In the West, the first-person shooter genre is dominated by blockbusters like Call of Duty and Halo, but it’s a completely different story in places like South Korea and China. The Crossfire series from Smilegate Entertainment has been a worldwide success, becoming one of the most popular video game franchises of all time despite having no significant presence in North America. Smilegate has teamed up with Remedy Entertainment to make CrossfireX an Xbox exclusive in an attempt to change that, but FPS fans are better off spending their time elsewhere. CrossfireX consists of two unique experiences: a single-player campaign created with Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment, and a free-to-play multiplayer mode developed by Smilegate. Despite Remedy having an impressive track record of delivering quality single-player stories and Smilegate’s proven expertise in the free-to-play realm, neither half of the game is worth investment at any time. The CrossfireX campaign itself is split into two, with anyone interested in it having to purchase each campaign separately. There’s Operation: Catalyst and Operation: Spectre, with the events of Operation: Catalyst leading directly into the Specter story, though CrossfireX players can technically play them in any order. Both campaigns are very short, where players can get through them in a few hours, but it will be a most painful experience from start to finish. The Operation: Catalyst campaign in CrossfireX is especially bad. It checks off the list of everything to expect from a typical Call of Duty campaign, almost coming across as a parody. Players are ushered into hallways by dumb enemies who stand and wait to be shot, completing cliché objective after objective. It’s painfully generic and uninspired, doing absolutely nothing compelling from a gameplay perspective to keep players interested or entertained. The gameplay of the CrossfireX campaign is difficult, with players having to deal with input lag, a clunky camera, and unresponsive controls. Players will find themselves actively fighting against the controls, as there is a serious learning curve when going from a great FPS to this one. It controls like someone took a typical Call of Duty campaign soldier and got them drunk. At some point, players will actually get used to the weird aiming and find themselves automatically compensating for it, making the game more playable but still unremarkable. There’s some fun in taking down the bad guys, with the game’s slow-motion mechanic adding some visual spectacle to the proceedings, but other games have done it and done it better. There is no challenge at the recommended difficulty setting, but CrossfireX provides a power fantasy, where players can easily dispatch large groups of enemies with various guns and grenades. It might be fun to throw a well-timed grenade and watch enemies fly wildly across the screen, but then players will remember that most of those enemies were caught in the explosion because their AI wasn’t smart enough to get out of the way Players will often find enemies crouching in front of the many explosive barrels scattered throughout each level, or if a grenade lands at their feet, attempt to run away, only to stop moving while still within the radius of the explode and wait to be blown to pieces. On the bright side, Operation: Catalyst is short, with players only having to spend a few hours struggling through a generic military gun story filled with some of the most memorable characters ever- feature in a video game. To its credit, CrossfireX ends with an intriguing plot twist that essentially lets Operation: Specter change genres, moving from a military-shooter to one with a more interesting sci-fi bent. It doesn’t improve the characters or the writing, but it makes the plot more enjoyable because players will be interested to see what happens next. Operation: Specter is a step up from Operation: Catalyst, but despite some trippy dream sequences and strange imagery, neither feels like they were actually made by Remedy Entertainment. It’s hard to believe that Remedy could go from making the award-winning Control to having a hand in it, and players can’t help but feel that CrossfireX is completely dialed in. This lack of care is evident throughout the CrossfireX experience. Players immediately realize something isn’t right when they boot up the game for the first time and see its UI, which has players moving a cursor around the screen instead of just selecting from a menu. like most other console games. To make matters worse prompts will appear on the screen asking players to press the A button to continue, but they must first drag the cursor to the prompt. While some may say that complaining about the UI is creepy, it’s surprising that the UI seems to have been built with a mouse and keyboard in mind even though the game is an Xbox exclusive with no PC version, and this is a perfect example how this game feels like it rushed out the door without thinking. CrossfireX’s free-to-play multiplayer isn’t much better, although it provides the most entertainment one can get from the game. It plays like a bargain bin version of Call of Duty in some modes and like an empty Counter-Strike in others, with CrossfireX copying popular modes from those games. The controls and aiming problems from the campaign are also present in multiplayer, and with the many higher-quality, free-to-play FPS games on the market, there’s really no reason to bother with CrossfireX in its current state. . Those curious enough to try it out will find that CrossfireX multiplayer is also split into two. “Modern” multiplayer provides more movement options and lets players adjust sights, while “Classic” multiplayer has been removed. Moderno offers Search & Destroy on the Black Widow map, Point Capture on the GR Tower map, and will eventually include Escort on the Babylon map, though it’s not yet available in the game. Meanwhile, classic allows players to play Search & Destroy on Black Widow, Specter on Laboratory, Team Deathmatch on Transport Ship, and Nano on Babylon Lab. The multiplayer maps in CrossfireX look really good and are designed with their specific game modes in mind. This works for most except the Nano map Babylon Lab. Nano is essentially an Infection game mode from other FPS games, with a team made up of monsters that have to convert human players by killing them. There are several spots on the map that are easy to abuse, either by giving human players a huge advantage or by making it easy for griefers to block paths, locking players in rooms and stalling the game. There’s a Battle Pass and a store where players can get real world money if they enjoy CrossfireX, but otherwise, there’s not much else to report about the game. It does what every other FPS does, but worse. One might say that being free-to-play means that players shouldn’t care too much about quality, but CrossfireX makes no argument why anyone should spend their time with the game compared to many higher-end quality free-to-play FPS games available on Xbox. Smilegate itself has admitted that CrossfireX has major problems and seems committed to improving the game going forward. Making matches has worked well in our time with the game so far, but the content, controls, and pretty much everything else needs a major facelift. As for the campaign, anyone who sees the Remedy Entertainment logo and thinks that’s a testament to the quality of the single-player mode will be disappointed. CrossfireX is available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Today Technology was provided an Xbox Series X code for this review.