Special Forces: Team X

Special Forces: Team X is a third person shooter entirely based around online play with an emphasis on team play, and not a single original bone in its metaphorical body.  There’s only one thing in here you’ve not seen before and that’s the way the maps are put together.  Before a match begins players will vote on which three randomly generated (but pre-made) map pieces will make up the battlefield, giving Special Forces: Team X an enduring sense of being lost that never really goes away.  It can be a nice touch feeling the need to explore the maps anew every time you enter a new game but it also serves to heighten the advantage those who play more often have over those who simply can’t.  The very worst aspect of this system is that it serves to almost ensure that you’ll have no idea how to get back to where you just died, making it extremely difficult to get back and finish off an injured enemy or get the drop on a camper.

On the actual gameplay side of things we’re looking at a mixture of Gears of War’s cover-based shenanigans and Call of Duty’s run ‘n’ gun mentality.  You’ll sprint around the map searching for the first sign of an enemy at which point the doo-doo hits the fan and whoever has the fastest trigger finger wins. Rinse, repeat, rinse, and repeat again.  You can imagine it becomes pretty repetitive pretty quickly but thankfully Special Forces: Team X has a multitude of various modes for you to dive into that are all variants of the standard shooter modes like Capture the Flag and Control Point (King of the Hill).  These modes are where the game shines as teams are encouraged to work together through XP boosts players receive if they stick close to their team mates instead of going lone wolf and getting killed a lot.

This is where Special Forces: Team X’s gameplay seems to contradict itself as the game is clearly based around quick movement and furious gunfights, while the game rewards players for taking it slow and sticking together, like if Assassin’s Creed gave you points for not being a parkour master.  The control system and gunplay also tend to work against one another in this sense as you use the same stick to direct your character while sprinting as you do to aim your gun, meaning you’ll often catch sight of an enemy, hit the aim button, and instantly turn 45 degrees in the direction your character had been turning in.  This makes gunfights a lot more luck based than skill based and can get stupendously frustrating at times especially when the aiming system is unreliable at the best of times.  During my time with the game I’d often find myself emptying entire LMG clips at enemies and not scoring a single hit.

It seems to me that Special Forces: Team X is a game that makes a brave attempt at marrying gameplay styles that simply don’t match.  It desires to let players run ‘n’ gun C0D style, but tacks on Gears of War’s sticky cover system and over-the-shoulder aiming that’s more suited to slow moving enemies.  It’s not a bad game, and you can have fun with it, just think long and hard before you drop a tenner on it, especially with its online-only status and complete lack of marketing.


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