Click­ing on the men in WAR­FACE


The anger that fol­lowed CS:GO’s shift to free-to-play made me want to re­visit War­face, a game whose mis­sion has only ever been to pro­vide a mul­ti­player mil­i­tary shooter that you can play if you re­ally want to play Call of Duty but don’t want to spend any money. This de­scribes a healthy au­di­ence, as it hap­pens, and the game has con­tin­ued to plod on over the years, be­ing av­er­age.

War­face is some­thing you can do if you would like to shoot at the bad men from the bad pri­vate mil­i­tary com­pany with friends; it is some­thing you can do if you would like to shoot at your friends, or, fail­ing that, a ro­tat­ing cast of strangers who quit mid-match be­cause noth­ing much mat­ters. War­face has two re­mark­able qual­i­ties: its name, which is pro­foundly silly, and its ret­i­cle bloom, which is pro­foundly huge. It’s so large that it feels like a state­ment: you don’t want to go to war, you just want to see a big X when you click on some­one’s head. And reader? They’re not wrong. It’s a very, very big X. It makes me happy when I see it.

War­face has al­ways been more of a plat­form than a game, and in the years since its re­lease it has gained most of the things you’d ex­pect: a bat­tle royale mode, a bat­tle pass. By ‘things you’d ex­pect’ I sup­pose what I mean is ‘things Fort­nite has’. As cyn­i­cal as it all is, at least it doesn’t try to hide it. Want about 75% of a de­cent Call of Duty, right now? Want to pay for it with time rather than money? Here you go. Now, PCG has a long his­tory of giv­ing Call of Duty games scores in the up­per-mid 60s, so let’s treat this coldly cal­cu­lated bit of game de­sign to a coldly cal­cu­lated score.

75% of 68 is... 51, right?

Let’s go with 51.

I love you, big X that tells me I’m good at things.

The ’00s are back and they’re here to party!

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