CrossfireX has been on my radar for a while. It looks like a good competitor to more military FPS games coming out. However, there’s been no real marketing from Microsoft despite Xbox exclusivity, and with Remedy Entertainment directing the single-player campaigns, it’s odd that a game of this caliber should be left to devices. theirs.
Now, it’s a bit clearer why the marketing failed. Since launch, players have reported numerous issues, both with the game and the matchmaking process itself. Regardless, this review is for the whole experience, which I enjoyed my time with. Still, I feel like I was hoping for a game that overcomes its bugs and errors.
To ease the confusion before we go any further, CrossfireX’s story is divided into two campaigns, named Operation Catalyst and Operation Specter. The Catalyst campaign is available through Game Pass, with both campaigns available in the Ultimate Bundle and as separate purchases.
The Catalyst and The Spectre
CrossfireX’s story is spread across two “activities”. Both of these Operations show two sides of the same war: the Global Risk faction wants to dominate to bring peace, at the expense of freedom, while the Black List opposition wants everyone to be. freely but unafraid to bring violence and chaos to do so.
The story of the two activities could not have felt more disjointed despite taking notes together. We were told that the Black List had tested and tortured civilians for their secret Catalyst experiment, but we also showed that the Global Risk was just as terrible. It would be an interesting dynamic if it were shown further, but each side’s problem is only expressed in opposing activities.
Remedy’s storytelling also never got a chance to shine, despite some quirks in both campaigns. Metal Gear Solid is an obvious inspiration for a number of characters, technologies, and worlds, but it doesn’t go far enough. It wanted to draw the line between realistic military fiction and science fiction that was completely uncanny in its inspiration, never really reconciling the two tones.
That indifference costs dearly. Naturally, CrossfireX doesn’t have anything remotely emotional or fun. There are so many chances that the story can give me more to think about than shoot, shoot, smash, blast. A shallow action game isn’t a bad thing, but when there are glaring hints at intriguing themes that then don’t expand, it feels worse.
The game’s narrative failures wouldn’t be all that bad, if not for the fact that the rest of the game is busted by enjoyment. Those moments where joy shines through are swept away by many design flaws. The bullet timing mechanic, which often gives life to any bad game, makes you uncomfortable to control. The enemy AI is simply broken. Sometimes they show some level of tactics and strategy, but even then the choices the game offers you still bore you. Should I come out of cover and just spray away, or can I use my annoying bullet time and save the effort? Enemy design is the same 50/50, with Operation Catalyst providing no real enemy difference, but Specter changes it up consistently. Basically, Crossfire X is a shooter that doesn’t offer good shooting.
The only system that I’ve really enjoyed without problems can be found in Operation Specter. However, this mechanic only appears during the final mission, which lasts about 15 minutes before the game ends. It’s a shining and fleeting moment in an underrated shooter, but it’s only a moment in total runtime.
Fortunately, CrossfireX is visually passable. Operation Catalyst features some drab areas like paper-thin rural towns or forests with no depth, but Operation Specter transforms it by providing neon cities with skyscrapers and labs. Well-designed, if cliché, underground experience. Remedy’s Northlight tool also offers stunning particle effects. The ray tracing is amazingly good, although it sometimes degrades the visual quality.
All that said, CrossfireX’s core loop is terrible and its story only offers hints of fun without focus. The visuals provided are quite good and the game is generally playable despite some bugs. In the end, I did enjoy my time with both Activities, with Specter being much better overall. I just know they can do better here.
Classic or modern story
There’s a mix of Modern and Classic where multiplayer felt like an odd choice at first, and I’d say feels less strange now. Unfortunately, it feels odd with a couple of hours under my belt. Obviously Modern is Smilegate’s answer to familiar games like Call of Duty, while Classic is closer to games like Counter Strike. Even more strange, the game modes are limited to one map, only six maps and six game modes are offered. TOTAL.
Modern is divided into two game modes (with a new one to be released soon): Search and Destroy and Shoot for Score. Modern includes sighting targets as well as the ability to sprint and pass objects. It has a faster paced feel than Classic. The Classic removes the ADS, sprint, and arch for a more spray-and-pray aspect, which works pretty well as a result.
The main problem is the target and kill time. The targeting doesn’t work at all, or it’s either too responsive or not responsive. No weapon feels different enough and so there’s no need to switch your loads to deal with different modes or maps.
Crossfire has become extremely popular in Asia. In a way, I can certainly understand why. At the same time, every time I start having fun, I feel like something else is taking it away. Issues with network codes disrupted both casual and competitive gameplay. With the lack of multiplayer service, it looks like it was released too soon. Classic attempts to introduce some interesting ideas, with Specter mode granting stealth to a group at the expense of ranged weapons and Nano Infector offering an infected type mode. However, nothing is suitable for regular play, especially with the lack of separate maps.
Remedy Entertainment’s attempt to introduce new audiences to the Crossfire franchise was fraught with difficulty. Metal Gear Solid’s eccentric characterization and a decent story can’t save campaigns from an often broken core.
The multiplayer offering is equally broken, with the same gameplay mechanics but a lack of variety and strategy. Its maps are varied, strategic, or fun enough to replay, and the use of existing or new game modes for the genre is far from perfect. Every moment of joy that CrossfireX brings is squandered by some cons.
|+||Quite a good story|
|+||Some fun moments|
|–||The story is not long enough to capture its attention|
|–||Lots of visual and game bugs|
|–||If bullet time is bad, what else can I say?|
https://www.gamepur.com/reviews/crossfirex-is-at-war-with-itself-review CrossfireX is fighting with itself – Review