I wrote a little about Special Forces: Team X some time last week, and from the screenshots and the trailer I thought this game was going to be awesome. It turns out my initial thoughts were right! This game IS awesome!
This game actually beat my expectations and it’s close to becoming one of my favourite games for the Xbox. Special Forces: Team X or STX is a third person shooter that takes the basic online multiplayer concept and turns it on it’s head. The games overall appearance has a Borderlands “comic book” feel to it, and makes it appear a little light hearted and a bit of fun, and that’s exactly what this game is.
With games like Battlefield and Call of Duty having such a cult following of more ‘serious’ gamers, its easy to be put off the online multiplayer within these games due to the seriousness and commitment people put into playing the game. If you’re more of a casual gamer you usually stick to the more “core” game types steering clear of hardcore game modes.
STX makes the multiplayer shooter genre fun again. I realised this as soon as I began playing and my guy’s head exploded from a head shot… And this was way before I discovered the game modes and all of the other unique features that this game has to offer.
So as I mentioned before, Special Forces: Team X is a third person shooter developed by Zombie Studios, (Atari and Microprose also have some involvement – publishing probably) the same people behind one of my favourite PC free-to-play games, Blacklight: Retribution. From the initial title screen and the class creation screen you can really see the familiarities between the two games; but other than that, STX is entirely a game of it’s own.
Customisation is the key in this game, not only do you have the option to customise your load out and your character, before you even join a game you have the option to choose between three map components. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Think about how you usually vote for your next map, well in this game the entire game map is separated into three sections and you can vote for each individual section to make an endless amount of map combinations. It’s actually a really refreshing feature, because you rarely ever come across three combinations that are the same.
Leveling up is just like any other online multiplayer game, but there’s a new feature which I think is fantastic and that’s the Team Up Bonuses. In STX you’re rewarded for being a part of a team. If three or more of your team are in close proximity, the bonus gauge goes up giving your team bonuses that you can’t achieve individually. A little like Kill Streak Rewards or Perks, the team bonuses help improve damage, or speed up running giving you the advantage over the other players.
Along with the usual array of weapons that you’d find in an online shooter, you’ve also got various randomly placed boxes that include powerful weapons you can’t include in your load out. In these boxes you’ll find things like a rocket launcher, a huge minigun, or a chainsaw. The chainsaw is one of my favourites due to the hilarity that ensues when you sprint. Instead of the usual sprint you’d expect when carrying a weapon, when the chainsaw is equipped your character goes all out pycho legging it around the map with the chainsaw held over his head, a little like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Another key factor to the game is getting cover. Unlike more popular online shooters, you can’t get away with popping out from around a corner to just jump back behind the wall unscathed. You HAVE to get behind cover in order to at least have a chance of survival. Most flat surfaces can be used, and with the use of the ‘A’ button (on Xbox) your character gets down and hugs the wall or crouches down behind a box. From here you can aim just as you would normally, but choose to either ‘hip fire’ without aiming, or coming out from cover to shoot more accurately. This type of game play makes for a more fun battle, because at times you could be faced with a few opposing players at the opposite end of the area under cover too creating a kind of movie style ‘pop up and shoot as they’re reloading’ effect.
There are five different game modes; Team Deathmatch, Control Point (essentially Domination), Capture the Flag, Hot Zone (similar to Hard Point in Black Ops 2), and High Value Target. High Value Target is the most interesting and unique game mode in this game. One player at the start of the game becomes the High Value Target. The HVT scores 5 points for every enemy killed, and players on his team score 2 points for each kill, all other enemy teams score 1 point per kill. If the HVT is killed, the player who killed him automatically becomes the HVT. The team with the most points at the end of the match wins.
Overall I absolutely love this game. It’s refreshing, fun, and at times challenging. My only bad points would be the ability to attach different sights to your gun. At first because of the third person nature of the game I thought it was purely cosmetic, but you’ll soon notice that once you add the red dot sight the reticle changes and you’re given a large circle with a small red dot in the middle. It does hinder your peripheral vision a little, but it is a little more accurate. Personally I’m not a fan, but others might think the opposite.
I’d definitely recommend getting this game, at only 1200MS Points (about £10) on Xbox Live Arcade or £11.99 for PC via Steam it’s well worth it!