Note: This evaluation covers the single-player projects of CrossfireX. Remain tuned for our evaluation of the multiplayer element, coming quickly.
If you were wishing that Solution, the programmer of Control and also Alan Wake, can measure up to its name and also locate a remedy for CrossfireX’s awful multiplayer sandbox, I have some trouble. Not just do both settings experience the exact same problems entailing gunplay and also manages primarily, however the single-player project’s superficial tales informed throughout 2 mini-episodes just contribute to the dissatisfaction. Both of CrossfireX’s projects are developed around the meaningless experiences of plain personalities, never ever strategy anything appearing like a difficulty because of opponent AI that’s as helpful as a delicious chocolate tea pot, and also really feel insufficient and also unfulfilling as they pertain to a sudden end after just a couple of hrs each. As a single-player video game, CrossfireX is significantly a bomb.
This set of three-hour projects both seem like a hundred army shooters I’ve played over the years and immediately forgotten. The first, Operation Catalyst, has you working with a squad of some of the most generic soldiers in recent memory as they set out to kill a leader of their rival organization in the fictional country of Azkharzia. What follows is a bizarre mission to save one of your own squadmates while the main protagonist descends into madness for… reasons. It’s still utterly unclear to me why, which is disappointing given Remedy’s history of making bizarre characters on the edge of insanity work well.
Though Catalyst’s story makes little sense and almost none of the moment-to-moment gunplay is engaging, switching between different squadmates is an interesting mechanic that shows its potential now and again. One of the few memorable moments has you swapping between a footsoldier trying to escape enemy capture and a sniper, so you’re giving yourself cover fire. There’s even a part where you have to snipe the handcuffs off your teammate’s hands to break him free, which was really satisfying. It’s a concept that begged to be further explored.
Instead it ends abruptly, and Operation Spectre sadly does away with the squad formula as it puts you in the shoes of a troubled thief who finds himself recruited by an organization known as Black List to become their ultimate weapon. The weird, prophetic story here is vague, predictable, and feels crammed into another tiny campaign I completed in a single sitting. The highlight of Spectre is the final level when it finally starts introducing some new and interesting mechanics… just before the story ends with little fanfare a few minutes later. At least most of the action looks cool.
There are moments in both weak stories that seemed to be flirting with the supernatural and gave me false hope that a redeeming twist that would take this by-the-numbers shooter and turn it into something more interesting was just around the corner. In both cases I was left with the bitter taste of disappointment.
Unfortunately, weak storytelling is only the beginning for CrossfireX’s single-player modes. The real issue is that both campaigns use a slight variation of the same atrocious gunplay and controls found in the multiplayer modes. I have actually played a lot of shooters, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. Aiming is sloppy no matter what settings you select, almost every weapon feels identical to the last, and also there are very few interesting mechanics to break up any of that monotony. There are only four types of enemies throughout both campaigns: unarmored soldiers who die instantly, armored soldiers who take a few extra shots to eliminate, soldiers with shields who can just be shot in the legs, and drones who seem to mostly just hover around and wait to be killed. Even if the campaigns were masterpieces of storytelling, it would still be hard to forgive just how frustrating, uninventive, and mind-numbingly dull the action is in nearly every single chapter.
One of the only distinctive features is a bullet time ability that exaggerates gunfire that makes a satisfying sound for each enemy downed and gives you some health back so you can turn the tables on the enemy when you’re in a pinch. I was usually just disappointed at my inability to wrestle the controls to hit a target even when in slow motion. And since you get the bullet time ability back every couple of seconds, it has the added side-effect of making an already unchallenging experience laughably easy.
CrossfireX Single-Player Review Screenshots
The biggest culprit behind CrossfireX’s complete lack of challenge, though, is the enemy AI, which is about as effective a deterrent as red lights in Grand Theft Auto. You’ll never find soldiers more expertly trained in the art of running straight right into incoming gunfire with almost no resistance. I played on Hard difficulty and also felt entirely comfortable running and gunning, even when surrounded by a dozen opponent soldiers. Even if these Storm Trooper-level markmen manage to hit you, not only can you can take far more damage than you might expect for a “realistic” shooter, but you only need to go a second or so without getting hit by a hail of gunfire to fully recover your health, so death is extremely rare. It made strolling through both campaigns a cakewalk and also all the a lot more featureless.