial PMC is all we need to get going. The tutorial itself is even ridiculously brief, taking less than two minutes before the developers apparently threw up their hands and just started randomly copying and pasting level assets together. To apparently compensate for this, each mission takes nearly as long to load (on a PC that can load vastly more complicated games in a few seconds) as it does to load up N.O.V.A. 3 on your iPhone. It’s like recycling, if you care absolutely in no way about proper loadtime optimization.

Artistry in Games 2014-07-07_00001-1024x576 Warface Preview Opinion  Warface Shooter Online multiplayer FPS Crytek CryEngine Cooperative Competitive Co-op
Snayke? Snayke. SNAYKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One particularly mind blowing thing is how quick Crytek are to get at the idea of the game being F2P. Not “Free To Play” mind you, but the image that comes to mind when you hear someone write “F2P”. Your first gun besides the default one is only accessible for 24 hours and it starts that counter before you even know how to access the inventory or navigate the menu system. There are tokens needed to play certain harder missions that you have to grind for. So you have to grind for: guns, gun attachments, armor, usable items, gear, two additional classes, the ability to respawn in co-op, and even access to certain key missions. With the constant inclusion of aggravatingly short item rental times, if you don’t play the game every day, you could end up with almost all your gear burnt out on you. It is a never-ending rat race. It’s not like this is a tad bit ignorant of the fact most people don’t want to devote their lives to a single game, and that playing a F2P game is not the same thing as joining a religion.

After you’re done with co-op, fear not, Crytek also took at least three hours to slap-dash together a pay-to-win competitive multiplayer mode. There’s so little to distinguish it that it just became a blur of people sliding, throwing grenades ridiculous distances, and imbalanced weaponry being quick scoped as people repeatedly attempted to spawn camp each other in a closed off room full of crates. I wish I was making this up or it was some kind of weird criticism of modern military shooters, but this is just some of the laziest development ever executed by a AAA developer. Oh, and the “co-op moments” system that has you hold ‘E’ and then someone else holds ‘E’ and you either move a thing or climb up a short wall… yeah, that’s about as much fun as it sounds. Depending upon other human beings in a community where the first words I saw anyone write were explicit curses and anti-LGBTQ slang sounds like a sure-fire idea.

Artistry in Games 2014-07-07_00030-1024x576 Warface Preview Opinion  Warface Shooter Online multiplayer FPS Crytek CryEngine Cooperative Competitive Co-op
One of these clones are not like the others. One of these clones are not the same.

Normally I’d have at least something positive to say about a game. I’d do my best to dig deep and see if there is some sign of passion, even the vaguest sense that someone, at some point, had a good idea in their head. I still believe that maybe at one point, a designer at Crytek had a great idea for Warface. I feel sorry for that person, because I really doubt this is the game they had in mind. As it stands now though, there is nothing I can compliment in this game other than the fact that it functions. It is one of the most under-achieving, soulless, barren offerings I’ve ever seen. The only reason you should ever consider playing this is if you have absolutely no other choice in shooters, or are a m******** with way too much time on their hands. There is nothing worth finding here, there is nothing you can dig out of the wreckage and call worthwhile. There are numerous better shooters available for free right now, from Planetside 2 to Quake Live to Battlefield Heroes. Go play one of those games if you’re looking for a good free to play title. Unless a miracle happens before this game exits open beta, there will be nothing worth salvaging here.

By Elijah Beahm

-Co-Editor-in Editor. Master of Manic Writing and HYPENS. Cynic. Moderate Protestant. Dead Space Fanatic. I also work on games. You can reach me at

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