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Preview: CrossfireX Beta

Smilegate West’s wildly successful free-to-play shooter franchise is coming exclusively to Xbox One with the latest iteration, CrossfireX. As of June 22 and June 23, it entered closed beta, with open beta launching on June 25 and ending on June 28. With this beta experience came a very brief glimpse of what this first-person shooter is looking to offer Xbox fans. In my time with the closed and open beta, I encountered a game that pushes an admirably fast-paced experience but holds little originality in its execution. The CrossfireX beta also has its fair share of gameplay and technical blemishes. Here’s a breakdown of its key components and how the game is shaping up thus far.

CrossfireX is a mix of the old and the new

There are two gameplay styles available to take on in the beta: Classic and Modern. Under the Classic banner, there are two separate maps and gameplay modes. One is an 8v8 mode called Team Match, where one team seeks to plant a series of C4 explosives around the environment while the opposing team defends these points of interest. It’s quite straightforward and also familiar for those who have played the last Crossfire game. But be warned, the pacing can feel quite slow compared to other modes in CrossfireX, as you’ll have to wait out the round if you’re eliminated. On the other hand, there was the unique and intriguing Spectre Mode. This mode is also elimination based, but this time attacking adversaries don a cloaking ability and nothing but a tactical knife for melee encounters. Generally speaking, the action went by quickly and shifted to the next round in no time. Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying defending more, as the thrill of trying to catch the cloaked attackers pumped up the anticipation and intensity.  Overall, I favour the Classic modes less compared to Modern, but in its defence, I also encountered the least amount of technical issues while battling it out in this play style. 


On the other hand, Modern offers the most fast-paced playstyle by a long shot. Matches take place on a map called GR Tower, undergoing a Point Capture form of competition. The map is divided into two sectors, the first being inside the tower followed by a zipline transition that brings you down to the outdoor courtyard. My personal tastes saw myself favouring this Point Capture experience the most in the CrossfireX beta. There were more loadout options, which lead to more diverse combat that benefited from an extremely fast respawn system. 

Unfortunately, the fundamental rules and structure of Point Capture are great, but those inherent traits are where the quality stopped for me. On more than one occasion, I found my screen freezing when peeking at the in-game leaderboards. This particular issue took place more than once, and it occurred, in the same way, each time. Having to restart the game just for viewing my progress was frustrating. I’m willing to pin this on the fact that this is a beta, but it was a lack of polish that definitely needs to be addressed before the full game becomes available. 

No price to pay except time

I’m all for accessibility, so that’s why quality experiences that are free-to-play are always ones that I’m willing to advocate for (should monetization schemes remain reasonable). While CrossfireX is certainly not a low-quality experience, you might want to consider other routes if you want your time with an FPS to be special. It’s very reminiscent of the likes of Counter-Strike, which can be a great thing. However, for the community and fleshed out offerings you might be looking for, you’re best to stick with the titles that paved the way for the likes of CrossfireX. 

Visually speaking, it’s quite clean, but nothing outstanding. Gunplay looked and sounded pretty nice, but I often found the lighting to be an issue on certain maps, making me second-guess whether I saw an enemy or if it was just some trick of the light. And while we’re discussing visibility, the most egregious issues this game faces come from the user interface and text. Menu displays and objective descriptions are unnecessarily small. Additionally, while the D-Pad can be used to select an icon in the main menus, CrossfireX tends to default to a very slow and choppy cursor selector when using the toggle stick. To put it bluntly, it looks incredibly dated and doesn’t give a very good first impression. To reiterate, this is a beta and hopefully, these issues can be put behind once the finished product is out. 

 [This impression article is based on a preview-build offered by the publisher]

Previewed on: Xbox One X