CrossfireX has been an enigma ever since its announcement at E3 2019. The first person shooter is the latest game in Smilegate’s Crossfire series and has been receiving bits of new information leading up to its release for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on February 10th. Let’s take a look at some things you need to know before buying and just what the heck to expect.
The main draw of CrossfireX, at least for those who have never heard of the original game, is the campaign. Developed by Remedy Entertainment of Control and Alan Wake fame on the Northlight Engine, it tells the story of two Private Military Companies – Global Risk and Black List – as they battle each other across the globe. Both sides get their chance to shine and players will learn more about the lore of the overall universe, including why the two PMCs are constantly butting heads.
CrossfireX’s campaign consists of Operations, which are essentially multi-chapter scenarios with a range of different missions. Two will be available at launch – Operation Catalyst and Operation Spectre. According to WCCFTech’s preview, the former focuses on Global Risk that must extract a high-value target with things taking a turn for the worst. In the midst of all this, the protagonist seems to be having visions heralding something to come. In Operation Spectre, players control another character who will become The Ghost and potentially end the conflict between both PMCs (and possibly the world itself).
The overall length of each Operation hasn’t been confirmed but based on various previews, including WCCFTech and IGN, you shouldn’t expect too much by way of innovation. This is very much a linear first person shooting experience, though there are abilities like slow-mo to help spice things up.
According to IGN’s preview, there is a decent range of enemy variety to be had. You’ll encounter snipers, heavy foes with more armor, shield-bearers and drones on top of the regular foot soldiers. There are boss fights as well though how many can be expected across the full length of both Operations is yet to be confirmed.
Despite only providing two Operations at launch, there will be multiple difficulty options – Easy, Normal and Hard – to provide some replay value for the campaign. From various impressions, it seems that Hard will be the ideal challenge for seasoned first-person shooter and action fans. Still, it’s nice to have other options to ease other types of players into the game.
What served as the inspiration for the campaign though? Surprisingly enough, it was Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid, according to Remedy director of communications Thomas Puha. Speaking to US Gamer in July 2020, he said that, “Obviously we’re a first-person shooter, but we look more at games like Metal Gear and even Resident Evil in terms of just kind of being a bit larger than life with the characters, the kind of vibe.” So while you will have two PMCs competing to take each other down, you’ll meet a varied cast with archetypes like a headstrong character, a wise-cracking character and a shady general among others.
For multiplayer fans – especially those familiar with the original – playing an updated, better-looking version of Smilegate’s free-to-play shooter is another big reason to jump into CrossfireX. Players select either Black List or Global Risk as their team and battle in competitive matches. Guns are modeled realistically, right down to their spray patterns and recoil while having their own distinct functions like SMGs having a higher fire rate but lower damage. Based on the recent multiplayer and weapon preview video, weapons like the AK-47, M4A1 and so on are all present and accounted for. And yes, it is all free-to-play, just like the original game.
CrossfireX’s multiplayer modes range from objective-based to pure team deathmatch. Classic Mode is your standard Search and Destroy where two teams take turns over a series of rounds planting and defending a bomb – eliminating all enemies or successfully planting/defusing the bomb is the key to winning. Spectre Mode allows all attackers to remain invisible when not moving though they’re only armed with knives. Modern mode offers objectives like Point Capture where players must vie for control over two objectives – earning enough points sees the final point opening up. You also have a 30-player mode where teams fight over five control points and Infection Mode which sees a team of survivors trying to hold out against infected players.
How many of the original game’s maps will carry over into CrossfireX remains to be seen but there are several that have been confirmed from the beta, like GR Tower. Invasion, for instance, is a Spectre-focused map that has a lot more close quarter areas which can benefit attackers while GR Tower is meant for Modern mode players.
Tactical Growth system
The Tactical Growth System is an interesting wrinkle in CrossfireX’s matches. As you play through a match, you’ll be able to choose different upgrades to gain an advantage like a tactical shield, health regeneration and even increased damage. It only applies for that round though so you’ll need to think about when to make a comeback or counter an enemy’s upgrades.
Previously part of the Tactical Growth System, Legendary Mercenaries are powerful forms that players can transform into. They now exist separately from the Tactical Growth System in Modern mode and can only be obtained via Kill Streaks (aka racking up consecutive kills) and Death Streaks (based on your overall deaths, which takes longer to activate). Once either is active, you can choose Legendary Mercenaries like The Boogieman or the Death King. The latter has traits like more health and speed, dual-wields SMGs and has the ability to blink back after an AoE attack. More Legendary Mercenaries will reportedly be detailed before launch.
As with any multiplayer title, CrossfireX provides the means to personalize your character. This hasn’t exactly been revealed in full detail but the official site states that players can display their achievements through “various in-game collection systems and customization options.” Again, time will tell what that entails (and just how much can be unlocked for free, especially given how the first Crossfire is a huge revenue-earner in microtransactions).
Supports Smart Delivery on Xbox
Though neither Remedy nor Smilegate have outlined the game’s final resolution and frame rate, the beta was billed as running at 4K on Xbox One X as per the Microsoft Store. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Xbox Series X version hit 4K/60 FPS and possibly offer a 120 FPS option. At least the game supports Smart Delivery so you’ll only need to buy it once to access it across all Xbox platforms.