Special Forces: Team X
Developer: Zombie Studios
A PC code for Special Forces: Team X was supplied to us
A genre I don’t think there’s enough of on the PC is the third person shooter and I always get interested when I see one pop up. Special Forces: Team X is a fast paced shooter that’s fun when it works, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to be my “go-to” PC TPS.
The first thing you’ll likely notice is the customization screen. You have two load-outs you can pimp out with a solid variety of weapons, attachments, and clothing for your soldier. There are also active and passive skills you can equip that range from attack dogs you can sick on your opponents to buffs for you and your team. The amount of clothing for your soldiers in nice, but there isn’t much variety which leads to many of the characters ending up looking the same. I wish the clothing options had sillier things to compliment the very few silly moments the game has instead of all the typical generic soldier outfits.
The gameplay itself is tight and fast paced which is exactly what I want in my third person shooters. You can smoothly slide into cover, the shooting feels solid, and the cover controls work fine. My only issue is that if you try to move out of cover without pressing the cover button your character will move out but in a crouched position. It makes sense since it helps keep you in cover while not in cover but it’s a bit jarring at times since I’m sure most people aren’t used to this sort of thing. There are also power weapons scattered across the map that you’ll be able to grab to bring the pain to the other team with. You’ll find things like rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and an over-sized chainsaw to play with if you’re quick enough to get them; they’re all fun to use but the chainsaw wins simply because of its running animation.
There are five modes to play around in and while they aren’t new, they definitely work. There’s Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Control Point, Hot Zone, and High Value Target. They all play exactly how they sound with CP and HZ having slight differences from each other. Like I said, it isn’t anything new but they’re fun to play and they work which is important. I’d rather play through the same game modes I’ve played in dozens of other games and have it work than a fresh new game mode I’ve never seen before that plays like ass.
Something the game really encourages is teamwork with an XP multiplayer appearing next to your health and ammo bar. The closer you are to a teammate the higher the multiplier gets and it can go up to 4x if you stay together long enough. You can roll in the XP if you pick a spot with a buddy and defend it. During a CTF game I stayed defending the flag with another teammate and we held that spot for the entire game. The enemy team poured through the same area since it was the quickest path to our flag while our team covered the other side and by the end of the game we both went up a few levels. It’s the little details like this that really makes you wonder why AAA shooters don’t have something like this even when they claim to promote teamwork.
When you level up the game will tell you that you’ve unlocked something and it would’ve been really nice if it told you exactly what it was you unlocked. You always unlock one or two new items per level so that means you have to scroll through each category in the customization screen to look for what just opened up. There isn’t even a helpful indicator to let you know that there’s something new in the category you unlocked something in.
Something the game does that’s incredibly cool is how instead of voting for the next map when the match is over, you vote on how to customize the next map. Special Forces doesn’t have standalone maps that you can just hop into, they have pieces of maps and players decide what piece they want where. The actual map is split into three sections and you can decide what map “piece” you want in one of the three sections. There’s easily a few dozen combinations and even though I’ve played most of the areas already, things are still kept fresh since they’re not always in the same position or paired next to the same piece. There are nine total areas like junk yards, warehouses, boating docks, and construction yards to play in. I’d definitely like to see more areas added to the game and maybe add a bit more environmental variety instead of the industrial workplace theme all the maps have.
Unfortunantly the game does have some issues. First of all it’s seriously lacking in features and since this is a multiplayer only shooter that doesn’t seem to have much exposure, the online lobbies are sure to empty quick. It’s a mean thing to say but I’ve seen it happen all the time to these types of games and I wish developers realized this while making their games and tried to put in some worthwhile single-player mode for players who hope to continue playing the game or anyone who buys it months later.
The Steam page for the game also lists that it has co-op which is a clever half-truth. When people see the word co-op they expect to team up with other players to fight against AI bots; Zombie Studios is using the literal definition of co-op instead in that you’re cooperating with your team to fight other players. Technically (by definition) this is co-op, but people in gaming associate the word with things like horde mode or zombies in Call of Duty. It’s an easy to fix mistake but I’m sure there are many people out there who bought the game expecting the usual co-op game modes and were severely disappointed to find that there are none..
No game is without bugs but in a game as simple as this one it’s rife with bugs that just seem to show up constantly. You’ll see players killing you from really odd spots that really makes it seem like either they’re shooting through walls or the lag is that bad that they popped up behind you. A few times you’ll be standing behind a wall and the enemy player you’re looking at will somehow kill you from a different position as they suddenly appeared elsewhere. The AI for the dogs also seems really dodgy with them just sitting there most of the time instead of going where you commanded. There are also some display issues when using a controller. You’ll see keyboard commands instead of buttons randomly and it can be a bit jarring at times when you first start out. There’s also a lag/frame-rate issue which is the biggest problem with the game. You’ll see big drops at random points in the game and it’ll happen even when there isn’t much action happening on screen.
The graphics are solid enough and have a nice cell-shaded look to them. Getting your head blown off leads to a small fountain of blood to spill out and seeing players blown apart never gets old. I would’ve definitely liked to have a better soundtrack to compliment the fast paced combat and slightly goofy style the game has. On that note, I really wish the entire game went a little further with its humor because that really would’ve benefited the entire game.
The Final Word
Special Forces: Team X offers a fun shooter if you’ve got nothing much to play but a lack of features, an online community that’s likely to die out quick, and some technical issues stop this from being something better.
- MonsterVine Rating: 3 out of 5 – Average