Last week we took a bullet for you all, as we reviewed CrossfireX’s multiplayer, which we hope will have saved at least one of you from exposure to it, because well… it’s utter trash. But like every tale there are always two sides to it and in CrossfireX’s case there is a campaign which is developed by Remedy Entertainment. They are a studio that it’s fair to say know how to make a good game or two if we are being honest. Worth noting though is that the campaign is split in two, Game Pass owners will get part one – Operation Catalyst for free, whereas if you want part two – Operation Spectre you’ll have to pony up £8.39. But we’ll be honest right now if you hang on long enough to get to Operation Spectre you deserve a medal… yeah… best brace yourself.
Most of the issues that crippled the multiplayer side are in the campaign in full force, like dog poo gunplay and controls, but worst of all it’s wrapped in a piss poor tale that feels like a fiver Morrison’s DVD bin movie, rather than a Remedy action thriller. You fill the boots of cardboard cut-out wannabe heroes, blasting their way through endless dumb AI – trying to get to the next poorly written cutscene, with no real drive or point, beyond keeping you from doing something much more important in the real world… like watching paint dry. Now this may all sound extremely negative and rightly so. It’s a dull, generic and ultimately instantly forgettable exercise in game design. It’s as if Remedy built a time machine and have found a long forgotten PS2 era game and given it a sort of HD port.
Even with our red flag warnings if you are determined to play it, Operation Catalyst will see you as a Global Risk Soldier fighting your way out of [insert made up country]… Azkharzia, trying to find a fallen teammate all while you have a mental episode. I wish we were making this up, but the whole thing is just a riot, which leaves you with nothing but unanswered questions. Whereas Operation Spectre fires you into the boots of a thief who is fighting for the other side, Black List – the enemies from the first mission… ah see what they did there? And what you ultimately get is a rip-off spin on Crysis in the end in a lot of ways.
Gameplay is rough as a badger’s, but does have some good moments as you switch between teammates at times to do sniper sections and the like, but it’s a concept that is binned as quickly as you start to enjoy it. But don’t expect to actually be doing anything “fun” as 99.8% of the “action” is shown during cut scenes… which is just pants, like wingsuiting your way through a canyon, to pretty much every fight with the big bad in Operation Spectre. With this being a Remedy title of course there is bullet time – well of sorts – which slows it all down so you can see just how crap the aiming is. You take 5 times as long to get the shot, plus this “power” ultimately breaks the game and makes it far from a challenge.
CrossfireX could have been a real treat from the Far East… a new and fun shooter that could have broken the CoD mould wide open. But it’s got about as much excitement and thrills as a wet weekend in Grimsby in the middle of October. All we hope is that Remedy has the cleaner and tea boy working on this and the actual team are focused on making Alan Wake 2.
CrossfireX is out now if you still care, and you can save your money by trying it on Game Pass before consigning it to the bin.