Crytek Kiev
Release Date: 22/04/14 (Xbox 360)

Being a gamer can be fairly tough going at uni. All those student nights and weekly food shops really eat into your meager funds, and so buying into the next big thing can take a sacrifice to the scale of eating nothing but beans on toast for two weeks. Then there comes the challenge of getting your like minded game friends to do the same so you can all play online together in between ‘urgent’ essay writing. Free to play may be the answer to these woes though, with this particular title, Warface, offering a free to play Call Of Duty type experience for nothing. Well, apart from an Xbox Live Gold account (100% free on PC), but surely most have one set up for their online FIFA fix…

Warface is a free to play online military shooter which does everything a military shooter can since Call Of Duty 4 paved the way for everyone else to follow. It includes a selection of classes to pick from, team/all for one game modes, plus a control scheme which just clicks, if you know what I mean. Searching for the face of what makes Warface it’s own thing is the toughest part of all. Switching the game off after an enjoyable night of maiming is also were any Warface memories conclude. A few flashes of empty warehouses and desolate villages may briefly linger at the edge of one’s memories, but they’ll quickly pass. There will be no dreams that night.

warface pic

This screenshot could be used effectively in a guess the game contest.

It doesn’t help that time spent with Warface is time spent being bombarded with messages and out of reach weapons due to the games desire to tempt you to spend some real money. As is the case with most free to play, there is always an option to quickly obtain the best equipment, at a cost. The game has three types of points to obtain, experience, Warface dollars and vendor points, and you’ll always be short of one to get what you really want, unless you’re willing to put some serious grind time into it. And why would you when the game offers such a diluted version of the real thing? Just say no.

While it’s starting to sound like Warface may not be that ideal game to jump into after a hard day of resting on the sofa, watching The Big Bang Theory due to a tough all nighter at the local Student Union, the game is actually fun to play. It may not be memorable, it may beg for money, yet the gun-play is competent and the team based co-op missions really bring a unit together, be they friends or strangers. Each class type is a necessity to get to the end of these stages, as the waves of soldiers and occasional mech won’t go down easily. It’s reminiscent of the T-Hunts in the Rainbow Six games of old, though this again puts Warface on the spot when it comes to determining what makes it truly unique.

Warface is unremarkable yet workable, a fun free shooter for those who aren’t willing to splash out £40 for the latest in the biggest military shooter franchise. And who says fun has to be original, anyway?  The bodies still fall as you want them to, and it doesn’t involve a beans on toast diet to take part. Maybe that’s the unique selling point?