Making a multiplayer shooter is no easy task. Do it wrong and they can be one of the most frustrating, infuriating and painful experience a gamer will ever have with the end result normally being your TV having a controller impaled into it out of pure, unfathomable rage. Get it right on the other hand and they can be fun, exciting, heart pounding experiences which will make you want to go back again and again to satisfy the needs of your itchy trigger finger. The aspect that normally heavily influences what experience you have is balancing and unfortunately the experience you will have with Special Forces: Team X will fall into the former.
Special Forces: Team X is a third-person online only shooter with no single player training mode or tutorial, this means that you will be thrown right into the deep end the second you start. In terms of the control scheme, Gears of War players will feel most at home as the games mechanics are heavily influenced from that game from the sprint to the snap to cover.
Graphically the game looks very nice. From the first impressions, it looks very much like a third-person Borderlands in terms of its artistic styling with the gore levels being turned up to Team Fortress 2. An interesting concept is the maps are stuck together from three smaller maps that the players vote on before the match. This leads to many different possible combinations of maps.
Something Special Forces: Team X tries to push and emphasise is playing as a team. The teams are small and you are encouraged to work as a team with multiplier bonuses being applied if you stick together. This emphasis also makes it one of Special Forces downfalls. The “working together with strangers online” concept has been tried many times before with the likes of MAG, but what do they all have in common? None of them ever worked, and this falls among them. The simple fact here is working as a team seems more forced upon than optional and most players simply don’t like that.
Game modes vary from your usual affair such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, but there are also game modes like MVP where the aim is to kill the MVP to gain points. You will find a little bit more enjoyment from the team based games like Capture the Flag due to the games heavy emphasis on team based play.
The other downfall is what I mentioned earlier, balancing. This game is very unbalanced which makes playing the game more of a stressful experience rather than a fun one. It’s a multiplayer shooter that forces you to wade through the lower levels with bad equipment and being constantly slaughtered by the higher levels before deeming you worthy to get the decent gear. If anything, this is more a test of your patience. Spawn deaths are common and the classic “how the hell did I die? I put about 20 shots in him!” line will likely be exclaimed A LOT.
Special Forces: Team X is a good concept with good artistic styling. But this multiplayer falls short among many of the others simply down to the fact that it is no fun to play and will leave you more thirsty to shoot something than before you started.. If you have a bunch of friends that all coincidently decided to buy this then you’ll likely have a better experience. But if they haven’t then there are many better online shooters on the Xbox Live Marketplace that will give you a better and more enjoyable experience. Also the chances of you having to shell out for a new TV due to controller implement will be reduced by around 87%.