Warface, Crytek's free-to-play multiplayer FPS, launches on Steam

The free-to-play near-future military shooter Warface is by all accounts a decent game, if not a particularly noteworthy one. It's done well in Russia, but hasn't gained much traction in other parts of the world. Developer Crytek, which is rumored to be struggling with serious financial troubles , no doubt hopes that today's launch on Steam will turn the game's fortunes around.

Warface is a class-based shooter with a familiar premise: In the future, the most powerful military organizations in the world are under the control of massive corporations, and they don't always act in the best interests of humanity. You, naturally, must help bring these multinational conglomerates to heel as a rifleman, medic, engineer or sniper, fighting through multiple maps and game modes to earn in-game currency that can be spent on various sorts of weapons and equipment.

It's a fairly standard free-to-play formula, but Crytek is looking for big things from the move to the world's premier digital storefront. "Bringing Warface to Steam paves the way for a new audience to discover the game's engrossing cooperative and competitive action, completely for free," Franchise Director Hasit Zala said in a statement . "As well as putting the power of CryEngine to work, Warface draws on Crytek's FPS expertise to ensure players are immersed in the heat of battle."

Every studio wants its games to be hits but based on reports that surfaced in June, Crytek may be in serious need of big things from Warface: While it has repeatedly denied the reports, multiple sources have said that the studio has had difficulty paying employees in recent months. A rumor of a possible acquisition by World of Tanks studio Wargaming.net has also made the rounds, although Wargaming.net quickly denied that it was involved in any negotiations with Crytek.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.