Special Forces: Team X is strictly an online multiplayer shooter. There's no storyline to speak of, and the game doesn't even feature a tutorial that will help ease you into the game while giving you some idea of why you're fighting. You can head into the options when first booting up the game to find information on how to play the five game modes featured in the game and get a controller layout, but you're pretty much on your own from there. Special Forces: Team X features your classic game modes such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, and it also has some more unique match types such as Control Point where teams fight for control of three areas of the map, Hot Zone that requires moving zones to be occupied for the most points and High Value Target where a designated player needs to be killed by the other team quickly. The game variants of Special Forces: Team X won't blow you away, but there are enough choices here to keep most gamers happy. This is also where you'll learn about the team mechanics that give you and your teammates statistical boosts for sticking close to one another during combat--a really interesting feature to say the least.
There are plenty of features that make Special Forces: Team X for the good and bad. The game features a running and cover system that anyone who has ever played the Gears of War series will instantly recognize, but unfortunately, the game doesn't control nearly as well as the game that inspired it. Movement is fast, and your character can run without need for stamina unless you're holding a flag, but you'll find yourself taking cover accidentally far too often, likely due to the fast pace of the game. The shooting mechanics of the game are fine, and you'll have plenty of weapons to choose from in your loadout including a primary weapon and secondary firearm. Other loadout options include the ability to change your character's appearance and his clothes, a couple of activated abilities such as more toughness or health regeneration, and you'll get two items to take into battle including flash grenades, frags and even attack dogs. You'll also find special weapon drops around the map such as air strikes and chain guns. While shooting enemies, you'll be able to tell how much bonus damage you're dealing to an enemy for sticking with your team by the numbers that pop up when you land a shot. Although you don't have many life points to begin with, it can still be frustrating to deal with enemies who like to hide behind cover, run out and execute you or your teammates from behind and quickly run away without taking any damage when being shot during the long execution animations.
When a match begins, you will be given the option of choosing three different parts of a map that will load during the game. This feature gives Special Forces: Team X more than 100 different map layouts and is a really cool feature we'd like to see other games implement in the future. The graphics of Special Forces: Team X are cel-shaded and look far more like a comic book than a realistic video game, so at least you won't have to turn away from the screen when an enemy lands a headshot on you and makes your face blow into a million pieces. Special Forces: Team X doesn't currently have a huge fan base yet, but match searches load quickly and allow you to easily get into games. Lag can be a problem in the game; there were several matches on Xbox LIVE where bullets would not land as they should, or even worse, we couldn't walk outside of the building we spawned in for several seconds, but the game remains lag free for most matches. Still, the game was an overall fun experience despite the few gripes we had with the game. With 40 levels of progression, lots of Player Missions that can be completed for bonus experience points and plenty of unlockable gear, Special Forces: Team X will easily give you your money's worth. Just make sure you bring friends!
Special Forces: Team X is now available for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PC and can be purchased for 1200 Microsoft Points or $14.99 respectively. Special Forces: Team X is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Special Forces: Team X website.
Developer: Zombie Studios
Platforms: Xbox LIVE Arcade (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: February 6, 2013