"Special Forces in What Way?"
Special Forces Team X is between a rock and a hard place, or better yet, somewhere between the Armed forces and a paintball league. The team-based third-person shooter is the definition of what average is, and although there a few nice ideas here, the overall execution of them isn't done well considering on which platforms the title was released.
Developed by Zombie Studios, Special Forces Team X is a multiplayer-only shooter that has most of the tropes of the genre, with the addition of a unique map system that allows players to vote on which combination of environments a level will be played in. Imagine the standard map voting system, but instead there are 3 chunks of a level being voted on. This allows for a number of unique maps, which will keep players on their toes, because every match will be played in a unique environment.
After choosing a map and starting an actual game, things begin to fall apart. For a game in its infancy, there is pretty much no one playing Special Forces Team X at the moment. When there finally is a game found, the net code is pretty unique, as in it has problems I have never encountered while playing an online game. One match had so much lag that it felt as if I was in a small area of invisible walls!
When the game finally works, there really isn't anything that sets it apart from anything available on the market right now. Unlocking the good abilities and weapons takes a long time and basically makes the game a grind fest, grinding to find the fun. There just isn't anything that makes players want to stay and not play anything more substantial. What frustrated me in particular was that out of the few character customization options available, the last character head out of four isn't unlocked until reaching level 29!
During my play time with Special Forces Team X there was nothing that really pulled me in and made me want to learn what the game was about, aside from maybe how a guy was using a rocket launcher in a game that feels more grounded in reality otherwise. Considering how few matches are available at any given time, the points given per match towards ranking up don't really have any sort of consistency or gauge as to how many matches it would take to rank up. This made getting any kind of real progress in a session impossible at times.
The one thing that separates Special Forces Team X from other games of the same ilk is its art style. Taking a cue from Borderlands, everything is cel-shaded, but unlike Borderlands, the backgrounds are drab and don't really look that different from each other. What looks nice at first starts to look like a graphics filter as time goes on and everything just starts to blend together; even the unique map selection can't help players feel as if they're playing the same map over and over.
As a title banking on its art style to carry it, Special Forces Team X’s veil can only carry it so far. The custom map system is a nice idea that doesn't have the heft to carry a game that relies on what boils down to grinding. Being a multiplayer-only title with a smaller audience so soon, and without the option to even play offline against bots, being able to even start a match in the near future in Special Forces Team X is a big question. Special Forces Team X isn't terrible by any means; it has simply arrived too late in the game to be so simple and straightforward.
GameDynamo's Score for Special Forces: Team X (X360)
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