by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Everyone wants to get in on the money-making MMOFPS genre and Z8 Games have tried their hand at it. Keep reading to find out if Cross Fire is just another cheap cash-in or a game that's actually worth your time.
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Not Too Cold, Not Too Hot, But Just Warm Enough
Z8 Games is not one of those online publishers you hear a lot about but Cross Fire could easily put them in the mix as a publisher worth keeping track of. The game, while it has its faults, fits into the category of a fast-paced, tactically sufficient shooter that will probably find appeasement amongst the younger twitchy-fingered gamers and the older gamer looking for a good military shooter. In other words, Cross Fire isn't too much of one or the other but seems to be fit in-between a lot of other shooters out there. Whether this game fits your cup of tea or not depends on what you're looking for in an MMOFPS.
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You’re not going to find a whole lot of originality in Cross Fire. It doesn’t feature the graphics or realism of Alliance of Valiant Arms, nor the PvE modes like in Combat Arms or Mercenary Wars, and it lacks the weapon modification system as seen in games like Operation 7. However, what the game does accomplish is adding in a few game modes that are consistently fun for new and veteran players, as well as a decent cache of purchasable weapons
Like a lot of other online shooter games in the genre, Cross Fire sports the standard game modes such as team deathmatch and free-for-all. It also contains maps attached to certain game modes, so a measure of balance is set in place to keep the pace fairly even for most players. There are a few sniper only maps for tacticians, small but fun maps for free-for-all fans and an arena mode where players face off using knives only in a gladiatorial style map.
One of the highlights of the game include the well designed Elimination style maps that pits two teams against each other with a variety of ways to utilize each of the maps with team tactics in mind. There are two kinds of demolition modes, one of them includes the original Ghost Mode, which sees a small team of invisible players using only knives taking on heavily armored players who must defend demolition points. The other Demolition mode is the standard-fare team mode where one team must destroy a checkpoint while the other team defends.
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Surprisingly enough, Cross Fire is easily one of the more balanced MMOFPS games out there. The reason for this is that there are a lot of level-restricted channels to help new players steadily move up in the ranks with players around the same level. This keeps the pace of each match steadily balanced and allows for a more enjoyable experience for both new and advanced players.
The weapon balance is quite even, too. There are a variety of guns in the game suited to the taste of those who like up-close-and-personal combat with shotguns and a good selection of pistols, while those who prefer keeping their distance will find a nice assortment of assault weapons and sniper rifles.
One of the things that make Cross Fire a fun all-around shooter is that a lot of the weapons serve a purpose, and when you run out of ammo in one gun it’s easy to switch over to the very effective pistols and knives in the game. The developers did a great job of making sure that every instrument of death is useful to players during the bouts.
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While being able to peep around corners or sprint is absent in this game, the ability to maneuver around spacious and cover-heavy maps makes Cross Fire about as fun as Combat Arms or Operation 7.
Each of the maps designed for the specific game modes offer something a little bit different for each experience. The Ghost mode maps are smaller and more compact, offering less cover but more freedom to move, which works very well under the mode’s stay-alive-to-win motto. The team deathmatch modes have about the best maps with lots of cover points, ins-and-outs for getting around and even camping points for snipers.
The nice part about Cross Fire’s maps is that they keep the action going back and forth, making it possible for one team to easily pick up a win if they tighten up their tactics or disrupt the opposing team’s methods for scoring. I don’t know if I would say the maps are better thanMercenary War’s amazingly spacious stages, but they come awfully close and are equally as fun.
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Graphics And Sound
The aesthetics of Cross Fire are nothing noteworthy but aren’t completely throwaway features, either. The weapon designs, character animations, models and textures all look passable enough. Just don’t go into this game expecting anything gritty like Karma: Operation Barbarossa or realistic like Alliance of Valiant Arms.
The audio in the game is also fairly decent. Gamers won’t be blown away with any epic-scaled war effects or realistic ambiance as you might find in War Rock. Exploding shells, incessant gun-fire and lots of shouting is particularly absent in this game. Although, I don't think the developers were really aiming to immerse gamers in a sort of war-torn scenario like some of the previously mentioned games. Nevertheless, Cross Fire does have the standard-fare weapon sounds covered with respectable qualities and the music isn’t half-bad, either.
Graphic whores might easily get turned off from the passe lighting and very standard looking character models and stages. Although, if you don’t go into an MMOFPS for the purpose of experiencing top-notch graphics and ear-bursting audio, then you’ll easily enjoy Cross Fire for everything else it has to offer.
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Cross Fire doesn’t evolve the MMOFPS experience like some of the other games in the genre. Although this shooter does introduce a few noteworthy additions, such as Ghost Mode and the arena matches that mimic the gladiator mode on Gunz: The Duel. Even though the game lacks the awesome yet time-consuming gun customization likeA.V.A, Combat Arms and Operation 7, the weapon balance is fairly even and at least pistols play an important part in most of the game modes.
The ranked channels and plentiful player-base makes Cross Fire an easy recommendation for gamers new to the MMOFPS genre or looking for something that isn’t going to bury their PC in the dirt with ridiculous hardware requirements. All in all, Cross Fire gets more right than it does wrong, and it's a game worth checking out whether you’re a hardcore shooter fan or a casual gamer looking to get in on some FPS action.