CrossfireX is Microsoft Game Studios’ upcoming competitive free-to-play first-person shooter. Right now I am participating in the CrossfireX closed beta, which runs from June 23rd to June 25th. Upon its completion, a second open beta will run from June 25th to June 28th. The open beta will be free for all Xbox Live Gold members.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to try out the CrossfireX closed beta you can check out a few of my impressions below. And if you are an Xbox Live Gold member, be sure to jump in and try the game out for yourself starting June 25th.
A return to the classic tactical shooter
CrossfireX is the sequel to Crossfire, a 2008 tactical shooter for PC developed by Smilegate. Due to its immense popularity in Asia, the original Crossfire is one of the most-played and highest-grossing games of all time on a global scale. It follows a free-to-play model where in-game currency unlocks specials weapon mods and the like.
This time around Smilegate is once again the lead developer. However, other studios have a hand in the game as well. Perhaps most notably, Control developer Remedy entertainment is handling the single-player portion of CrossfireX.
That said, the CrossfireX closed beta naturally focuses on the multiplayer aspect of the game. It features three maps, each with a different game mode. Here is a closer look at each type of match available.
Team Match on Black Widow
Matches come in 2 different main categories in the CrossfireX closed beta. There are “Classic” matches as well as “Modern” matches. Even having no experience with the original game, it seems fairly easy to spot the difference.
I’ll begin with the first map and game mode under the “Classic” banner. On the Black Widow map, players engage in a mode known as “Team Match”. This is a return to a very popular mode from the original 2008 Crossfire.
Team Match is an 8 v. 8 mode where teams race to either plant a series of C4 explosives at specific points on the map, or alternatively eliminate all players on the other side. I suspect one of the key features of a “classic” game mode is the fact that once you die, you are out of the game for the rest of the round.
That’s right—there is no respawning within a round of Team Match. If you perish early, it could be 2+ minutes before you are back in the action. On one hand, this certainly makes players approach combat with a bit more caution. It also creates an increase in tension. On the other hand, if you have less experience or skill, it can lead to more spectating than playing, with less time to actually practice and improve.
Spectre Mode on Laboratory
The 2nd “Classic” mode in the CrossfireX closed beta is Spectre Mode. I have to say, this is definitely the most unique and intriguing mode in the beta. Here one side is again planting explosives. However, this time their loadout consists only of melee weapons and stealth suits.
What I really like about this mode is how stealthy these suits really are. In some games a “cloaked” opponent is still fairly easy to make out by spotting the outline of their movement. In the CrossfireX closed beta however, the balance seems pretty much spot on. You have to have fast reflexes and a keen eye to track a stealth opponent moving at full speed with regular success.
In this mode however, death once again means sitting out until the next round. While I like this concept overall, it’s not without its issues.
For example, in one round, a teammate went idle, remaining at the start point of the map. The rest of us lost our lives, meaning we were waiting on the idle teammate—our last player in the match. Unfortunately, this meant we all had to stare at the screen for almost 2 full minutes, waiting for the match to expire since the “absent” player was neither terminated nor booted from the map.
Point Capture on GR Tower
The first and only “Modern” mode in the CrossfireX closed beta is Point Capture. This mode takes place on the GR Tower map—another 8 v. 8 affair. Here teams race to control map points and reach a set amount of eliminations.
This “Modern” map and mode seems to adhere to the principle of regular respawning. This time around match times are much longer, and players who die are instantly thrown back into action. It’s definitely much easier to get a feel for the gameplay in this mode.
However, if you aren’t ready for it, those deaths and respawns can come at a surprisingly rapid pace. On this map I find that the choke points where players meet up can fall extremely close to spawn points. The other side can dig in their front line easily within range of where players on the other side respawn.
The modern Point Capture mode does show some mercy however. After a few deaths players begin to earn skill points to invest in upgrades on-the-fly. I like adding point to defense, which grants players a shield accessory that makes it much easier to poke your head out and get a few kills without falling victim instantly to a veteran FPS sniper.
The CrossfireX closed beta features tight gameplay and interesting modes
Overall I definitely see potential in the CrossfireX closed beta. I particularly like the stealthy Spectre Mode, and think it does well to balance gun play vs. melee and camouflage. The “one death and your out” approach to classic game modes makes for a more serious and high-stakes affair, but prepare yourself to spend some time spectating if you possess less skill in competitive FPS games.
Don’t forget, the game becomes available to everyone with an open beta from June 25th to 28th. Anyone is free to participate, however you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription since it is an online multiplayer experience.
Have you had the opportunity to try out CrossfireX, or do you plan on participating in the upcoming open beta? Let us know your thoughts and impressions in the comments below!