I’ve written before about the promise of indie studios and their ability to provide a high-quality, unique product and to take risks that larger studios often won’t. However, with smaller budgets and smaller teams, it’s also much easier for them to fail. Fortunately, KillHouseGames does not fit into that category and, by the looks of it, neither will their upcoming sequel to the much-lauded Door Kickers.
Door Kickers 2-Task Force North is an old school style, top-down shooter, just like its predecessor, but this time rendered in 3D and with a plethora of exciting new content and dynamics. The gameplay is steeped in tactics and demands keen awareness and quick reactions. Missteps are punishing. Breaching a room or building, rescuing hostages, and taking down the bad guys are situations that must be analyzed, coordinated and executed properly in this action-oriented RTS.
This time around, instead of SWAT, players will take up the mantle of military special forces battling a terrorist network. That means non-lethal options like TASERS are gone and have been replaced with more destructive capabilities like frag grenades and the like. Playing as special operations also means new troop types, new weapons and equipment, as well as access to drones for reconnaissance or threat elimination. Another addition is the ability to strike at night, using the darkness as cover for a stealthy insertion.
KillHouse is promising a substantial amount of new content, the most exciting of which is probably cooperative multiplayer. The list just keeps growing. “And since you can never have too much content, the game comes with complete modding support, improved mission editor and partial source code access. Yes, we can; it’s our own custom built 3D engine. We’re cool, crazy, or most likely both.” Both, definitely both. Even after the obscene amount of new features being promised, there are still more. Some are “hush, hush” and have yet to be announced, according to KillHouse.
To balance out the much increased capabilities, KillHouse states on their site that “Extraction and Insertion now become equally critical, but so does telling the bad guys from bystanders and innocents.” But it doesn’t stop there. Suicide bombers, booby traps and RPG’s will make life much harder and proper coordination that much more critical to victory.
Based off the huge success of the first Door Kickers and how well it was received, the bar has been set pretty high for the sequel. And yet, I’m extremely confident that the next title in the series will equal or surpass the first in greatness. KillHouse may be a small team, with a small budget, but they absolutely know what they’re doing. Look for the Steam Early Access release in Q4 2016.