Doomed Right Out of the Gate
Imagine a physically capable person gearing up for a race, only to intentionally tie their shoes together and you’ll get an idea of the game design driving MY.GAMES’ Warface: Global Operations. It’s yet another chapter of an otherwise decent mobile game being sullied by greedy pay-to-win tactics.
You aren’t going to notice the level of monetization Warface: Global Operations employs until after you’ve played through the tutorial, which you’re immediately thrown into as soon as you pass the loading screen. The tutorial itself is welcome and necessary. FPS games translated to touchscreen always require a learning curve. That being said, the developers managed to create controls that function well and feel responsive. Sometimes too responsive as I found myself spinning in circles one too many times before I got the hang of it. Luckily, I don’t get motion sickness.
With its muted colors and military aesthetic, Warface: Global Operations wears its inspiration on its sleeve, though it does falter with uninspired maps. I swear I’ve seen these maps before. On the other hand, they’re small, leading to shorter, quicker paced matches lasting only a few minutes. Before you know it you’ll be queuing for another match – which I did. I find this to be its biggest strength; the quicker a match is over, the easier it is to decide on whether or not to play another.
Speaking of queuing, let’s talk about the lack of game modes or rather, the inability to choose a game mode. Two game modes exist: team deathmatch and control. Tap “Fight” and you’re tossed into one of the two. Once a match started, I noticed a few key functions missing, specifically crouching, jumping and sliding. Such features are, at this point, synonymous with FPSs. Thankfully, MY.GAMES plans to include these stalwart features, but unfortunately they’ll stay missing until the update in March, which also includes more content.
Paying For Power
When my first match was over, the genie was fully released from his lamp and I got to see the full extent of MY.GAMES’ monetization scheme.
Warface: Global Operations utilizes a system known as a Power Score or PWR. Every weapon and piece of armor you equip has a score. The total of said score is then averaged together. The higher your PWR is, the more damage you deal and can withstand. It’s also an opportunity to persistently gouge players for cash.
Players can, quite literally, pay to raise their Power Score. There’s nothing stopping me from dropping $60 on gear that is leagues better than the first set of free unlockable equipment. For example, you start off with a chest piece that has a Power Score of 10. Not satisfied with that? Spend $10 for a chest piece that has a Power Score of 150. None of the free gear is comparable until you reach level 64. I haven’t seen this type of paid progression since EA and Dice’s Star Wars: Battlefront II. As a matter of fact, it’s worse when you consider grenades have to be bought with premium currency. Sure, you get a few by completing dailies and watching ads, but why make grenades a precious resource?
When you develop a system that relies on an arbitrary number, like Warface: Global Operations does, your skill doesn’t matter. Gameplay boils down to how deep your pockets are. I did find it funny I was able to hold a killstreak against players wielding premium gear with a modicum of skill. However, I shouldn’t have to resort to guerrilla warfare to get ahead, nor sit through 20-30 second ads for a boost in rewards.
A Swing and a Miss
Despite its very aggressive micro-transactions, there’s something underneath all the monetization. For what it’s worth, Warface: Global Operations isn’t a bad game. It’s clear the developers aren’t slouches when it comes to crafting a viable FPS and recreating a military experience. MY.GAMES could have cornered the market for a COD-like game for players running low-spec devices. Instead, what’s served is a greed-fueled, competently developed, pay to win shell of a game. It may look good and play well, but advertisements, in-app purchases and lack of content get in the way of Warface: Global Operations scoring, at the very least, three stars. It isn’t a COD-killer, but it is, quite honestly, a missed opportunity.
Is it Hardcore?
Warface: Global Operations is the same song and dance in an oversaturated FPS market. Well developed? Absolutely. Fun to play? You can surely waste a few hours. Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of unnecessary and aggressive monetization.