Set for release later this year on Xbox One, I can imagine online tactical first-person shooter CrossfireX becoming hugely popular.
It kind of already is on PC. Released in 2007, Crossfire is one of the world’s most-played games if you go by player count. CrossfireX simply bundles up a port of the game along with a single-player campaign developed by Remedy Entertainment.
That alone should make if worth a download for the princely sum of free, but thanks to a recent beta I’ve been able to spend some time with a limited portion of CrossfireX‘s online offerings – and it’s safe to say that I had fun.
CrossfireX offers up two flavours of online shooter shenanigans. In Classic mode, it’s a no frills, old-school affair. You can’t sprint, you can’t aim down sights; it’s all about twitch aiming and reflexes. In the beta, two match types were available, each with their own map. Spectre requires one team to stealthily place C4 charges while the others are on defence. It’s a tense affair that actually feels rather original. Then there’s Team Match, where both teams are armed and can win by either eliminating their opponents or placing C4 charges.
Whichever you choose, the action is fast-paced and fun. There’s a low time to kill, which means encounters are decisive. Despite the flashy visuals, however, it does feel old-fashioned. I kept finding myself instinctively pressing the left trigger to aim down sights, then remembering that wasn’t a thing in this game. Once you get used to the fact, though, it doesn’t detract from it all that much.
It’s also nice to play a game in which loadouts aren’t locked away behind progression. It means right from the outset you have a decent amount of choice as to how you want to play; you don’t need to put in tens of hours to unlock specific guns, etc. You’re also free to change your loadout depending on the situation at hand, allowing you to get tactical.
But there’s also a Modern mode in CrossfireX, which adds a bit of pizzazz to the gameplay. You can aim down sights in Modern mode, for example, and you can also sprint. It does indeed feel more modern. Only one match type was available in Modern mode in the beta: Point Capture. Two teams fight for control of various points on the map, and should individual players perform well, they can make use of perks to give them the upper hand for a short period.
What’s really neat about Modern mode is how it also allows the maps to change, making the gameplay feel more dynamic. In the beta, midway through a match the building you’re fighting in begins to collapse. You’re given a limited amount of time to hook yourself up to a zipline and enter a new arena of battle. This time, however, instead of two control points to capture there’s only one, forcing more heated combat.
With behemoths like Call of Duty, Valorant and Apex Legends ruling the online first-person shooter roost, it’s always going to be hard for a game like CrossfireX to make a mark. It deserves a shot though, and those who do give it a try are likely to enjoy what they play. The question is, will it have legs on console? Only time will tell.
CrossfireX launches on Xbox One later this year. A PS4 version is also planned for a later date.