During my running around GDC 2012, I managed to find myself at the Crytek booth and trying out their F2P first person shooter Warface. Even though I’m somewhat familiar with Crytek in relation to the Crysis franchise, I wasn’t expecting a F2P title with their Cry Engine 3 behind it. Surprised and excited that I found something in my alley, I began to dive into the playable Warface demo that Crytek had on the expo floor. Even though Warface had Cry Engine 3 displaying very impressive visuals and a stable framerate, I personally didn’t want to be taken by surprise as I began my process to dissect the inner workings of the demo. During that time, I met Michael Krach, one of the franchise producers of Crytek and Adam Johnson, one of the Community Managers for Crydev.net who were very helpful and went out of their way to assist me in understanding the concepts of Warface as well as some of the things that you’re able to do in Warface that you can’t do in any kind of FPS, F2P or not.
From what surprised me was the fact that Warface even with its category as a free to play military fps, that it would be including a PvE co-op mode. Now it would be similar to some co-op modes that games in the same category and those that aren’t would have, but running with the co-op mode at least 3-4 times that very same session I could tell that the A.I. wasn’t going to have to resort to having an aimbot like behavior like i’ve seen with other games. For example, every co-op instance has a couple of bosses depending on the difficulty I would assume, but as you and your buddies engaged them as well as their lesser compatriots, there was a smoothness about their priorites which was very impressive. Another example during my demo run was an encounter with a couple of guys with riot shields which ironically I had problems since it was hard to aim for part of their limbs sticking out. Warface also has a thinking factor which is great also because there were a few instances as well where during that same run, we got pinned down by a MG nest. From there, you could be lucky and throw a frag in just the right way and have it go off behind the cover, neutralizing the threat. Or as another option, your buddies can get the MG’s attention while you run off to flank and easily and effortlessly take out the threat. Now I also had a chance to try out the multiplayer pvp aspect of the game, eager to see how good the game was as well as how good the other people trying the demo were.
Before I dive into playing against real live people versus the built-in AI of co-op, Warface has four distinctive classes: Rifleman, Engineer, Medic, and Sniper. All four of these classes have their strengths, weaknesses and limitations. For example, the Rifleman role has access to Assault Rifles and LMGs and their role is to keep the team supplied with ammo. The Engineer role has access to Carbines, SMGs, PDWs and their role is repairing the body armor of their teammates as well as laying traps with their claymore mines. The Medic role has access to Pump, Semi-auto, and full auto Shotguns and their role is to heal and revive any members of their team. Now, I didn’t get a chance to fully see into the Sniper class. What I can tell you based off of my time with the demo is that they will have access to Semi-auto and Bolt action rifles. I am unsure of what kind of equipment they will have but can only assume it would be recon related. All classes have access to a sidearm as well as knives and grenades. From that alone, the Rifleman and the Sniper have a better engagement range than the Engineer or the Medic, however it will depend on how good your team is and how you’re able to make most of your class’ strength.
The class that I dove right into was the Rifleman class and tested out a wicked looking ACR with flames on the side. The match that I dove into was a five person free for all on a medium sized map with a lot of obstructions, low cover and a couple of high elevated areas. It was definitely a close quarters friendly map as I stealthily moved around noticing that there wasn’t a lot of space for someone to line up a one shot kill. Even with the CryEngine 3 kicking in gear, I wasn’t feeling the stock flip up sights on the ACR which brings me to another feature that I found that was really awesome. This “Crysis” feature allows you to change your attachments in real time to your specifications. Unlike other FPS games that allow you to change your class as well as setups for that specific weapon, I am able to change out scopes and sights, under-barrel attachments and foregrips, as well as a bayonet, flash hider, or suppressor. After the guys at Crytek explained that you can also do this to your pistols, at least the barrel and sights, I was really stoked. First time around I can say, I was unsure of the hitbox detection considering I’m using my know-how from all the different FPS games that I’ve played over the years and trying to feel out what works and what doesn’t work. I will say that yes, bursting and using some real life common sense with some of those weapons does help quite a bit even though you want to just unload from far away. Hip firing from really close range is still 50-50 for me as far as accuracy and actually dropping someone because it seemed like even though they were roughly about 10-15ft away, I still was shooting all over the place. But at the same time, I was running a suppressor which would affect damage but, again it is only a demo and not the full product so I just focused more on the gameplay itself. Overall, it felt really solid for a F2P shooter, even though there were instances where I got stuck and felt like I was going to glitch through a rock or something. Aside from those few instances as I stated before, the gameplay was very smooth and didn’t seem like I would have any trouble of getting used to the mechanics that had me so impressed with Warface in the first place. My personal video of me playing the demo at GDC will be coming soon as I am experiencing technical difficulties with the video itself, however if you are dead serious about finding how smooth it is, I’m sure you can find gameplay videos from YouTube. More than likely, they will be either in Russian or Chinese since they are currently in Alpha testing where as here in the US, its still being developed for a 2012 release. Anyways, I’d like to give a special thanks to Michael Krach and Adam Johnson for their assistance during my time at the Crytek booth.