Enemy Front Review

Futile uprising.

Enemy Front's loading screens depict fictionalized, up-close, and chaotic moments from various battles of World War II. As the camera slowly flies around these scenes frozen in time, you soak in the mayhem: a swarm of Nazis in aggressive poses, gunfire and muzzle flashes filling the screen, and emotional civilians running for cover. You're given the impression that Enemy Front's gameplay will let you experience these dynamic moments. Yet this is a glamorized, false impression, which is all the more unfortunate given that it has been a while since we've had a notable WWII first-person shooter (not counting Wolfenstein: The New Order). It's a bad sign when loading screens are the most eye-catching parts of a game.

At first, it's easy to go along with the premise of playing an American-journalist-turned-freedom-fighter named Robert Hawkins. He's a one-man army for only a handful of missions; the rest of the time, he's either partnered with an operative or part of a large squad. And while Enemy Front follows the location-hopping flow common in many shooters, Hawkins' European tour is a believable one because it doesn't shoehorn missions in Italy, North Africa, or anywhere east of Poland. One notable setting is a colorful, sun-drenched French countryside that echoes the opening scene from Inglourious Basterds.

Given that he's a reporter, it's puzzling and laughable that the delivery of Hawkins' radio-broadcasted motivational speeches during the Warsaw Uprising is painfully flat. This poor presentation is a missed opportunity that's meant to complement the story's nonlinear structure, which, by the way, could have benefited from further exposition and context for those unfamiliar with the uprising. Moreover, Hawkins' character development feels forced; he starts as an opportunistic, news-hungry reporter on the front lines and slowly realizes there are greater goals in this war than the next big scoop. When you have something as clear-cut as a tyrannical occupation, it's hard to believe Hawkins couldn't empathize with the resistance movement right from the start.

This is a first-person shooter set in Europe during World War II, so you get to kill lots and lots of Nazis. The anticipation of killing more Nazis in subsequent chapters is one of the very few factors motivating you to keep playing Enemy Front. The most satisfying kills involve the familiar FPS tactics: killing two foes with a single bullet, banking a grenade off a wall, and pulling off multiple kills with an explosive barrel. Developer City Interactive also assumes you have some interest in playing as a sniper, since Enemy Front uses the exact same aiming system as the developer's Sniper: Ghost Warrior series, so much so that this game could have easily been rebranded as a Ghost Warrior spin-off. Despite the game's "play as you like" marketing, using the sniper is almost always the best approach.

It takes little time to be convinced that City Interactive wanted to branch out beyond the orderly objectives and methodical linearity that define Sniper: Ghost Warrior. Enemy Front's early chapters provide scant glimpses of the more ambitious ideas the studio was going for. The ability to pick a mission of your choosing made me recall the hub design of the 2009 version of Wolfenstein. A few chapters later, you have the option to send a truck downhill toward an unsuspecting squad of Nazis. These unconventional sections are Enemy Front's most intriguing features, of which there are very few.

The wide-linear design of Enemy Front might feel inspired by Crysis 2 and Dishonored, yet its levels do not encourage the same degree of stimulating improvisation due to the lack of unpredictable enemy behavior. What made dying fun in Crysis 2 was that you got to try a different strategy with each retry, resulting in new enemy reactions each time. You are nearly deprived of that feeling in Enemy Front. Because of the game's poorly laid checkpoints, dying elicits a sense of frustration and boredom at the prospect of having to retread over half a mile's worth of leveled French villages. The thought of having to kill the same 20-plus Nazis a second or third time was so unappealing that I felt no guilt running past them after subsequent respawns. This says a lot since these aren't the smartest Nazis. Sure, they're consistently keen enough to spot you if you're out in the open too long, but once they're on alert, their movements are disappointingly predictable. If you don't want to leave any survivors, you can use the classic shooter exploit of funneling enemies toward you for easy pickings.

As much as Enemy Front also wants to cater to the stealth enthusiast, sneaking in this game is typically a cumbersome ordeal. A stealth kill is often useless since the drawn-out brutality of stabbing a downed Nazi three times is five seconds too long and leaves you open to detection. It's not as the studio intended, but you're better off approaching guards from the side since melee kills are instant and you get to avoid the stealth kill prompt. The contrast between the two methods is baffling.

The inclination to run past entire squads of Nazis is partially related to the game's lack of play-style incentives. Yes, many great shooters don't have progression rewards, but it doesn't feel like City Interactive tried to give you reasons to play one way over another. Even the Nazi Eagle collectibles scattered throughout Europe don't offer any tangible payoff, let alone any of the expository factoids that you usually get from these kinds of items.

Enemy Front isn't among the best-looking shooters out there, or the most memorable.

