Early access has been getting some regular coverage lately here at Lazygamer.net. It’s a potentially dangerous thing which could see you spending money on a game which is either junk, or a game that may never see an official release if the developers hightail it. On the flipside, you get those developers who pour their souls into their work and their games genuinely evolve based on the feedback received from those gamers who pay upfront. I’ve spent some time with Door Kickers, an early access game on Steam, and it looks to be a solid investment.
The premise is fairly simple. You take control of a S.W.A.T team from a top down perspective, and your missions can be killing all hostiles, rescuing hostages, defusing a bomb, or preventing an execution. In my head, the game could be described as a real-time action strategy shooter… thing.
The missions I played through only allowed me access to a total of 4 team members at a time, sometimes entering from the same point, or other times opposite ends of the building. Some maps are flexible in that there are multiple entrances, so you can choose where exactly you want to breach, and with how many team members.
In this regard, the game reminded me strongly of Xcom. As you play the game, team members slowly get better based on their experience in the field. If they die though, well, lets just say that Marcin Mrowisky will never take down a terrorist again. It opens up some doors options with regards to how you wish to play. Do you send in a complete team of amateurs to gain some much-needed experience, or do you send in the veterans because the mission at hand is pretty darn challenging?
Gear can also be customised before the mission begins. There are various primary and secondary weapons to choose from. The player also needs to decide what armour will work best with the situation at hand, and what gadgets and gear will be most useful. These could be items such as flash bangs, or a spy camera for peeping through closed doors. Those who favour a more aggressive approach can instead opt for a breaching charge or stinger grenades.
Screenshots may lead you to believe that it is turned base, but that’s not really true. The game can be paused at anytime, purely for planning purposes. Other than that, it runs in real-time, allowing you to move your team members manually as you see fit. This is not recommended though, as planning actions instead will let you synchronise all movements, allowing for the perfect take downs and breaches.
The game is simple in concept, but it can be incredibly challenging. Each level has a 3 star rating. Stars are the currency used to upgrade your gear, so you obviously want the best rating possible. Grabbing two stars can be difficult, but grabbing all three stars is mind-boggling. There is a time to beat with each level, and you have to be incredibly fast to achieve it. For example, one level took me a long 07:39 to clear, where the time to beat was a measly 01:40. This is where the planning screen is useful, as time pauses while you strategize your next moves and queue up your squads actions. The levels are quite quick, so it can be addictive restarting and trying to receive all 3 stars.
I put together this YouTube video, so you can see just how the game works, and also how bad I am at it. Tactics? BAH!
Door Kickers is still in Beta, and its being developed by KillHouse. Early Access can be purchased on steam for $14.99. It looks promising, so I’m keen to see just how it will evolve as it heads towards the final product. Watch this video if you’d like to see how the game is meant to be played.
Last Updated: July 18, 2014