In the world of FPS games, names like Call of Duty, Halo and Apex Legends rule the roost. So when a new challenger comes along that’s also free to play, you better believe it has our attention. Enter the multiplayer CrossfireX which is developed by South Korean studio Smilegate and although it is the third game in the series, it is actually the first to really see a release here in the West. The series is a smash in Asia especially China, to the point it has become one of the world’s most-played video games by player count. So to say hopes there high for this one was a bit of an understatement, but as we all know hype is a dangerous thing and the hype train often leads right to the station of disappointment. [Just a small foot note: this will be a review of the multiplayer side of the game only, with a standalone look at the campaign side, which is partly developed by Remedy Entertainment (yes, the guys behind Control and Alan Wake) coming down the line.]
Right off the bat the multiplayer in CrossfireX is an utter dumpster fire of a title that tries hard to blend the tactical shooter vibes of Counter Strike with Call of Duty gameplay in a lot of ways, but ultimately falls flat on its face thanks to poor modes, dreadful map design and utterly dire controls all wrapped in a puddles worth of content. Shockingly, there is only one map for each mode, of which there are about six just now, with more teased at being on the way. But beyond that the core shooting is just murder… in a game that tries to sell you on elite teams battling it out for the win. It often ends in messy spray and pray affairs as aiming is extremely slow and stiff, even when you max out the sensitivity options.
There are two main play modes: Classic and Modern, with Classic being a Poundland take on Counter Strike, so no iron sights or the ability to mantle. Whereas Modern is more of a Home Bargains take on CoD, where you have iron sights as well as the ability to buy perks… which (you guessed it) are broken too, as you can get a riot shield that makes you a tank. Add to this the countless bugs – and I mean countless: from being pulled out of iron sights at the drop of a hat, to not being able to plant a bomb standing up one round, only to find in the next round you can’t plant it crouching. And there is the menu which is held together with hopes, dreams and spit at this point and feels like some horror movie hybrid that only wants to work with a controller sometimes, before becoming a drag the pointer affair the next.
Plus if you’re not sold yet, there are also microtransactions (of course there are) which range from buying a season pass, to buying game breaking guns – like the full auto USAS rip-off shotgun or an actual mini-gun, which if used right can kill matches stone cold in minutes. To say CrossfireX multiplayer has issues is an understatement. There are hints at a good game in there, but they are extremely fleeting. If you have a group of mates then there is a few hours fun here, as you’ll rip it from limb to limb in the chat. If you’re going lone wolf, we’d say save the download and just go for a walk or download Battlefield 2024 which is equally as bad, but at least you’ll have a laugh at the memes.
The multiplayer CrossfireX is currently on Game Pass for Xbox One, Series X|S and PC, so you at least don’t have to waste your hard earned on it… but seriously, go for that walk instead.