Enemy Front Preview: Not exactly original, but open-ended action is a nice touch
Over the course of the last few years, Enemy Front has gone through some noticeable transformations. Developer CI Games went from creating a straightforward, trigger-happy corridor FPS to something a little more elaborate. The result is a game that's much more open-ended, both in its level design and in the way it lets you take on missions. No, this isn't the same Enemy Front that was originally going to be released, and after playing the game for myself, that's in no way a bad thing, even despite the fact that this FPS is still not exactly wholly unique.
The large size of the levels means you can approach each mission in different ways. Certain stages lean more toward a stealthier play style, but if you'd rather go in guns blazing, you can totally do that. Sure, that may not yield the best results, and the actual mission may end up being more difficult on account of your lack of finesse, but hey, it's up to you whether you want to shoot all the dudes and blow all the things up.
Yes, you can blow things up. Aside from the prototypical explosive barrels, there are also plenty of vehicles for you to play around with. Shooting trucks causes massive explosions, taking out any soldiers that may be near. When I checked out Enemy Front, the absolute coolest moment came when a bullet pierced right through an enemy's body and into the truck behind him, effectively filling the screen with fire and sharp metal. It was pretty badass.
You're not just relegated to shooting dudes, barrels, and trucks, though (even though shooting a soldier in the head and then watching that same bullet hit another enemy is undeniably rad). There are plenty of environmental features for you to mess around with. You can cause crates to fall on top of enemies, in the process taking them out and even eliminating potential ambush points. You can even set off unstable piles of logs and watch as they roll downhill into some unsuspecting soldiers.
As far as actual gunplay is concerned, you're not restricted here, either. If you prefer a quieter style (or if you think you're some sort of gun-toting ninja), you can sneak around, snipe enemies, and perform knife kills. You can utilize the bodies of your pathetic aggressors as human shields and then pick off others one by one. Hell, if you want to emulate a crazy action movie star and run-and-gun your way through a stage, the freedom to do so is there. As mentioned before, it's not always ideal, but it's your call either way.
Regardless of which approach you take, using your binoculars will definitely come in handy. This tool can be used to spot far-off enemies, which is great for planning out attack routes. Additionally, scoping out your targets adds them to the radar on your HUD, which allows you to see which direction they're facing and whether or not they're looking for you.
CI Games told me that the campaign of Enemy Front would last players roughly 10 hours. Aside from the single player mode, there's also a competitive multiplayer component. This online mode consists of deathmatch, six-on-six team deathmatch, and Freedom Fighter (capture the flag) modes. It's probably not the most original set of multiplayer options, nor is it likely to replace the much more well-known offerings in Call of Duty, Battlefield, and now Titanfall, but the multiplayer is there for players who want it.
Enemy Front runs on CryEngine and looks pretty good, though CI Games' decision to stick with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and not the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 is strange. Admittedly, even though there are some cool things about the game, it's part of a genre that's overflowing with established titles — not to mention the fact that devs may be slowly moving away from the whole military thing if Titanfall is any indication. In any case, if you dig FPS action with an open-ended touch, perhaps you should watch out for Enemy Front come June 14.
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