X Squad is average in every sense of the word. It’s not terrible and it’s not great.
It’s a third-person shooter for the Playstation 2 thatX Squad is average in every sense of the word. It’s not terrible and it’s not great.
It’s a third-person shooter for the Playstation 2 that puts the player in control of a squad of four operators. You can issue commands to the other three members when they are present in the missions, though it’s surprisingly rare to have all four with you at once in the game. I never found a need to even bother giving them commands, especially in the later levels where they were incapacitated within the first few gun battles and I couldn’t use them anymore. Essentially you’re playing the game by yourself and sometimes if the AI Squad is around, they may shoot a few enemies for minimal damage.
The level designs are very repetitive in the missions, all of them boiling down to following some corridors, gun fight in large room, find switches to open doors, repeat until you reach the boss.
The story is extremely simple, borderlining on being unfinished. The cutscenes between the missions sometimes just sound like voice actors reading lines that could have been placed anywhere in the game and have no connection to what is actually going on. It’s all just a means to connect the levels together.
There is also a corner-peeking mechanic where you can lean out to shoot enemies, however, this quickly becomes useless because the more dangerous enemies carry grenade launchers and rockets which detonate when hitting the corner, resulting in damaging your character as well. I found it much easier to actually just run-and-gun and strafe into rooms holding the trigger down.
All this being said, it’s not a bad game at all. It’s actually a competent shooter with some unique mechanics (for its time, it was a PS2 launch title) in place to earn points in the missions and buy new weapons and gear between them, giving you a sense of accomplishment and choice. The game isn’t terribly long, clocking in around 4-5 hours but this is actually for the better, since as mentioned above, the levels aren’t very unique from each other and the length feels right in terms of not fatiguing the player with repetition.
The game can be difficult at certain points and feel a bit cheap when you turn corners to immediately get hit by rocket launchers but there is a decent Checkpoint system that doesn’t force to much backtracking and the enemies are very generous with ammo drops after being killed.
All in all, X Squad is a serviceable Playstation 2 game. It will likely be hard to try and play at this point if you’ve never spent any real time with a Playstation 2 and that era of gaming but for those who are looking to explore the catalogue of games and don’t mind the dated graphics, difficulty spikes and bland story, it’s worth a nostalgic visit.… Expand