PC players have long enjoyed the delights of free-to-play titles, but it’s only been in recent years that the F2P market has truly expanded onto the console scene. With titles such as Neverwinter, Fallout Shelter, Fortnite and Warframe all bringing in huge crowds on Xbox One, it’s hard to argue that there isn’t a huge interest in the free-to-play scene. That said though, the latest F2P to arrive isn’t an entirely new game to Xbox players, and after being discontinued just 10 months after it first arrived back in 2014 on Xbox 360, is a launch on Xbox One going to be the revival this FPS adventure needs?
The short answer? Yes, without a doubt!
For those who missed this title a few years back, Warface is an all-inclusive FPS title that brings together a host of multiplayer options in the form of PVP modes, PVE missions and Raids amongst the abundance of game modes available. You can throw in some quick and easy tutorial missions to ensure you know the ins-and-outs of each of the four different playable classes you’ll be using out in the field, too.
No matter which mode you jump into, players must choose to play as either a Rifleman, Engineer, Medic or Sniper, changing roles during the game should they so wish. Each role plays its own unique part should you be participating as a team – the way play is intended – and this may well be something you’ll need to do to ensure there aren’t too many of a particular class running around. You see, during the online play it seems like every man and his dog wants to go as a Rifleman, leaving Medics and Snipers in short supply.
Whichever you choose, the roles are pretty simple to understand though – Medics revive fallen teammates, with revive tokens available for when those in control aren’t quite up to scratch, Engineers restore and repair the armour of teammates, Riflemen can bring extra ammo into play and the Snipers out there can happily provide long-range backup to the previous classes as they run out into battle.
Each class also brings their own unique weapons, and with countless options available and more unlocking each time you level up, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. During this review I was fortunate enough to be provided with a copy of the Collectors Edition, which gives access to some of the more preferable weapons – the Gold FN SCAR-H, the Gold CZ 75-Auto, the Gold Fabarm S.A.T. 8 Pro, the Gold Magpul FMG-9, and my personal favourite the Gold Remington R11 RSASS – but even without that, the weapon variety is good.
Like most FPS titles that include multiplayer PVP, each of the different guns available have their own stats that differentiate the weapons from one another by means other than appearance. However, despite being a free-to-play title, there aren’t any that feel desperately underpowered when compared to others and whatever you choose should serve you well.
That said, the weapon types are very different, with snipers often providing a one-or-two hit kill, whilst the various machine guns will require a few bullets to hit the target before they go down. Of course, if you can pull off a headshot, both A.I. and real online opponents go down very quickly. Much like they do should you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the shotguns.
One thing to note however is that Warface is a game that rewards players based on how much time and effort they put in, and unlike other titles in which weapons are permanently available when unlocked, Warface instead allows its players to rent weapons out with either currency earnt in-game – Warface Dollars or Crowns – or by using Kredits, the paid-for currency that is also available. Should you find a particular weapon you feel you want to keep, there is the option to pay to keep it permanently rather than renting, however the permanent option will cost Kredits and the prices aren’t cheap for those looking for a long-term weapon purchase.
As tends to be the case with most F2P games, the menu in which you start things off is always littered with promotions on various items such as skins, weapons, armour and boosts that can be purchased with real money. Warface is certainly no different in that respect. If you’re concerned about jumping in to a pay-to-win experience though, then fear not, as whilst it will take considerably longer to achieve the higher echelons of the ranking system through non-booster applied natural play, it is certainly possible to achieve max rank and compete with other ‘paying’ players without spending a single penny. Yes you will have to put in the time to be competitive, but there is no doubt that this is a simple game to master.
Away from the weaponry and the game modes you’ll be taking part in have a vast variety of options. At present, there is no one particular mode that really shows the wow factor, but if you’re a fan of other popular FPS based games such as Call of Duty or Counter Strike: Global Offensive, then there is definitely plenty on offer to keep you occupied.
The PVP options will probably be the first port of call for many and whilst more are being advertised to arrive later – Battle Royale, anyone? – those available at present include Team Deathmatch, Free For All, Plant The Bomb, Storm, Capture, Bag And Tag and Blitz, as well as Ranked Versus matches. None of the match types are particularly original, but all offer fast and fluid run and gun gameplay that players can easily pick up and play. The TDM and Free For All options prove self-explanatory, whilst Plant The Bomb and Blitz are essentially the same game type, with one requiring you to plant a bomb and the other to defuse it. Bag and Tag is the equivalent of the popular Kill Confirmed mode in which you collect the tags of fallen enemies to gain points, but it is both Capture and Storm that are the closest to any new and original ideas. Capture requires players to grab a warhead and return it their base, all while having just one life each round, whilst Storm is a 15-minute match type in which an attacking team tries to capture three points as the defending team do everything in their power to stop them, swapping sides for the second round. Basically put, it’s like Operations from Battlefield 1 for those that have played DICE’s shooter.
Admittedly if you’ve played any major FPS in recent years, the PVP options aren’t anything new, however there isn’t any particular mode that is dull to play. In fact, Warface easily keeps up with the competition in terms of how fun the gameplay actually is.
If you’re more into the cooperative side of play then there are two options – CO-OP and Special Operations.
CO-OP is a bit of a mixed bag in which five players come together to take on co-op missions. Even though it’s nice to be able to jump in with friends and take on set objectives and work through the progressively harder Easy, Normal and Hard missions, it doesn’t really provide much in the way of purpose – besides shooting down every enemy possible and getting to the end. That said, it’s still a fun way to play should teamwork be involved. Dare to jump online with complete randoms however and this experience becomes dull, with most players simply griefing rather than working together to nail the mission objectives.
Special Operations on the other hand seems to bring together the more focus minded gamers – likely due to its access costing tokens. See, players receive daily tokens in order for them to partake in this and that means that should you mess up a run, you may well need to wait 24 hours to play again. All modes considered though, Warface is a surprisingly content filled game and is currently much improved since we last saw it on Xbox.
As for the actual gameplay, and it is pretty much what you would expect to find should you combine Call of Duty and Counter Strike into one game. It’s fun to play, it’s fast and fluid, and despite being a F2P title, it’s in no way a pay-to-win experience with gameplay proving surprisingly fair. If you’re after something new and exciting, chances are you won’t get much out of Warface, but those in need of an effective shooter will find no reason to not get involved, especially if you can convince a team to get involved with you.
One final note to mention is in regards the audio and visual aspects, and as with any game created by the Crytek engine, Warface is a beautiful game. No it doesn’t come with the latest triple-A budget, but there is more than enough detail and visual beauty in the environments and weapons to keep any true gun nut happy. The audio is also a delight with each shot, reload and magazine change ringing to the true sounds of their real life counterparts.
The return of Warface is one that gamers should be happy with. With plenty of game modes to get stuck into, a great variety of weapons to master and no obligation to spend any real money to prove competitive, this is one F2P title that is truly free-to-play, all whilst providing highly enjoyable online focused gameplay.