CrossfireX Preview: A Fast-Paced FPS with Slo-Mo

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If you watched The Game Awards this year, you will have seen that CrossfireX finally has a release date.

The latest entry in Smilegate Entertainment’s hit multiplayer shooter series will hit Xbox consoles on 10th February. And while competing against other players online will offer long-term fun, those who like single-player campaigns will also find themselves catered for. CrossfireX will feature two Operations when it launches – essentially two campaigns. And they’ve been developed by Remedy Entertainment, known for hits such as Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Control.

We’ve been hands-on with a chapter from each of CrossfireX‘s Operations, getting a taste for what’s to come in February. In the first chapter of Operation Catalyst, we took control of a Global Risk assault trooper called Hall. Sent on an extraction mission with his team, it all goes wrong when it appears their adversaries, Black List, knew they were coming. And so, he quickly finds himself fighting for his life while pondering who exactly set them up. He doesn’t have time to think about it too much just yet though; with his squad leader, Cavanaugh, dead, who also happens to be his wife’s brother, all he’s concerned about for now is getting word to Global Risk so that what’s left of the team can be extracted.

Taking control of Hall, it’s instantly clear that this is a fast-paced first-person shooter. Anyone that has played a Call of Duty campaign will be familiar with the type of action on offer here, but there’s much more forward momentum; tricks like spawning infinite enemies until you push forward are not employed. CrossfireX has a twist, too, in that you can make use of what is called a Combat Breaker, slowing down time for a brief period. So, with just the push of a button, you have a few seconds to more easily line up some shots and get a hearty advantage. It’s even accompanied with some fancy effects, such as spurts of blood when performing headshots and sparks when hitting metallic objects.

CrossfireX isn’t just about shooting though. One trippy scene had us exploring Hall’s house, and there are plenty of opportunities to employ stealth rather than going in all-guns-blazing. Before the chapter was over, we also found ourselves in control of another character called Randall after Hall was captured. It was down to us to give Hall an opportunity to escape, and then protect him.

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Jumping to chapter three of Operation Spectre, we then took control of someone called Torres, reluctantly working with Black List to infiltrate a Global Risk base and find an energy source known as EOE. It’s required to stabilise something called Nano-Dyne that been injected into him, apparently. We moved from the exterior walks of a dam to its power station, then onto a lab equipped with lasers; imagine the laser corridor scene from the Resident Evil movie. But, just like in chapter one of Operation Catalyst, things soon went wrong.

Initially infiltrating as part of a team, we eventually found ourselves all alone, still searching for an EOE. We had to make our way to a vault, but in our way was an assault course that included dangerous electrical cables, trip mines, and numerous enemy assaults. It all culminated in a boss fight of sorts against a giant turret set within a firing range. We had to use targets as cover, shooting at energy outlets that power the turret to shut it down. But with each power outlet decommissioned, the targets moved, forcing us to think on our feet.

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It’s clear, then, that CrossfireX aims to pack quite a lot of variety into its campaign, and mechanically it feels very solid, too. We also have no qualms with its performance or visuals. Playing on Xbox Series X, we found that its visuals are average at worst and pretty darn nice the rest of the time. Both Graphics and Performance modes are available, and the latter is by far the best way to play thanks to offering what seems to be a solid 60fps.

From what we’ve played so far though, it appears that CrossfireX is missing that certain something that usually makes a Remedy game so captivating. The story seems interesting, sure, and the gameplay is solid, but there’s nothing that stands out as being particularly unique; there’s no hook that keeps you glued to the screen. Still, we’ve only played two chapters across both of the game’s single-player operations – perhaps we’ll be more invested when we’ve the whole thing to devour. And we’re keen to. While CrossfireX‘s Operations haven’t blown us away so far, they seem just as good as any typical Call of Duty campaign, with perhaps more originality, ingenuity, and in some places, humour.

CrossfireX launches 10th February on Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S