Crossfire is a renowned PC franchise that has found its way to console with CrossfireX. It is also the first time in the franchise’s history that a single-player campaign is being offered alongside the multiplayer. When I learned that the single-player is being developed by none other than Remedy, my excitement for the game peaked.
Over time, the trailers for the game we’ve seen have looked top notch; now that I’ve finally played through the campaign, did it live up to my expectations?
The campaign is divided into two main parts — called Operation Catalyst and Operation Spectre — which help you explore the ongoing conflict between Black List and Global Risk. It doesn’t take long to notice that the plot of the game is somewhat generic and as a whole feels a lot like a Call of Duty campaign.
In Operation Catalyst, you play as the Black List faction and see the war from their point of view. Throughout the story, you play as several different characters but the main protagonist is Hall. The main objective is to tear through hordes of enemies to save your teammate (who also happens to be your brother-in-law) that has been captured by Black List.
Honestly, I kind of enjoyed the direction it was heading in and whilst the plot was generic, the build-up was definitely interesting. It was also supported by good-looking cutscenes and there were several unique environments to play through.
However, the campaign did fall short in almost every other aspect. Despite there being a fair roster of weapons available throughout the story, the recoil for every single gun was the same which made the whole gameplay experience boring. It only took me about two hours to finish CrossfireX on the hardest difficulty, which made everything feel very rushed. All of the build-up that I mentioned earlier went to waste because of how badly it was wrapped up.
The only signature gameplay from Remedy you’ll find is when you activate the combat breaker mode which makes everyone go slow-mo, and you could definitely see some Quantum Break-esque shooting there. It was cool but almost useless since you could easily kill the extremely dumb enemy AI without any assistance.
There are a variety of environments that you play through and you also see Remedy paying homage to Control with the lucid dreams that the protagonist has. But other than that, it felt more or less the same. Shoot dumb AIs, cutscene, shoot dumb AIs, you get my point. The only mission that stood out was when you’re given control over your teammate and he has to shoot your handcuffs with a sniper rifle to save you.
Similarly, the other part of the campaign, Operation Spectre, felt exactly the same but with different characters. I did find this part to be more likeable though; you play as Torres and the Global Risk faction is after you for some reason and the Black List come and save you.
Torres was the only memorable character I found throughout both the campaigns but here too, the plot felt rushed entirely. There isn’t really enough time to connect to any of the characters like the story wants you to. You don’t feel impacted by the ‘betrayal’ aspects of the narrative because of how poorly the characters are written.
Another extremely dumb thing about the story was that your teammates on comms would often ask you to ‘stealth your way’ into the enemy territory, yet the enemies would somehow know where you are even if you’re crouched behind a wall. There was a full stealth-based mission though, which was also the last one. But other than that, you couldn’t go behind enemies to take them down.
There are various collectibles spread throughout the story, which could’ve added to the replayability of it but you get absolutely no trophies for playing through the single-player or even collecting them all, so I really couldn’t care less about them being there.
Sadly, I wasn’t very impressed with what I played during CrossfireX’s single-player and it didn’t live up to what it promised during the flashy marketing trailers. At $30/£25, it's hard to justify a four-hour-long, forgettable campaign with almost no ‘wow’ factor. If you’ve played through any of the Call of Duty campaigns, you're not missing much if you skip CrossfireX.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the multiplayer (in its current state) feels like the worst FPS available in the market right now. The multiplayer is also divided into two parts called ‘classic’ and ‘modern’. The classic mode feels like a faulty Counter-Strike: Global Offensive port on console. You cannot ADS (aim down sight) and sprint (like the original Crossfire) which is fine, but the countless frame freezes really make the game unplayable.
There are three modes in the classic section, with each of them locked to a specific map, so there’s absolutely no map rotation. The same follows for the ‘modern’ mode where you can in fact ADS and sprint, but the ADS is absolutely broken and there is the same frame freezing.
The cherry on top is the fact that if you had pre-ordered the ultimate edition pack, you get a gun with high damage and a faster shooting rate which creates an unfair pay-to-win advantage.
All in all, CrossfireX was a disastrous experience. It is the first game by Remedy that I didn’t end up liking and is accompanied by one of the worst multiplayer experience in years. By creating an unrewarding single-player and an unfair multiplayer, CrossfireX does not have a lot going for it.
CrossfireX (Reviewed on Xbox Series X)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
With a disappointingly short single-player and an unplayable multiplayer, CrossfireX doesn’t bring much to the table. Even with some interesting parts in the story, the shortcomings of the game are much higher in number.