CrossfireX for Xbox review: Nothing more than a decent, unfinished shooter

 

Crossfire is often not known in Western markets. It has been overshadowed somewhat by Counter-Strike, the iconic franchise that gave it its name. Crossfire is a popular game in other regions of the globe, particularly China and other Asian countries. CrossfireX, the PC-only version of the game, brings Crossfire’s Counter Strike-esque gameplay to consoles.

CrossfireX was published by Smilegate Entertainment and Microsoft in partnership with Xbox and Microsoft. It featured a single-player campaign created by Remedy Entertainment. This game seemed to be poised for a breakthrough in the crowded first-person shooter market. CrossfireX is a complete mess. It can be a lot of fun for some but not enough for others.

CrossfireX for Xbox review: Nothing more than a decent, unfinished shooter

CrossfireX: What’s good

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX is not my favorite program. CrossfireX can be fun, but it is not for everyone . CrossfireX’s greatest saving grace is the low entry cost. You can either play in free-to-play multiplayer or invest some time in a moderate campaign.

Campaign is where I will start. CrossfireX’s single-player narrative provides context for the ambiguous conflict in CrossfireX’s in-game world, which is between two opposing forces Global Risk or Black List. It does this with two three-hour sessions from either side.

Genre First-person shooter
Xbox Version Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One
Game Size 54GB
Players Single-player & Multiplayer
Xbox Game Pass Yes (Operation Catalyst)
Launch Date Feb. 10, 2022
Launch Price Free (Multiplayer) / $10-25 (Campaign)
Play Time 9+ hours
Reviewed on Xbox Series X

Operation Catalyst is the Xbox Game Pass half of the campaign that tells the story about a elite Global Risk team infiltrating Black List territory in order to eradicate a dangerous threat. Operation Spectre is the story of Black List operatives trying to stop Global Risk destroying their organization. This campaign is far superior and it is a shame that Xbox Game Pass does not include it. The final mission is a pleasant surprise, despite the occasional glitches and abruptly-introduced mechanics.

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Both campaigns were completed in just six hours. I found it to be a pleasant experience.

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX is not the game you expected to fill the gap in the first-person shooter space left by Battlefield 2042 or other games. The campaign’s brief length is actually a plus.

CrossfireX’s campaign won’t fill the gaps left by other games, but it can be worth playing.

The multiplayer aspect of CrossfireX is in dire straits. The “Classic” multiplayer mode still offers a glimpse of the unique gameplay that makes these games so beloved. I had a lot of fun with Search and Destroy, which mirrors Counter-Strike’s popular Defusal mode, Team Deathmatch and the absurdly silly Nano game mode.

CrossfireX will not be able to make it onto the top Xbox games list, but there are some opportunities. If CrossfireX improves, I might even consider returning from time to again.

CrossfireX: What’s not good

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX is a mess. It’s the kind of mess that seeps into every pore until it is gone. It can be difficult to know where to begin when trying to clean up this mess. So I will start at the interface. CrossfireX greets you from the beginning with a confusing UI and UX. The interface is confusing and changes constantly, has many layers that don’t provide the necessary information, and can be difficult to read.

The campaign’s menus are at least more traditional. However, this is because each campaign is treated as an separate game within its game. CrossfireX’s campaign is available to you. Start the multiplayer and choose the half you wish to play. Next, load the campaign. Each campaign has its own interface. Although CrossfireX’s campaigns are developed by another company, the integration offered here is minimal.

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Crossfire may be argued to be a PC first game and it is difficult to translate to console. However, bad UI design and UX design are bad regardless of the platform. It’s easier to see on a controller because it relies on clear navigation to find the information you need. CrossfireX’s interface keeps on fighting itself and is plagued by frequent freezes and hangs as well as loading screens.

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX’s visuals will be apparent when you start playing. They are often dull and lacking in detail. Remedy’s talent for art direction and environmental storytelling makes this a disappointing campaign. CrossfireX, from almost all angles, looks like a generic first-person shooter on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

CrossfireX’s most serious flaw is its terrible movement and aiming controls. CrossfireX’s movements feel off like someone is controlling them. Overly sensitive aim can be corrected by aggressively decreasing aim sensitivity or aim assist. It is impossible to adjust aim acceleration so any attempts at fixing the movement or aiming controls will be further hindered.

CrossfireX feels like a 15-year-old game that was remastered five years ago.

Animations that glitch or even break are another problem. For half an hour, I was frustrated by the fact that my character would slide aimlessly across the ground every time I tried to sprint. My character vibrated up and down endlessly during a multiplayer match. This was even while aiming or staying still. Every animation related to movement felt broken or glitched during my playtime. This made it difficult to aim and move the way that I wanted.

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Although I have stated that CrossfireX can be worthwhile playing, there is a caveat. How important do narratives matter? Both halves of CrossfireX are generic and droll. They have basic plots punctuated with blunt writing and a cast almost entirely of handsome, ruggedly handsome men and a few witty female fatales.

Operation Catalyst is dominated by some terrible tropes like “There’s no possible way this could’ve occurred unless one our own…betrayed” “; and, “Oh no! “; and, “Oh no! Operation Spectre was a good improvement but still felt rushed and scattered.

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX: Should you play it?

Crossfirex Screenshot

CrossfireX is the result of months of intermittent communication, delays and mystery, as well as a launch that came before anyone could evaluate its merits. It veers towards the “disastrous” edge, but it barely survives thanks to its average campaign and the lure of CSGO-like multiplayer on Xbox consoles. CrossfireX suffers from a multitude of flaws. These include a generic narrative that is poorly written and fundamental flaws with the movement and aim controls.

CrossfireX can blossom into a solid first person shooter for Xbox users if it has a strong post-launch support program and sustained dedication from its creators. It’s unlikely that CrossfireX will get the attention it deserves. CrossfireX is okay, but it’s not worth the effort.