Published on January 27th, 2016 | by Drake0
First Look – Squad
Squad is a tactical FPS that aims to have players rely on teamwork and cooperation to be successful. Currently in development by Offworld Industries, many members of the team that brought the Project Reality Mod to life in Battlefield 2 and ARMA are working to create the perfect combination of a fun arcade shooter and realistic military sim.
The game itself boasts visuals similar to ARMA including expansive, open maps with various objective points to defend or capture with your team, which can have as many as 50 people on either side. In the true spirit of a realistic military sim, communication and teamwork are the only two things you should be focusing on while playing. Not only can your team openly communicate with one another over voice, but each squad has their own dedicated voice channel, in addition to a 3rd channel exclusively for squad leaders. Communication is the most vital element of this game, as the extreme darkness on a nighttime map, thick foliage, or lack of a map on the game’s HUD can mean a swift death from an unseen enemy, as it only takes 1-3 bullets to secure a kill.
The amount of weaponry and equipment available is sparse, but to be expected from a game still in its alpha infancy. The majority of players will be playing infantry with assault rifles offering iron sights for aiming and generous kickback, making ‘spraying and praying’ quite difficult to pull off. Smoke grenades are invaluable for obscuring a large range of vision and repositioning as your team attempts to keep their movements unseen and avoid getting picked off by an enemy sniper. You can dig cover with a military spade or run around healing teammates as a medic. Vehicles are on the near horizon, according to developers, and one can only hope base building is to come soon after
There are currently over 250 active servers for Squad, however at this point a full 100-man server has yet to be seen, and the drop-off in the number of players on a given server is immense, going from numerous full/near-full servers to a scattering of 5-10 and down to zero. While military sims are popular over in Europe, this also means that 60-70% of the current well-populated servers are EU-based. While this title’s community is currently small but extremely hardcore, newcomers to the alpha can be turned off before they’ve even loaded into a map, as the populated servers tend to stay maxed out on players with games lasting up to an hour. An extremely fun element within the game, however, is the role-playing that takes place over in-game voice channels. Be prepared for stern squad leaders barking orders while downed teammates call out for cover fire, medics, and their mothers.
If you’re looking for ‘just another shooter’ you can lose yourself in and rack up killstreaks, this is not the game for you. Squad’s goal is to be realistic and challenging, relying on real-time communication and collaboration in an effort to secure the enemy’s position and wipe out their attacking force. While the current state of the alpha is lacking in content and overall optimization, the team from Offworld Industries is set on creating a true, standalone spiritual successor to Project Reality, with additional content and many features to come in the near future.
To learn more about Squad and the team behind it, visit the game’s official site.
You can purchase Squad early access here on Steam.