Door Kickers: Action Squad is what you get when you smash Rainbow Six Siege so hard with a SEGA Mega Drive that it turned into a 2D pixelated side-scrolling action shooter. In Door Kickers your mission is to smash through doors, eliminate bad guys, and rescue hostages in the most careless way possible (at least, that’s how we did it).
With a focus on co-op, Door Kickers: Action Squad has you teaming up with a friend to infiltrate enemy strongholds and shooting the shit out of everything in sight – even hostages. At first it’s a lot of fun and a bit stupid as you smash through doors and blast shotgun rounds all over the place, however, the game can become a little drawn out the longer you play. Which might be due to the “kick this door open, shoot this bad guy, rinse, repeat” formula.
With a three-star reward system per level, which when acquired allows players to upgrade their chosen character class with new weapons and gear, players are challenged to execute the mission perfectly. However, you can also ham-fist your way through the game with little care for the hostages or even your teammate. Sure, you miss out on a star, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter all that much.
One thing I found with Door Kickers: Action Squad was that, despite there being an insane amount of levels to complete, there was no real meaningful sense of progression. Sure, players earn skill points as they level up their chosen squad member, but even when maxing everything out, the upgrades are so minor, it hardly feels noticeable. The same with stars.
Unlocking new equipment felt more of a way to keep the gameplay fresh than actually adding a strategic edge to the game. While it was nice to acquire a new gun after grinding out a handful of missions, the gunplay itself felt very underwhelming, at least for the Assault character class – but this is likely due to Door Kickers almost being a parody of itself.
During play, you’ll be filling up a bar which allows you to bring in some additional perks to the game, such as equipment boxes, med kits, and even your character’s ultimate attack. This does become pretty useful as you find yourself entering a room full of bad guys with only a sliver of health. As for the ultimate attack, more often than not we found that you’ll have your ultimate by the end of the level, and it’s dramatic effects are usually wasted. Though maybe we’re just THAT skilled.
With Door Kickers: Action Squad there are likely going to be two types of players, those who just smash through the game blowing up everything in sight (my style of gameplay), and others who find the most efficient point of entry to ensure that they complete the mission in the most optimal way. Both are perfectly adequate ways to play the game, however, the first is way more fun, especially when I’m doing a Leroy Jenkins and storming through the place.
Another thing which became obvious Door Kickers: Action Squad was that it became very repetitive, something that I’m finding myself doing in this review, actually. There’s not a lot of game to actually talk about, but what there is, is a lot of the same in terms of mechanics. As I’ve mentioned, there’s some variation in the type of character that you choose, and the game slowly introduces you to new enemies which pose different challenges, but ultimately, you’re smashing in doors, shooting some bad guys, and saving some hostages.
Aside from the main campaign, Door Kickers: Action Squad offers a way for dedicated players to keep returning to the game in the form of Weekly Challenges. These challenges give players an objective outside of the usual routine such as “Complete in 3 minutes”, meaning players have to think fast, and carefully, in order to complete the mission.
Overall, Door Kickers: Action Squad is quite enjoyable but it does suffer from the repetitiveness of this type of gameplay. There are only so many locked doors with key cards or enemies with impossibly high powered weapons that can be added to keep the game fresh.
Fortunately, this is the sort of game you can jump in and out of pretty quickly which is perfect for those looking for a hot bit of action-packed gameplay – or something to do while you wait for the next round to start in Rainbow Six Siege after your untimely death from a team kill at the start of the round.