Even a spectre who’s holding still can still be quietly heard because of the breathing apparatus in their suits, likely in order to discourage camping. It’s more fun to take advantage of the air ducts and high catwalks they can access in order to slink around. Spectre Mode is something akin to a poor man’s Spies vs. Mercs match from Splinter Cell.I was instantly charmed by the cheesy flow of Spectre Mode matches. Playing on the Laboratory map, my team had success when swarms of my invisible comrades descended upon the objective point, hiding in key points to cover the person planting the bomb and stabbing any heavily armed soldier who tried to locate our translucent teammate at the objective. But it’s not that easy (though smoke grenades collected in the map help…usually). Soldiers can easily kill spectres, but the reverse usually isn’t true. Stabs – either the right trigger backhand slice or the overhand left trigger attack the developers recommended I use – don’t do nearly enough damage. You should not have to get to point blank range as a spectre and stab your target multiple times in order to kill them while they have large, deadly guns. Still, I enjoyed this mode far more than I probably should’ve.
The Modern playlist, meanwhile, introduced me to Point Capture mode, where each team vies for hold-and-control of two territories with full ability to sprint or use ADS. I embraced the sniper rifles here and was content to hang back and enjoy bringing the pain from long range using the GR Tower map’s long sightlines – that is, until one team has scored enough kills to trigger a zipline escape from the tower. Then, both teams descend to the ground for the final control point C. This mode is nothing you haven’t done a million times in other games (though there is progression in it, at least), and while it’s hardly bad, it’s also nothing to write home about either.Based on what I’ve seen so far, honestly, it’s tough to see CrossfireX luring too many people away from genre heavyweights like Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Apex Legends. But since Counter-Strike’s popularity is more or less confined to PC these days, and CrossfireX’s multiplayer is free-to-play, it’s got a reasonable chance to find a niche audience on console. And for you fellow ’90s kids, its name alone is guaranteed to get this stuck in your head all over again.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.
- CrossfireX is due out in 2020 for Xbox One
- Original developer Smilegate is doing the multiplayer portion
- Remedy Entertainment (makers of Control) are doing a bespoke single-player campaign
- The multiplayer portion is free-to-play
- The open beta begins on June 25