Sometimes a game is so good, you don’t even need to play it to praise it. At least that's how the staff of China’s IT community portal (and general tech news hub) Yesky seems to feel about Crytek’s new free-to-play game Warface. According to Yesky's “2011 annual horizontal evaluation,” the game’s graphical fidelity makes it the most-anticipated online first-person shooter in China. The editors at Yesky have singled out this otherwise-unkown game for its visual effects, notably the flashy lighting, shading and motion blur, and have gone so far as to compare it favorably with the visually stunning (and decidely not free to play) Crysis 2.
Warface is being developed by Crytek Kiev, a subsidiary of Crytek proper. If that studio name sounds familiar, it's because Crytek are the creators of the award-winning Far Cry and Crysis, popular PC games with a distinct hyper-realistic visual style courtesy of the proprietary CryEngine game engine. Warface itself is built with CryEngine®3 tech as a military shooter set in the near future, and based on preview coverage it seems Warface players will be able to cooperate against AI in Player vs. Environment (PvE) situations, massive boss fights and competitive, fast-paced Player vs. Player (PvP) action. The base game is free, but we don't have any details yet on what players will be asked for. We do know that Warface players will have the ability to customize weapons in real time to adapt to changing battlefield conditions, so it seems likely that weapon and armor customization will be a service you'll need (and perhaps even want) to pay for.
To watch the trailer (and to see if you agree with assessments made by Yesky), check out the Warface website. While impressive visuals, customizable weapons and co-op/competitive FPS gameplay couched in the language of an MMO have built some hype for Warface, its success will ultimately come down to how players perceive its gameplay and the community that develops around it. We expect Warface to be released in North America later this year.