There is really only one way to describe Special Forces Team X; it’s just…well, special. And it’s not always in a good way. The intense third-person gunplay and customization will keep you involved, but the odd visual choice and conflicting tone in the minimal story makes it a bit of an oddball when compared to other competitive shooters out on the market
Special Forces Team X is a third-person, cover based shooter by Zombie Studios. The game lacks very little story other than it takes place in the near future where most combat situations are now resolved with special op teams from around the world. There really isn’t much distinction between the character models so you can’t really notice who exactly is fighting who in this “story”.
While the premise gives off a serious tone, the rest of the game’s qualities and mechanics can be called anything but serious. Your avatar can perform often humorous, sometimes even downright crude taunts. Think on the level of professional wrestling like the WWE. Yeah …things are real intense and harsh in the near future.
Even your weapons offer a zany and wild take on things. You can use chainsaws to butcher your enemies and there’s even attack dogs with sunglasses. Attack dogs. With sunglasses. These ideas aren’t bad for gameplay, in fact it kind makes the game unique when it comes to shooters. However, when you’re supposed to be dealing with a somewhat serious premise all of these wacky ideas conflict with the story.
STX takes on a cel-shaded visual style very similar to the Borderlands franchise. Instead of coming off as a creative take on its look, the cel-shading looks rushed and sloppy. Character models look bland with shades of grey and the detail is virtually gone from most of the game’s weapons. The cel-shading looks like a smeared on mess.
Environments can be mixed and matched through rotating between nine different section types of the three section arena , but since each one is voted on, the environment ends up looking the same industrial area you’ve played on before. Interesting concept, but it actually backfires, creating a lack of variety in style and look.
The one thing redeeming this game is it’s gameplay. It follows in the footsteps of Rockstar’s multiplayer in games like Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. Aiming involves an over the shoulder view and the simple press of the action button near potential cover will slam you against it. Pulling the left trigger allows for tighter fire, bumpers toss grenades and secondary weapons. It also features a Call of Duty style loadout option. You can customize your loadouts with new weapons as you level up. Essentially, STX has all of the shooter meat and potatoes you would expect.
The same can be said for the game types available. You have your team deathmatch, capture the flag and control point much like any other shooter. Some of the game’s unique modes, high value target and hot zone, are really nothing more than a juggernaut mode and king of the hill.
STX is certainly odd within the online competitive shooter line-up but even with its wild attitude, any fan of hardcore competitive team shooters should skip over this game. There isn’t anything new here other than a more wild and humorous attitude.
Even if you are looking for a new shooter to play you may only get a few worthwhile rounds out of it until you find yourself going back to those better titles.
Special Forces Team X is available on Xbox Live Arcade and PC