Quick poll: who here likes games that have a variety of gameplay depth and a deep, engaging story? Now who here always skips the cutscenes to any game, even one as brilliant as Mass Effect for instance, and just wants to jump straight into the action, wanting nothing more than to blow a few heads off?
If you’re with the former, you will hate Special Forces Team X, as it is nothing more than shooting, shooting, and more shooting. If you are with the latter, then you will at least find some redeemable qualities with STX, but it’s clear that there is still a lot of work to be done.
STX adds some twists to the competitive multiplayer shooter formula by giving players some unique options during the pre-match. Rather than voting on different maps, players are given the option to pick specific sections of the map. The map is divided into thirds where you can pick a specific location for each third (warehouse, refinery, shipyard, etc).
The attempted variety is nice, but this is where the first problem rears its head. I use the word “variety” since it seems like you have a nice batch of different areas to choose from, but step back a tiny bit and you’ll quickly see that it’s not really as much variety as one might assume. All the areas pretty much look the same. The construction yard is the same as the shipyard, which is the same as the refinery. STX makes a huge error by making all the areas the same industrial type.
However, the opportunity exists for STX to add some more diverse locations. It would be nice to have a map consisting of one third a beach of sorts, the middle third a construction site, back by the final third of a more open junkyard or something along those lines, possibly even something with some trees just for additional variety.
[quote_right]The biggest problem I ran into was the gameplay itself. From the very beginning, even before ever pulling the trigger once, I was faced with a nearly insurmountable issue: no one was playing.[/quote_right]The biggest problem I ran into was the gameplay itself. From the very beginning, even before ever pulling the trigger once, I was faced with a nearly insurmountable issue: no one was playing. I have the PC version of STX, and I simply couldn’t find a match. Quick Match was out of the question; I kept getting dropped into empty servers, which was nice in terms of being able to stop and take a look around at the surroundings, but it made for a fairly boring “battle” experience. I can only blow up barrels and myself so many times.
On the rare occasion that I was able to get into a match, even more problems arose. First off, since there were so few people playing, the matches just weren’t exiting at all. It took forever just to run into someone else; it almost felt like a one on one match at times with two players trying to find each other in a large map.
Secondly, you would think with so few players playing at a given time, that it would be impossible to spawn right next to an opponent, right? WRONG. Most of my kills and deaths were a result of respawning right in the face of the enemy. Zoiks.
[quote_left]All criticism aside, there are some good things about this game. First off, I love the art design and the overall way this game looks. [/quote_left]All criticism aside, there are some good things about this game. First off, I love the art design and the overall way this game looks. It’s got a neat cel-shaded style that almost make the game seem like a Borderlands mod (minus the awesome PhysX of Borderlands 2, of course). The actual combat itself is also very satisfying. It’s hard to mess up “run and gun,” and at least STX delivers on that front (even though I was mostly shooting barrels and the odd enemy).
In a landscape completely dominated by multiplayer shooters, STX should have at least made some sort of impact. It has a decent basic concept, but it needed to do much more. It’s attempts at map variety are admirable, but ultimately fall short of delivering actual variety. It’s not a “horrible” game, and could actually end up being something fun once more people are playing, but until then, it pretty much just eats up hard drive space.