Crytek's free-to-play face-shooter Warface [official site] is off to the city of Pripyat within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone later this year. Is Warface (WARFACE WARFACE WARFACE etc.) any good? Dunno. Am I keen to see this? Oh yes. I always enjoy video games travelling to that spooky abandoned land, from Call of Duty 4's stealthy visit to the joys of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. Video game tourism is challenging when enemies are trying to shoot your face off, sure, but that's part of the satisfaction. Would a view from a mountaintop be the same without a climb? Doesn't a hike make the ruins you reach all the more delightful?
The visit to Pripyat will be one of Warface's 'Special Operation' cooperative missions. Crytek say they're sending us in "to reveal its dark (and darker!) secrets." They continue:
"In addition to new plot points, 'Pripyat' will include an entirely new set of enemies and bosses with uniquely refined combat styles for players to face off against, forcing them to hone their skills and teamwork."
Okay, but how much time will I have to simply wander and enjoy the sights? That's what really matters here. Sure, I could fire up S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but I quite like seeing different interpretations of the same actual real place. How video games understand places and what they prize as they reinterpret them is interesting. Process, differences, and artifice [artiface -ed.] become pleasingly clear when you see several people make ostensibly the same thing.
The Pripyat Special Operation is due to launch "later this year." I've looked into it and I believe I'll need to rank up a bit in Warface before I'm allowed to play this type of mission. Rats. Better get started on that.