Warface is a free-to-play game that has been doing the rounds for a good while now, launching as it did way back in 2015 for the Xbox 360. To be honest, I had no idea that it was so old, having only known the game from its Xbox One incarnation, which was launched in 2018. But no matter, as coming from Crytek – makers of the Crysis games – you’d have thought that it would be pretty good, being not only truly free-to-play, but also having an approachable online model, easing people in gently. So, obviously when you’ve done the free-to-play model, what’s the next obvious step? You make people pay to play your game – and that is the case here with Warface: Breakout.
Described as a tactical online first person shooter, where the goal is to become the ultimate mercenary of tomorrow, Warface: Breakout plays out almost like somebody took a copy of Counter-Strike down to the basement and ran it through a photocopier; the objectives of the only game mode that is available to play are pretty much the same as classic CS: one team has to plant a bomb, another team has to either stop them from doing so, or defuse said bomb if it’s planted. This is the sum total of the modes on offer in Breakout, and with only five maps to choose from, there’s not a massive amount of content to get involved in.
The good thing with Warface: Breakout being online only is that the games are never the same. With five players per team, it’s possible to have every type of online shooter player in your team, pretty much all at the same time. There are those who are all about playing the objective, usually found being shot in the back as they attempt to plant or defuse the bomb. But then there are the elite snipers, who never go closer than about 100 yards to the target, and those who think every single game they play has to have a team deathmatch feel instead of trying to complete any objectives.
So, the game itself. There is an almost ridiculous amount of customisation available for your character, so you can truly make your avatar your own. There are many different weapon types to choose from, all of which can be outfitted with different types of sights – do you favour a red dot sight, or magnification and a cross hair, or pure iron sights? – and a number of different skins which can be found in the loot boxes.
Yep, those infamous loot boxes rear their heads again in Breakout, but it’s not too bad, as I shall explain later.
In addition to making your weapon your own, you can also acquire armour parts to make your guy stand out, with each piece interchangeable if the RNG gods smile upon you. As luck would have it, you can buy in-game currency with real money, and use this to purchase the bits and bobs that you want, but as these are purely cosmetic items there doesn’t seem to be any advantage in doing so. I for one have certainly found it easy to avoid buying anything.
With your player looking just the way that you’ve always dreamt, you’ll want to get involved in the action itself. When you first spawn in, whichever team you are on, the only weapons available are a pistol and a grenade. From there you are left to earn better weapons by performing well in the game, giving you disposable income to spend on better weapons when you die and respawn. Assuming you manage not to die, it is also possible to pick weapons up from the crumpled corpses of your victims, and if anything says “Sucks to be you!” more than being killed by your own weapon, I’ve yet to come across it. There’s even an achievement related to this particular gameplay trait.
Dying is occasionally a good thing in Warface: Breakout as it allows you to get a better weapon, but sadly the usual shooting tropes are in place here; I have lost count of the number of times I’ve crept up behind someone, put the barrel of my gun to their back, opened fire and died as they turned around and one shot me. Aiming from distance doesn’t seem to work any better either.
If you do manage to take some down, then not only do you earn money to buy better guns in the game, but you also gain XP which will help you level up. Levelling up, again, doesn’t bring any real benefits, but for each tier you go up, you do earn a lootbox. Opening these can give anything from a knife to a new skin for a gun, and with the two factions – the Reapers and the Wardens – each having different weapons, each with multiple skins, there is a lot of content to acquire. Being able to set your preferred loadout for each faction is a nice touch too, and it saves having to worry about which weapon you should buy. With weaponry ranging from pistols, to assault rifles, SMGs and sniper rifles, not to mention shotguns and a variety of grenades, you should be able to find a weapon and loadout that suits you. Personally I find the SMGs give the best balance between power and fire rate, though your experience may well vary from that.
Gameplay is pretty much as standard for this type of game, with corners to peep around, sightlines and vantage points to dominate, and shortcuts to learn and counter. The maps aren’t massive though, very much on the small side, but there are generally a lot of routes through the maps, with paths both high and low, and various things to hide behind. Finding opponents is usually not a problem either – but then, that could be because they are generally shooting me full of holes.
Matches however generally devolve into a massive ruck in the middle of the map, and trying to guard the points as a Warden is usually an exercise in boredom, as those present try to get as many kills as possible. Eventually, either all of one of the teams will die, or the bomb gets planted, and the round is over. And Breakout is a game that you play for the long haul; if the teams are evenly matched then you could be sat there, blasting away for multiple rounds, particularly if things go to a tie-breaker. Usually they are nowhere near balanced, however, with you normally finding one bunch of players spinning around shooting the floor. In hardcore mode – which can be chosen from the main menu – you can kill team members. But I understand that is possibly frowned upon. You know though, when needs must…
In conclusion then, Warface: Breakout on Xbox One is the very definition of ‘okay’. It can be fun, in short blasts, but the vaunted tactical gunplay is nowhere to be seen. With a team of friends, all communicating, it can be fun, but away from that I have yet to even find a player with a microphone, let alone one interested in teaming up. There are also some weird kind of lag spikes to be experienced, yet as there’s no ping indicator on the scoreboard I don’t know if it was because of some potato internet connections or not. It is however disturbing. Warface: Breakout is very much just some shooter, and there are much better games out there that will be more rewarding to play. If you liked Warface, then by all means give it a whirl, but it doesn’t compare to the other current darlings of the FPS genre.