Review: Special Forces Team X

Special Forces Team X is a 3rd person action shooter which is totally based online from developers Zombie Studios, who have previously brought us games such as BlackLight. From the start it’s clear that this one is heavily influenced by games such as Call Of Duty and older games like Counter Strike. Special Forces Team X is an arcade title on XBL and will set you back 1,200 Microsoft Points. You will also notice that it uses the Unreal Engine, as most games do these days. One thing I would say is don’t let the relatively unheard name of the game put you off; for the cost of the game you get a lot for you credits.

Gameplay in Special Forces Team X is fun for those of us who have played Gears Of War and other similar games – you will see a lot of things used from those games, such as the cover system. You can duck behind stuff, shoot from cover with both aimed and also blind fire, and can dive from cover to cover which in a big fire fight adds to the chaos all around you.  You will also notice that the sprinting mechanic is also reminiscent from Gears Of War and Call Of Duty, but it really fits with this modern fighter game. As with most modern shooters XP is a big thing and it’s just the same in Special Forces Team X: you get XP after every match which will take you up levels, and as you reach the next level things become unlocked for you. From here you can then start modifying your loadout; there are some really good options in the loadout, one of my favourites comes under the gear option: the assault dog. This is a low level unlock and it gives you the ability to release 2 assault dogs which will attack the closest enemy. You can really build up some great tactics while you’re under attack with this bit of gear. And yet while I know the XP levelling system brings longevity to the game it’s also is very frustrating as well as you only have a set amount of weapons at the start and you have to play and play to get the good stuff unlocked, which is fine for some people, but also has the problem of people getting bored and abandoning the game, but that’s the risk you take with this style of game. I also found that using a headset can really make for some good tactical play as well, especially if you go on with a group of friends or you’re lucky enough to get a good group of people to play with. There are also a good select of game types as well to play such as capture the flag, protect the VIP and a few others which all add to the game longevity and keep you playing for that next level.

A snippet from the little-advertised "steal a pensioner's handbag" mode.
A snippet from the little-advertised “steal a pensioner’s handbag” mode.

One of the biggest things that stood out for me was the way you select the map to play, at the start of every match you all vote on part of the map you want to play, its a bit like a a fruit machine in terms of selecting which parts of the map you want in each window. The ones with the most votes wins and then that map is created. It’s a really refreshing way of doing things and can make for some interesting map creation, and as you can imagine there are many many many different combinations to be had with this way of doing things.

What’s also interesting is the style of graphics Zombie Studios went for: they decided it was time to crack open the cell shaded look, which looks good and gives you a cartoony look, but for me a game like this really did not need it and an option to turn it on and off would have been grand. The game still looks great, the weapons still look and sound how they should, but an option to switch between graphical styles would have been really nice.

Overall Special Forces Team X is a good game and if you’re in between games but still looking for that fast paced modern shooter I feel you really can’t go wrong here, its fun tactical and the map rotation will not get boring for while all in all and really good Xbox arcade title. Don’t expect a cheaper version of Gears or COD because you’ll be disappointed, but worth a punt if you’re after something a little different.

Reviewed on XBox 360

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