‘Warface’ is a shot of awesome to the face

by Cody Franklin

Courtesy Trion

One of the great games I played at Penny Arcade Expo Prime was a relatively unknown shooter called “Warface.” Developed by Crytek, the makers of the “Crysis” series, “Warface” was the dark horse of PAX Prime for me. Going into the demo generously provided by the game’s western publisher, Trion Worlds, I knew nothing. Coming out, I knew I needed to get my hands on this game again as soon as possible.

Originally developed solely for Asian markets and already released in Russia, “Warface” is a free-to-play first-person shooter set in the near future. The game features both Player versus Player and player versus environment combat. In particular, the PvE combat features an ever-evolving universe with new co-op missions every day. PvE shooters usually have terrible artificial intelligence, but this was not the case with “Warface.” My teammates and I were killed left and right, not because we didn’t understand the controls or because we were new players, but because the AI is just that good. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to try out PvP, so stay tuned for more on that aspect.

Gunplay in “Warface” felt incredible; it reminded me of “Crysis,” without the ridiculously overpowered nanosuits. Playing as a combat medic, I was armed with an automatic shotgun, which could lay down a truly epic amount of lead. However, at range, I had to swap to my pistol sidearm. Surprisingly, the pistol was very good at range and a nice change of pace from games that seem to turn pistols into BB guns in the name of balance.

Graphically, the game was gorgeous. Running on Crytek’s CryEngine 3, “Warface” surpassed the look of any other free-to-play game I’ve seen on the market. The animation detail blew me away (or perhaps it was the artillery strikes … forgive me, I’m a little shell-shocked). Rather than simply throwing a magical box of healing at my teammates, I actually had to run up to them to heal them. My character would run his hands up and down their bodies as if he was applying bandages and checking for wounds.

The only problem I noticed with the game was sometimesmission objectives were overly vague. We nearly failed the mission at one point when an enemy tank appeared and we were tasked with luring it back into an artillery strike. We had no idea this meant to literally run away as fast as possible until one of the developers came and told us. Another particularly hilarious moment occurred when my team had to make it to the helicopter extraction point. We all crowed up on the exact spot the mission objective showed the helicopter would be, only to have it land atop three of us, killing us in the process.

Overall, my time at the Trion Worlds booth playing this game was one of my best experiences at PAX Prime. With the constantly changing PvE world, a whole array of PvP fights and unparalleled gunplay, there are plenty of reasons to show Crytek your war face when this game releases in the U.S.