When it comes to military based shooters, this current generation of systems has it covered to the tee no matter the style of gameplay or environment you want. From one to one engagements using diamond incrusted weaponry to perfect measurements required to achieve a game winning kill, it’s obvious that there isn’t a lack of variety in this vastly popular sub-genre. So where does Special Forces: Team X fit into this?
To begin with, Special Forces: Team X is a third-person shooter developed by Zombie Studios, best known for their work on the Blacklight series. The reason I begin on this is because it’s not common in today’s market for a tactical military game to be done from a third-person perspective, especially one that focuses more on the competitive side than that of single player; unlike say the recent Ghost Recon. Special Forces: Team X has no story or reason as to why you are engaging onto your enemy team, it’s a simple clear cut tactical military shooter with an objective everyone can understand: Win.
The tactical element grows more apparent as you dive deeper into the gameplay mechanics and the scoring system put into place, with the game providing you larger point bonuses for assists and grouping together with fellow team-mates than splitting apart and attempting the be the teams sole lone wolf. Character traits can be equipped that provide yourself and team mates small boosts when dealing with intense combat situations including a faster health generation rate or the ability to automatically locate mines placed on the ground. How you mix and match these with your friends could very well change one on one fire fights.
Visually Special Forces: Team X is something I have had many friends, players and even staff here at Parable Games discuss more than anything else; almost making it become a gaming equivalent of abstract art. Some prefer the cel-shaded art pallet, stating that it provides the game a unique look that also captures a more animated side to militarily shooters. Meanwhile others have said that it looks cheap and lazy, used to merely appear different from the rest of the market. However surely you would want your game to stand out from everything else on sale, proving that while not the most desired look for some; it is one that stands out the most.
If there is one thing Special Forces: Team X did get right and that is the sheer amount of customisable options that are available to the player the moment he or she starts the game up. From being able to tinker with the colour of your soldier’s attire, to the way he dresses and his load-outs available, it’s nice to be able to have your own fully customisable solider that you can invest into. However the customisation options do not end there! No, this game’s best customisable option comes with the maps. Yes, before each round begins players are able to vote for map parts that feature in-game; allowing you to shift and alternate the environments you play it per-game. Like a select structure to spawn in for Team-Death match? Vote for it and hope that the game various in your direction.
There are of course issues with the game, but they are more noticeable when moving around to get to combat. Sprinting at full speed results in the game swinging your camera about, while the automatically cover system likes to hurl you into any nearby walls as you attempt to escape from a nearby fire fight. The biggest issues come into play when trying to use some of the alternative scopes available for your weapons; sometimes resulting in delays to focus into spot as your camera tries to sway back into position after all your running. The in-game spawn system also has various bugs which can sometimes result in you spawning out of bounds or nowhere near your desired drop point.
Overall: Special Forces: Team X took aim at being different and managed to achieve so with ease with its unique art-style and map ration system put into place. Gameplay is solid with a good focus on teamwork over obtaining the top kill ratio in the server. Its only faults are that from which come within thanks to bugs that can result in players out of bounds, stats reset and a camera which fights you more than the enemy team.
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