Killsquad (PC) Early Access Thoughts
Decent co-op option
Multiple play-style options
Repetitive level design
Lack of narrative
There is just something satisfying about a classic dungeon crawl game. While it can be padded with storyline, enhanced by graphics, and complicated with unique mechanics, its core is always the same. Move from point A to point B in a limited field by removing all obstacles in your way. Killsquad merges this classic style with mission-based gameplay and a dystopian sci-fi theme, in an attempt to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
Players take on the role of one of four heroes, mercenaries really, who are hired to take on various deadly missions. These range from extermination to investigation and can be taken on either solo or as a team, but are standardly presented as missions too dirty and dangerous for standard law enforcement. Character builds are also designed to be playable as either solo or as part of a team and try to be more than just your classic warrior, ranger, rogue, and wizard archetypes. Gameplay then follows a cyclical format where completing successful missions awards money and supplies for better equipment, which then allows you to take on more difficult missions for even higher payouts that you then use to create better equipment.
In its attempt to balance solo-play with co-op play, Killsquad has created a challenging and fun experience. The usage of a dual leveling system allows users to customize their play-style based on the current mission, rather than a character archetype. This feature allows for an enjoyable experience without having to maintain two or more characters for different play types. Unfortunately, the system isn’t balanced and greatly favors co-op play. Solo players will find themselves having to grind the same low-level missions repeatedly before they can move up and with little characterization, no storyline, and no humor, many players will be left asking what’s the point.
Graphics and character design do an impressive job of supporting the dystopian sci-fi theme. Characters seem to walk the fine line of being recognizable yet futuristic with plenty of different weapon designs and color schemes to help distinguish your character from team-mates. The level design also does an excellent job of combining futuristic alien with deteriorated familiar, which is vital to the theme. Unfortunately, what the level design does not do is promote variety. You will find many a repetitive layout with only the bare minimum changed, or find yourself returning to the same map with a different objective. Also, the user interface feels sloppy, especially when using a controller. Several times when utilizing the menu, the cursor would wander across the screen for no reason or would require you to switch back to keyboard and mouse.
Ultimately Killsquad does a remarkable job of offering a different co-op experience. As it’s currently in early-access users can expect more content and a cleaner interface as time goes by. Players looking for something different to play with the squad should try this out. For those playing solo, you may want to hold off until content has been updated with more variety.
This is still an Early Access title so we cannot give it a final score. However, if we had to score it right now, it would be a 6.5/10.