Special Forces Team X is like the little brother of the big online first-person shooters that have recently hit the market such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty. Similar to very successful older brothers that have seen lots of success, the little brother will, unfortunately, forever be in the shadow and just not quite as good as the original. Yes, the little brother will try very hard, but it will just never get to the level that is expected of it.
Special Forces Team X is a first-person shooter that is online only and thrusts you immediately into the fray of online play. Unfortunately, the immediate action is just that, you are just as likely to spawn somewhere safe as you are to spawn somewhere dangerous, like in the crosshairs of an enemy. This is somewhat frustrating to say the least as you die and have no control over it.
To keep the analogy of the little brother going, there are also good points to the game if you are looking for them. This is especially true if you look at what the game is, instead of what the game isn’t. You start the game randomly assigned to a team and begin by choosing your load out as well as what weapons and armour you would like to use to wreak destruction on the world at large. Once this is done you can choose a map based on three templates. All the players involved vote on the map combination and the randomness of the scenery is my favourite part of the game. Whilst the randomness of the maps prevents the formulation of any kind of strategy, the uncertainty adds a great deal of excitement.
As you progress through the game, you earn experience and this allows you to earn better weaponry and other loot to make your playing experience more destructive. Some of the weapons are pretty spectacular but quite a few of them are pretty useless. Of course skill comes with practice and, eventually, you start losing the feeling that you are trying to destroy a tank with a few handfuls of confetti.
The game works well if you are willing to overlook some of the flaws and you can have quite a bit of fun – especially if you work nicely together with your team. Try play with a friend though because, as per a lot of online games, teamwork isn’t really high on the agenda for most online players who are just looking to achieve personal goals.
There are, unfortunately, a lot of flaws to Special Forces Team X. I think many people will have a problem with the randomness of the maps. The inability to structure your gameplay will most probably be frustrating to some. The spawning of your player is sometimes incredibly frustrating as previously discussed. Often you haven’t even got your bearings yet and you are already dead. The gameplay also leaves a bit to be desired, but I do think that this is something that can be overcome with a player willing to learn and adapt to the game.
I must admit that I did enjoy the frenetic pace of the game and the graphics which are somewhat cartoony. Instead of going for as lifelike as possible, the developers decided to make the avatars a bit more unreal. There is a definite cartoon or pop culture feel to the whole game which I quite enjoyed. The bloody violence definitely seemed quite real though, so be prepared for a bit of gore in your gaming.
Special Forces Team X must be considered in context of where it is in the online gaming world. This is not a mainstream, big budget box title and the gamer must realise that they are not going to enjoy the experience they may have come to expect from more expensive titles. This is just a hop-on, hop-off online shoot and destroy title that can be a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.
With this in mind I think the price of 1200 Microsoft Points (which works out to R155) is a bit too steep and I would have preferred to see it with an 800 Microsoft Points price tag. There is, however, obvious room for improvement and I think this is nicely catered for in the Arcade world where updates are so easy to release.
I enjoyed the freedom of being able to hop into Special Forces Team X and have fun for however long I wanted to without taking everything too seriously. There are some flaws that you must expect if you decide to buy the game but, as far as I am concerned, these can be overlooked in the pursuit of a bit of fun. The price is a bit steep for what you get, but for an experience similar to the much more mainstream online shooters it might be worth it. If you buy it, just know what you are signing up for and you’ll most probably have a good time.