Delta Squad Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One review of Delta Squad
Who doesn’t love an arcade style top-down shooter!? Chuck in zombies, turrets tanks and some tricky bosses and you have the solid foundations of a great game. The thing is, they are just foundations. To make a game really stand out you have to do more. Delta Squad to its credit does try to do more, although I can’t help but feel it needs more.
In terms of game-play basics, you go around completing objectives, choosing from a number of missions on the campaign map. The objectives are similar across each map, however the level designs are all unique. The graphics team have done well in creating 6 individual-feeling maps in a game that can get quickly repetitive. When it comes to characters in Delta Squad, you play one of four classes. You choose from a Medic, Heavy, Scout or Assault… common classes for any shooter game. Each class does come with their own perks, but also hindrances. A quick note to players, start with the heavy class as your defence boost will be key!
Completing each mission awards you points to boost your 3 stats, Defence, Power and Skill. Whilst I spent mine on defence first, you can optimise your character stats to your own play-style. Points are awarded based on your mission score, which players can improve by completing side objectives. Once you’ve completed all of the missions, any character will realistically be fully buffed. When you play the campaign, you’ll see that some missions are harder than others. Depending on the character you choose, you’ll find the games difficulty shifts considerably. The benefit to the campaign is that there is not a linear path, so you can play the missions in the order you prefer/find easiest.
The big thing to note here is that I reviewed Delta Squad playing single player. That is not how the developers want you to play this game! Marketed as a 4 player co-op game, it’s a shame I didn’t get to try this mode out! I can imagine between the 4 of you, there’s a very different game there. Whether the game buffs to ensure the same difficulty factor for more than one player I don’t know. However if it doesn’t, and there is 4 players spraying bullets everywhere, then I can see this game actually getting a little boring…
In terms of controls, there’s nothing unsurprising here. As with any other top-down shooter, you use one analogue stick to move, the other to aim, and various buttons to shoot and use your skills etc. The balancing of the aim stick can be better, as you will find there are times your character is not shooting anywhere near where you are pointing, but it’s not game-breaking just frustrating.
The same can be said for the visual and audio side of things. Visually, Delta Squad doesn’t try to be anything it is not or change the mould, and delivers a level of detail seen many times before. That doesn’t mean that it detracts from the game though! Like I said before, there has been a lot of care taken in the map designs. The audio however is a little dated, with a kind of crackly quality to it. Again though, this is a minor thing and something you’ll quickly completely ignore.
Delta Squad proves that Eskema Games have the potential to make great games! Like I said there is the foundations for a great game here, and it does have the beginnings of a game that stands out from the hundreds of similar games on the market. All it needs is a bit more of a unique personality. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed playing the game myself, which for a single player to really enjoy what is meant to be a co-op game that to me speaks very highly! The next exciting challenge for the developers is to come up with something that really encapsulates who they are!
Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code!