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Have you ever wanted to experience, what being a soldier in the Army would be like?
Maybe you’ve talked to a currently serving or previously served relative or perhaps you take to YouTube to gain a documented taste, of what life may be like when defending ones homeland.
In games, shooters like Call Of Duty had been one of the first to explore this idea. Allowing the average citizen to experience what war may be like for soldiers and veterans on the front line.
However, these were not entirely accurate military simulations but rather fast-paced movie-like depictions of war.
Thankfully though in 2015 a modern shooter called Squad was introduced. Offering a huge 50 V 50 online multiplayer shooter, which to me feels like the most engaging and best realistic example to date.
Squaddies Reporting For Duty – Realistic Features
Offworld Industries (developers of Squad) have crafted a game which is both rich in approach and robust in features. The game is still in early access but I have never played something so strategic and fun in all my online gaming life.
When you first start up the Squad, you will be greeted with a rather blank introduction screen. (Which may confuse you at first), I recommend you navigate to the ‘training grounds’, to learn about the controls and roles of each class.
Classes include things like Squad leaders, Medics, Anti-Tank Infantry, Marksman’s and Basic Infantry. Each have a specific role to play and can be used effectively when coordinated in cohesion with the Squad leader.
- Squad Leaders are the meat pie for a successful team. There can be more than 6 leaders, all of which can command a ‘platoon’ or ‘unit’ of up to 8 other players (anyone can be this class). They can talk to other leaders, devise strategic plans before and during matches, bark orders to there unit, mark out different way points on the map, build bases/sandbags/weapon stations for other players to spawn in and help guide there team to victory.
- Medics help heal and revive downed players, there can only be a maximum of two per unit.
- Anti-Tank Infantry are equipped with an RPG which help take down enemy vehicles.
- Marksman have varying snipers depending on what faction or team you are playing on. They can pick off units from afar.
- Basic Infantry have standard rifles, grenades and help build structures for the Squad Leader.
- Their are also various land vehicles, with air vehicles expected to arrive later on.
That being said communication is vital if you are looking to have the most fun. You will interact, talk and build a connection with players on your team and unit. For example yesterday I was playing with Obama (not actually, this guy just put on a similar voice), who was my fellow medic. Together we saved screaming players on the front lines, who needed our help.
And that’s the one thing that really stands out in this game… The community.
I am yet to see a better multiplayer community than the one in Squad. Everyone role plays and sticks to the objectives; you even have ex-military soldiers playing, who use correct terminology and coordination’s. It’s an immersive experience like no other.
Above Video: Squad Leader Intense Base Building Gameplay.
Gamemodes Are Few But Many
In terms of maps there are currently 13 available. You may be thinking 50 V 50 is too many players but when you experience walking from your home base to a far-away destination, you would wish on seeing more. (They are massive in scope!)
Locations include the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Southern Asia. These all play a role in the factions played in a particular area. For example in the Middle East, you have ‘The Insurgency’ verse ‘The USA’.
In addition, there are 3 game modes which vary in certain objective-based ways. I’ve personally only played ‘Territory Control’ and ‘AAS’, which are two of the most popular modes.
Territory Control involves one defending and one attacking team. The attacking team starts with no flags and must capture the enemy teams flags in order but are only given a set reinforcement limit to do so. Defenders must hold each flag and stop the attacking teams advance, as they try to defend all areas. This was my favourite mode and reminds me of ‘rush’ from the Battlefield series.
AAS is your standard capture and hold territories, to bleed the opposing teams tickets dry (reinforcements). It’s similar to other games but you have to capture flags in a certain order, otherwise you can’t advance. This was kept fresh each game by the map sizes and dynamic gameplay, leading to new experiences.
Above Video: Squad Gamemode Showcase.
First Person Bugs – Mechanics
The controls on keyboard and mouse are quite complex. You’ll find that the learning curve takes a while to get used to and can be frustrating at times. Thankfully the developers have noticed this and added a display of the controls whenever you are loading into a match.
I also found myself having some problems with bugs or random disconnections when loading up the game. However, I didn’t experience any issues once I got into a match.
In addition to the controls, you will also face the in-game terminology. You should be able learn it fairly quickly the more you play though.
The first-person shooting is solid and feels realistic like it should. I had no issues here but just know that it’s not like Call Of Duty in any way!
An Unreal Engine Creation – Graphics & Sound
The graphics aren’t incredible in Squad but they are solid enough to pass for a beautiful creation. If you have a high-end PC, then you should be getting ready for an amazing experience because this game is really well optimized.
I have a somewhat low-end gaming Laptop and it runs everything on medium settings at a solid 30 FPS. That being said the minimum specifications include:
- OS: Windows 7 SP1 (x64)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K CPU.
- Memory: 4 GB RAM.
- Graphics: Geforce GTX 570 or AMD Radeon HD 7850.
- DirectX: Version 11.
- Network: Broadband Internet connection.
- Storage: 18 GB available space.
In terms of sound, get some quality headphones because the music and environmental sounds are incredible. You’ll even hear other players voices grow distant, when you start moving away from them.
Near hitting bullets fly past your ears, in a deafening whip like crack. Grass and leaves crack underneath your feet and dirt crunches beneath your toes. Sound is done so well in this game, that the immersion is always maintained.
Above Video: 4K High-End Graphical Settings.
Not For The Faint Of Heart
It is rather expensive at the moment on Steam. This is an early access game, so you might run into problems which I had not experienced.
That being said if you are looking for a hardcore, multiplayer-focused military shooter than this is your game. I have never played anything like this and I will continue to do so, hopefully for many more hours.
Therefore, my verdict is an 8/10. Noting that this will most likely change when the game fully releases.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
Have a great day guy’s and take care!