+ Level building mechanics
+ Team based
+ Interesting art style
- Limited innovation
- Lack of players
Final score: 6.5 / 10
Controller support: Yes
Minimum system requirements
Windows Vista or Windows 7
Dual Core processor
2 GB of RAM
256 MB DX9 Geforce 8xxx or Radeon HD2xxx graphics card
1 GB of free HD space
Broadband Internet connection
Recommended system requirements
Quad Core processor
4 GB of RAM
1GB DX10 graphics card
1 GB of HD space
Broadband Internet connection
Special Forces Team X is a third-person shooter developed by Zombie Studios, best known for their work on Blacklight, and published by Atari Inc., designed to appeal to those multiplayer-focused gamers who want a highly competitive environment complete with modular maps and with licensed weaponry.
The game is an interesting entry in the genre and its success could show that there’s a clear market for gamers who are bored with classic experiences in the same genre and would like to explore an alternative created by a smaller, more focused team.
Gamers can create a character, define a load-out and then jump into a number of game modes, all of them involving teams of players trying to achieve an objective and defeat their enemies.
The fiction of Special Forces Team X involves a future in which large scale military conflicts have mostly disappeared and countries are relying on smaller and more specialized forces to hit certain objectives, take out enemy leaders and secure vital areas.
The fiction behind the game does not influence the gameplay itself too much and it’s safe to say that any player will quickly and easily learn the core mechanics of Special Forces Team X.
There are five game modes that players can try out: Team Death Match, the basic experience, Control Points, based on locations, the traditional Capture the Flag, Hot Zone, a King of the Hill version that encourages team clustering and quick tactical moves, and High Value Target, which dishes out points based on enemies killed.
But before the match starts, gamers get a chance to actively shape the battlefield they will be fighting over by choosing three main templates to create a final map.
The mechanic is innovative and interesting because it guarantees an element of surprise and makes it harder for longtime players to get wins based purely on their experiences with Special Forces Team X.
Once a match starts, Special Forces Team X is a pretty standard third-person shooter, with solid use of the cover mechanics and fast movement essential to player survival.
The weapons themselves are meaty and do some serious damages, careful movement is highly encouraged and team play is very important to those who want to meet their objectives rather than simply rack up kills.
The biggest unique feature for Special Forces Team X is the team bonus, which is activated when gamers from the same faction stay together on the map, moving as a single unit and taking out enemies.
But it’s easy to forget about the advantage in the heat of battle and only rarely did players actually stay close and perform as a team in most of the games I have played.
Other interesting gameplay elements are the war dogs that gamers can use, although they have rarely made an appearance in the matches I have played.
It’s nice to see a developer focus on a few core mechanics and make them the center part of the experience, but some might find that the experience that Special Forces Team offers is a little barren when compared to the spectacle of bigger titles in the same genre.
Special Forces Team X has a very distinctive graphics style, blending the commitment to realism of the modern shooter genre with a comic book look.
Special Forces Team X is a very niche title, designed to appeal to those players who are really into shooters and would like an experience that has more depth than the blockbusters, without veering into simulation territory.
The game has some interesting ideas, from the way maps can be modified in order to suit the tastes of the involved players to the idea that teams work better when the players are close to each other.
Unfortunately, Special Forces Team X lacks the marketing punch of big shooters and that might mean that the project will never achieve the critical mass of players to sustain itself in the long term.