Most shooters with multiplayer capability do not place much emphasis on playing as a team. Sure, they may have game or map types meant to reinforce the importance of working together. They probably also give extra points in matches for accomplishing certain team-based feats like assisting in a kill, repairing a vehicle or helping a downed comrade. Still, for many of these games, the case can easily be made that they aren’t actually placing much emphasis on being a team player. Offworld Industries, staffed by many of those who pioneered the Battlefield 2 mod, Project Reality, aims to change that.
Anyone who’s played a multiplayer shooter before will have encountered that enemy player, the one who seems to be invincible, super human in both awareness and reflexes and who roams the map alone, on a continuously effortless kill streak. That player will not be making an appearance in Squad, a Kickstarter backed, Unreal Engine 4 powered, 50 vs 50 shooter that hit Steam’s Early Access yesterday. Guided by realism, this new title emphasizes two fundamental principles of teamwork above all: cooperation and coordination. So critical are these ideas that Offworld even went to the trouble of designing a special map specifically for players transitioning into the rigors of tactical, squad-based gameplay grounded in realism.
According to the game’s website “intuitive positional VOIP and navigation systems…” will allow squads and teams to communicate effectively while staying alert. Organization is key to victory as well, with “dedicated chain of command channels” and situations where it may be necessary to hold players back in support to perform rear echelon tasks like base building, repairing or defending.
At the moment, there are four factions which can be played in four unique game types. Conquest, not be confused with the classic Battlefield mode of the same name, is basically unconventional vs conventional warfare. Advance and Secure blends the logistics of base construction and supply with taking objectives; Insurgency gives armored units the task of locating and eliminating hidden caches of weapons. The final type, Territory Control, is pretty self-explanatory.
So far, the Steam user reviews of this game are looking good, despite the unimpressive graphics. If you’re interested, or just want an alternative to ARMA, it’s available on PC via Steam for $39.99.