More positively, maps are dotted with platforms and routes that require one player to give another a leg-up, whereupon the second player will yank the first player up alongside him. Marked by blue silhouettes (other elevated paths can also be accessed on your lonesome), these allow the borderline sociable to get the drop on Xbox Live's seething horde of lone wolves, though it's also common to find yourself standing impatiently near a wall with your hands cupped, waiting for another player to take the hint and clamber over your head. For best results, bring an Xbox Live party. Or switch on your headset and bellow at people.
These co-op tricks are absent in regular deathmatch, which is absolutely dreadful. The maps are fairly intricate, with lots of cover spots, second storey rooms, penetrable cover and stairways to consider, but they're far too small to sustain any kind of battle tactics, which makes success a question of luck and bloody-mindedness. The spawning is also utterly dreadful, at the time of writing, with players often materialising in full view, or directly behind you a handful of seconds after you've left a spawning area. In a close-packed match on the Yard map, I quickly adopted the time-honoured practice of standing with my back to a wall, blasting other players full of buckshot the second they phased in. This isn't a very good way to make friends, as an angry Welshman subsequently informed me.
In a refreshing departure from the present norm, Warface's microtransaction systems are fairly unobtrusive, and it's possible to rack up credit for purchases fairly quickly if you're good - those who top the leaderboards get multipliers, for example. Purchasables include new guns, augmentations for those guns, body armour and consumable items such as grenades. I've never felt like I've had to buy something to make headway - the starting weapons are severely underpowered, yes, but the game's shots-per-kill ratio seems fairly low regardless of your preferred gun. Still, you're definitely going to have the edge if you shell out, and having to pay to rectify passive weapon deterioration feels a little bit cheap.
Warface's Crysis DNA should stand it in good stead, providing Crytek irons out all the latency issues and introduces some larger maps. While I struggle to imagine it becoming a breakout hit, it may be of interest to lapsed Call of Duty and Battlefield players or people who've played the latter to death, and fancy a very mild change of pace. It feels, however, very much like a game that relies on its business model to compensate for any drops in quality, which seems a troubling precedent for free-to-play on consoles at large. Hopefully, any profits Crytek recoups from the project will go towards the creation of a new TimeSplitters game at Crytek UK - a style of shooter that, unlike the Modern Warfare clone, firmly deserves a second lease of life.