Okay, so the first couple days that I played this game, I was totally ready to give it a real poopy score, because it felt so rushed. Every time I’d play the game, either I would be completely invincible, or some of the enemies would be or a combination of both. At one point, the monster that I needed to kill in order to finish the level couldn’t be harmed. It wasn’t some kind of special monster that needed a certain type of attack or anything either, because it was just a bigger version of a monster I’d already fought. I even fought a boss and got him all the way down to the last quarter of his health and he suddenly became invincible. Mind you, I’d have to close the game completely and re-open it to fix this, because simply quitting and starting a new level didn’t help.
All of these problems seem to have been fixed at this point in time, though I’ll keep playing to be sure.
The jist of Killsquad is that you get to pick from four characters and take on endless procedurally-generated missions. You can do this alone or with up to three other players, and some of the characters actually play off of others with buffs! I played through a series of missions pretty much by myself as I don’t really have any PC friends that I could play with. Any game, even a bad one is better with friends though, so let’s talk about how this game stands up without a friend around.
The gameplay loop is fairly simple, you pick a character that suits your playstyle, you pick a mission within your level range, level up, get new stuff, and repeat. The game doesn’t really have a story to boast about at all, it just starts up in a lobby and you pick randomly-generated missions. I think this is somewhat of a detriment to the game, because there’s no world-building, I couldn’t care less about the characters or world. Some stuff looks pretty cool, but aside from that, it’s just sort-of a bunch of bland sci-fi creatures you’ve seen a hundred times. Some of the level types like the factory is somewhat poorly crafted, because of the multiple tiers to some of the areas. Sometimes the top floor gets in the way of the camera when you’re on a lower level, completely obscuring your view. For some reason, those upper levels don’t turn opaque or disappear, and it’s pretty annoying, especially if you’re swarmed by enemies that do a lot of damage.
The gameplay, I would say, is where the game shines, because it reminds me a lot of Diablo III with rogue-like elements. You have an overall level that increases by playing the game, but you’ve also got levels that increase during each mission, allowing you to upgrade yourself for that level. One mission you could spread your skill points evenly across a bunch of skills, or focus heavily on just one to do massive amounts of damage. You can also upgrade and purchase passive skills and items throughout each level, like a knockback attack that blows all enemies away from you.
The mission variety is pretty standard stuff, and the majority of the ones that I played were killing a boss at the end of a level or activating “x” things. All of the characters have pretty unique playstyles, which is pretty important given that there’s only four of them. My favorite one was the katana-wielding lady who creates giant sword beams and can dash through enemies. There’s a hammer-wielding fellow who just straight-up has a Jason Voorhees Hockey mask on, a healer with a laser rifle, and a pistolero that wields gravity grenades. I should add that the healer guy with a laser rifle looks EXACTLY like and Exo from Destiny. I don’t know much about copyright laws but I’m sure that’s probably fine.
The gameplay is fun, and I’d like to play with a group sometime, but I can’t see how this game would have much longevity. I think the max level in the game was 130 and I was struggling to get any of my characters over level 15, it got so repetitive by that point. You do get different weapons and equipment that help you do more damage and give passive abilities, some of which are pretty cool! This game just has no pizzazz though, it’s so un-memorable, it needs a kooky plot or a memorable bad guy or some witty dialogue/banter or just something, it’s got nothing like that! It’s structurally sound, but so is a porta-potty, that doesn’t make it beautiful or a fun place to be for more than a little bit. I’m not giving it a score, this isn’t a review, only a preview, and I really wanna play it more! It’s in Early Access right now, and time will only tell if and when it gets a full release. I think it’s got something going, it just needs to be a lot more pretty… and more than just completely average.
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