Enemy Front could still have been an appealing and straightforward Nazi whack-a-mole game if not for its hot mess of glitches and poor design choices. It greatly suffers from frequent split-second freezes, often during crucial moments, such as when you switch to your scope or perform a melee kill. When allies accidentally complete objectives for you (for example, killing key generals), these accomplishments do not count toward your progress. This locks you from advancing, forcing you to reload the last checkpoint.

Since the multiplayer lacks the background bedlam of planes flying by or mortar shells hitting every couple of seconds, it's unsurprising that it plays more fluidly than the campaign. While the modest selection of maps are sufficiently large and multileveled, the uninspired deathmatch and conquest modes offer nothing that you can't find in other shooters. It also doesn't help that weapons always respawn in the exact same locations. The fun is gone once everyone knows to make a break for the rocket-launching panzerschreck.

Enemy Front lands in that unfortunate middle area where its faults aren't bad enough to leave a painfully lasting negative impression, but its key moments are too generic to be memorable. At a party 10 years from now, I'll suddenly recall the V2 rocket sabotage mission or the Warsaw siege chapter, yet I will have forgotten what game these scenes were from. It will drive me mad for the rest of the night, since it's unlikely anyone will pop up and say, "You're thinking about Enemy Front." And even if someone did chime in with the correct answer, I might not be convinced it was that game. That's the impression Enemy Front makes.

The Good
You get to kill Nazis
Feels like a Sniper: Ghost Warrior spin-off
The Bad
Brief screen freezes at regular intervals
Poorly acted rebel protagonist
Disappointingly generic campaign
Underutilized wide-linear level design
5
Mediocre
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Due to his adult-onset appreciation for World War II history and the fact that there are few games that deal with the war's resistance movements, Miguel jumped at the chance to play through Enemy Front's campaign and multiplayer. He's currently considering washing down the experience by replaying Medal of Honor: Underground.

Discussion

33 comments
Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

Some gore and physics would of helped this game. Instead of seeing a red X when enemies are killed, they could have shown red wounds on enemies, blood spray, occasional gore, and good physics with enemies being blown back.

gunemdown5150
gunemdown5150

I just bought it for $15 on sale for PC and can say i have played worse games than this.

Overall it is not a bad game,looks good and has enough action. I like it more than the new sniper elite 3.

My biggest complaint is that my character will move on it's own?  this must be a CI thing because sniper ghost warrior 2 does the same thing. when you try to take a shot the character moves to the left and it makes you miss your shot.  this is obviously a big problem and keeping me from really enjoying the game.

But if it did not do that i would say this game is decent and playworthy

illage2
illage2

Gotta say this game is a technical nightmare on PS3 (and 360 too).  Not only does it has really bad frame rate, the game just looks plain awful throuought.  The crappy frame rate makes the game near unplayble at times, and because of it I've just given up playing it. The game doesn't even hit 30FPS FFS.


However the PC version is the opposite the frame rate is a lot better, it looks a lot better too.  

I think the issue isn't with the development team or studio, the issue is the CryEngine.  It has a history of being really badly optomised for consoles (Crysis 1 and Crysis 3), so as a bit of advice avoid all PS3/360 games that use the CryEngine as it just doesn't work well at all.

dutchgamer83
dutchgamer83

Ah yes the nice hypocrisy that is gamespot. Always the first to give a minor studio with a smaller budget a lower score where forgiving the big studios with huge budgets and huge development teams for making the exact same mistakes. 

Let's begin with what Gamespot finds good about this game:

"Feels like a Sniper: Ghost Warrior spin-off" I'm not sure how that is a good thing and adds to the score but okay. Yeah same studio who made both games. However they improved since Sniper Ghost Warrior. They actually made a better game and took a step in the better direction since that one. Where some big titles haven't changed a darn damn thing since many years ago. 

The things this game gets punished for. Now take into account that this can be true and if that makes the game less good it simply makes the game less good. However i cannot accept that Gamespot uses these things as a thing to give the game a lower score where their favorite game of all times Call of Duty does the exact same thing and never ever gets punished for it. 

 
"Disappointingly generic campaign" wauw, really? And why is this never costing CoD any points? If there is one game that shouts GENERIC its call of duty. My god those campaigns are as generic as you can get it. I'm pretty sure Activision can afford to pay better writers then the guys of this game could. Beside being generic doesn't have to be a bad thing. I watch generic action movies cause i don't always want a huge story going on and just want to eat popcorn and watch action. Same with games, if i want great stories i will play games that offer that. For a shooter i don't really need it. I mean the Modern Warfare 2 story was generic but i found it interesting enough to keep me playing. So why is being generic a problem with a lower budget game and not for a insane high budget game. Please explain gamespot, do enlighten us please.

