About a few weeks ago, I got my closed beta invitation to Warface, Crytek’s foot in the door free-to-play shooter. From the outside world, it seems like more of another shooter with similar mechanics seen from other games in the same genres. However it does offer some oddities that has been demonstrated by other games.
Quick impressions, the invite redirects me to login and download the game. As of this post, the size seems to be pretty beefy at around 10 GB more or less as well as a client plugin for Chrome (FireFox is also supported). After a 2 hour tease by the downloading bar with a prompt on screen telling me not to close the browser it was downloading from. We’ll get into the the browser aspect later; after I was presented with finally what appears to be the first bit of the game. The game allows you to select a game nickname and your face. The face is a preset of about ten faces and skin colours. After confirming the selections, we jump straight into the tutorial level.
Tutorials are pretty much the same, they run through all the basic stuff every player can do. From WASD keys to planting explosive charges, then to game specifics like combat slides and weapon customization. For the main part, the level is fairly flat compared to the multiplayer and co-op levels.
I was really interested into the co-op levels, so I decided to hop into it as quickly as I can. From what I noticed once logging in, you would have to play through the easy levels before you can jump into higher difficulties. There isn’t much to do, so I chose the tutorial difficulty and hope into a game. The co-op allows JIP (Join-In Play) however you would have to wait for the team to reach the objective or before the chopper touches down. As the rear lowers down, you are exposed into the blinding morning of the Middle East and the rattling of gun fire from your fireteam of five. The map seems expansive but uni-directional, just a group of AI after AI. However they seem pretty intelligent enough to take cover and try and suppress players. This in higher difficulties would force players to learn to move cover to cover. Usually easier to be done while your buddies to lay down fire (so it seems). But having every class in your group does help a lot.
Warface consists of four classes; rifleman, medic, engineer and sniper. The class names and loadouts are reminiscent to Battlefield 3 and Bad Company, aside from the engineer and medic. The medic is more focused on utilizing shotguns and heal and engineers focused on armour repair and submachine guns. Maps sizes make the sniper a more obsolete class but does provide a one hit kill at a distance while the medic offers at the same in close quarters (almost). In the recent update the shotgun seems a bit over powered and the engineer class seems underused since there is no really use for a claymore for most of the time.
The client is browser based, meaning you get the game but everything to launch it would be online. All tying into their Gface social network. I’ve had one from Battlelog (Battlefield’s social network solution) and I think it’s a dead in, but lets just cover it. Gface has a friend list feature as well as a Twitter-ish new feed from friends and community. At the moment, the buddy list in Warface doesn’t sync up to Gface. Also there is not way to see who’s online so the private game feature seems useless as of the moment, or probably I’m missing something to get on the buddy list screen.
The tough part to really let you know how great a game is closed beta game is, for the large part is due to the changes that might happen now and whenever the game is open or released. At the current stage right now, there’s a lot of broken systems. The game functions pretty normally like public game and the social networking features are limited to your status updates and community feeds. Probably in time, Crytek will test and implement the last bits. Though in my opinion, the social networking feature is pretty generic and just some bad gimmick to play. Aside from Gface, Warface is not so polished since there are European players in the presumed US servers so matches do lag and players do drop out from time to time. The graphics are fairly progressively with the times. The verbal commands are simple with each devoted to ammo, health, armour and help requests. The weapons are parodies to their real life counter parts and have various numerical stats like any other free-to-play game I’ve seen from Korea publishers. The ammo is limiting which reprises the rifleman’s role as a munitions provider, excluding explosives which restores upon reaching certain objectives. Co-op levels are fairly linear but provide positions to out flank the enemy and take position, however usually allows one or two classes to be fairly dominant throughout. Most of the game on hard difficulties are focused on cover and trying to maintain distance while the tutorial difficulty is run and gun. The only special part of the co-op is the daily missions which allows you to rank daily and gain a special currency to make purchases away from normal currencies like revive tokens.
Overall experience of the game; it’s fairly average to any free-to-play shooters I’ve played. It’s mostly comparable to how Alliance Of Valiant Arms operates with the graphics closer to EA’s Frostbite engine and it’s iterations and the achievement system of recent Call Of Duty games. The on-the-fly attachment swapping does help the player to overcome some disadvantages of the class, but usually marginally unless they have good attachments like anything boosting accuracy or the ability to use optical sights. I know I’ve said “as of this moment” a lot, that’s due to the unpredictable nature of testing. The end user is the guinea pig and sometimes, not a lot of information is imparted. But as of the moment, I’d recommend the game as a co-op game, I’ve haven’t tried the versus mode yet. If I did, I would probably say the same thing that it’s fairly generic to any other versus mode exception for the sliding the the in-game attachment swapping. Definitely worth a peek when it comes out, though after all the item collecting there’s not much you can really do.
Until next time bloggers, keep fraggin’ !