Gamespot says that the AI in this game is bad. And it probably isn't the smartest out there. But is it worse then CoD's AI? I highly doubt that. CoD's AI is freaking linear. Redo parts of that game and watch the AI, it will always walk the same path when it attacks you. It doesn't actively seek cover, it just goes to cover cause they programmed the AI to go to a certain point and go into cover there. I again will point out that this game was made with a much lesser budget then CoD, yet the AI is at least the same as in CoD if not even smarter. Activision can afford hiring better AI programmers for their Developers, they just don't want too cause spending more money means that they get a slightly lesser profit on the insane profit they make each year. Yet this game gets punished for it and i never see Gamespot giving CoD minor points for bad AI or even mention it...so selective guys.

Apparently there are technical issues with this game. Could be and that should be mentioned and should cost a game points. If its broken its broken. But again CoD doesn't get punished for it. Remember Call of Duty ghost? Its was a piece of unoptimized garbage on the pc. Had Gamespot done a pc review then they would have know this and shouldn't have given CoD Ghost a 8 but a 4 at most. There was no excuse a 60 euro game was delivered in such a poor shape on the PC. Something that bothers me alot about GS to begin with, they do a Xbox review and and Playstation review, as if there is a huge difference between those two machines....THERE ISN'T...yet a seperate PC review is often no where to be found even when the difference between the console and the PC are huge. So PC gamers buy CoD ghost thinking it runs well cause on the console it was optimized enough but on the pc they where lazy and didn't want to spend extra money on it when they made a louzy port and your readers bought that. So in this game its a problem that should be addressed but in CoD its no problem and no warning given to your readers?


To end this i will say this. Enemy front is a cheap game to buy. Its 30 dollars or so. For the 30 dollars you get a okay shooter. Its not great, its not bad, its okay. Nothing wrong with being okay when the price isn't to high either. It does things right and it does things wrong. Call of Duty is a 60 euro costing game even on the pc (even though pc games normally would cost you 45 - 50 euro's at most). Its a generic okay game. There are many things wrong with it and some good things. However the game is overpriced for what it offers and expects you buy expensive mappacks as well for their limited multiplayer that they gave with the base game. A 5 might the right score for Enemy Front cause there are issues. Yet seeing that they are more harsh on this game then on CoD i would say CoD from now on should get a 4 cause you have to take in concideration how many people worked on the game and what the budgets are. Like it or no Gamespot but lesser budget means that there will be made sacrifices at times. Yeah there are enough low budget games that have no issues but even they score lower then the insane budget having CoD who should be punish harder then hard for asking so much money for a generic, low value offering game with bad AI and outdated graphics.....especially when you as so called "professional"  game press punish lesser budget having titles for those things.


Not gonna say you are bribed Gamespot, but it is about time you become a hell lot more consistent in your scores and when a game gets a low score and when not. These things are just causing many people to believe you favor certain big budget games over others as they always get away with a lot that is wrong with them. It's just impossible to explain why all these bad things in Enemy Front justify a low score when Call of Duty does the exact same bad things but have a bigger budget. Just saying Gamespot, don't be so selective in your punishments. Take things as budgets and price tag in concideration. I want to know what i get for my 60 euro's, and no CoD never gets cheaper, even during the steam summer sale with a discount i still paid the price i would pay for 90% of the new release games on steam....for a older version of CoD even. So be hard on them as well if you are hard on this game, atleast for 30 euro's i get a okay game, that isn't so bad as it doesn't cost me much, i can expect that for that ammount of money. For 60 euro's i expect a well polished game with many gameplay hours.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

That's too bad. I'd be up for a good WWII shooter.

hyfrin
hyfrin

I play on Enemy Front too and for me the worst thing on this game is AI. Graphics look exactly like they show on trailer and gameplay so I this don't disappointed me. I think big plus this game is storyline and soundtrack, I very like it. Maybe this game has advantages and disadvantages but I have a lot of good fun play on it.

volk036
volk036

Replying to Gamespot review image (about the looks of the game) : WTF ?! That's bullshit ! You're running it on the lowest graphic settings and on the lowest resolution -.- ... on my PC it looks BEAUTIFUL .. Run it on ultra and on your screen's exact resolution then come here and post images.. how misleading.. Check your pics before posting them, gamespot!

vad3r666
vad3r666

Okay. I played ... First impressions were further impressions, the game is as expected. story curious, here I can safely say I was not disappointed, because I was afraid it might be too pathetic .. Graphics has never been sensational, on any of the trailers, and here I admit that this is a big plus that I have not noticed any major bugs. good shooter in times of WWII. well I played, now I'm fighting with friends in multiplayer mode.

dottore-mabuse
dottore-mabuse

Probably the Best ww2 shooter out there.

/from the trench of Dr. Mabuse jr.

gsp0tmaster4u29
gsp0tmaster4u29

In about the author "He's currently considering washing down the experience by replaying Medal of Honor: Underground."  Epic right there.

DefconRave
DefconRave

1st WW2 FPS set in the Warsaw uprising to my knowledge. Also I watched Tb's 1st impressions and he said the guns were modeled accurately down to the reload animations and recoil. Add the more open levels and I'm probably gonna get it on sale.


(To Mods, my 1st comment is stuck in pending for some reason)

Shuda7
Shuda7

When can we write our own reviews? I've been meaning to do one but the site is telling me it isn't out yet.

vl4d_l3nin
vl4d_l3nin

Still gonna give this a try. I'm intrigued by the Northern European setting.

Plus, I don't mind Ghost Warrior

wolv25
wolv25

I don't know why this game have only 5. I give it a little more like 7 but this is only my opinion. Graphics is good, maybe AI is not ideal but storyline and soundtrack is good. I very like idea with opportunity to choose mission and weapon.

koospetoors
koospetoors

All in all, if interested in a WWII shooter, go for Red Orchestra 2.


This game was really, really mediocre. :/

epiccommando
epiccommando

it would have been better of the guy who made black was still involved. WHY DID HE HAVE TO LEAVE THE PROJECT?!??!?!?!

MrTakeda
MrTakeda

Didn't the video game industry leave WWII behind? I thought future warfare was the big thing now, after modern warfare had its day...

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Five is too generous. This game sucks bad. Don't bother with other weapons, the only way to hit enemies in this game is using the sniper. The aim is terrible and voice acting is laughable. Graphics are pretty underwhelming, considering it was made with Cry Engine.

bombjack2013
bombjack2013

I agree that the game is not perfect. I will not say is a little disappointed. In particular, number of enemies, you could see undeveloped areas. A bit of a shame. All in all, I played, I'll start again, this time on the expert. I will say this, suck no breaks off, but you can play, and in addition fun at the same time.

wolv25
wolv25

For me this game is not ideal but have something what encouraged me to but and play. Maybe this is WWII time. A lot of people tell me Enemy Front is not great game but I don't agree with them. For me all games has advantages and disadvantages. CI Games do good game in good price.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

"Disappointingly generic campaign" needs to be used in the "cons" list a lot more often in Gamespot reviews.

DarthSithari
DarthSithari

Well I liked it, it was a unique game, and quite possible the only WWII game that is set in Norway or Poland... that I personally now of or remember.

Shunten
Shunten

Medal of Honor: Underground was a fantastic game.


mattcake
mattcake

All the time, effort, money and people testing this game, and NOT ONE said "hey, why is a melee kill instant but a sneak kill, which you need to be fast, takes ages?" Pretty pathetic.

berserker66666
berserker66666

I'm gonna wait for Sniper Elite 3 which will come in 2 weeks.

Shuda7
Shuda7

Great review, perfectly sums up how I feel about the game. It's a shame it didn't try to polish up more of the gameplay features it advertises, a lot of the stuff is half baked or hardly worked.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

Excellent, excellent review, very detailed as well.  However, what's wrong with funneling enemies thru a bottleneck, sometimes you need that, such as trying to beat the later levels of Hitman: Absolution on Hard.  Without enemy bottlenecking many games would go unbeaten!  :)

Hey, you should do an updated review of Dark Souls as well, at least we'd get to hear from another person that doesn't like dying and then repeating the same sections over and over.

illage2
illage2

@dutchgamer83 The game on console is a technical mess.  The frame rate is that bad it makes the game near unplayable.

gamehell321
gamehell321

@DarthSithari Allied Assault and the Original MoH had Norway. and FH2 is working on a Polish/Warsaw map for the next update

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

@Shuda7 Shame, this game had a lot of potential. If only it lived up to that potential.


We could've had crysis sandbox gameplay in a WW2 setting in places we hadn't seen before in WW2 games, but unfortunately a lot of their great ideas because half baked in execution :(

FinchFinch
FinchFinch staff

@spacecadet25 Thanks for the reply, spacecade. I don't have a problem with funneling enemies, only that we've had a number of great shooters--1st person and 3rd person--in recent years with much smarter enemy AI behavior. I can't think of a game where I absolutely needed funneled enemies to pass a section. Great games that do not have funneling forces me to be creative, and thus, feels more rewarding.

I don't mind dying a lot if the game is well-made enough. In fact, I was the guy who video captured all the Dark Souls II video walkthrough clips for Gamespot.

Enemy Front More Info

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  • Coming Dec 31, 2015
    • PC
    • PS3
    • Xbox 360
    Enemy Front is a modern WW2 FPS where the player takes on the role of American war correspondent Robert Hawkins, as he fights -and covers -iconic missions from anti-Nazi Resistance operations in France, Nazi Germany, Norway, and Warsaw throughout WW2.
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    Average User RatingOut of 0 User Ratings
    Enemy Front has not been released yet!
    Developed by:
    CI Games
    Published by:
    CI Games
    Genres:
    First-Person, Action, Tactical, Shooter
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood, Strong Language, Violence