KILLSQUAD is a cooperative combat game where the players take on the role of Bounty Hunters who take on Contracts and then do their utmost to fulfil them.
Throughout the adventure the player/s can scroll up, down and around the map using the WASD keys, in fact a reasonably good tactic when faced with three or more enemy creatures is to use the A key and move backwards whilst targeting the oncoming enemies - and don't forget to dodge the occasional energy/fire ball they cough up at you (they can hurt, lots!).
Just a quick but essential note:
Some of the photos/screenshots on this page were found online because the 20+ [Prnt Scrn] jpg's I thought I had taken while playing all turned out to be blank black screens, nothing at all; weird! Thank you and credit to all who supplied them for use. There are a few I took with a camera aimed at the monitor screen, these are a little blurry I'm afraid.
This is a game that can be played and enjoyed just as much online or played (and enjoyed just as much) solo, using the predetermined characters, sometimes with just one character and sometimes with other character/s. As this is an 'early access' version of the game I have yet to discover what control the player has over the selection/choice of playable characters, though I would imagine there are provisions for this either within the game as it currently stands or as one of the updates that can be expected as the 'early' access gives way to 'full' access.
Players are offered the choice of Contracts via a visual series of screens cluing them up on the necessary information and subsequent rewards. Once the mission is chosen the screen quickly changes to the starting position of the adventure. WASD moves your character around the beautifully decorated screens, colourful plants, shining mountatins, waterfalls, insect swarms, lakes, bridges, safe passages and not-so-safe passages. Everything that moves, with the exception of any allies you have, is an enemy and will automatically attack, each with their own speciality combat abilities most of which are ranged rather than melee.
On your screen is a small, round, mini-map which shows you and your allies and the end monster. What I like a lot is that there are often two or three tracks you can take but whichever way you go, except backwards, the mini-map continues to direct you towards the mission's end. Going in different directions means that you may encounter a variation of more or less, similar or same, creatures before the major confrontation; however it doesn't mean you have completely free rein.
You can feel the tension change with the heat, cold and indifference of each and every location, the atmosphere truly oozes off the screen. Once it begins the combat is fierce and almost continual. One adversary soon turns into several while behind them you may find a heavyweight but this larger enemy is not always the Boss.
The characters move quite smoothly and running and shooting isn't too difficult, but as you have no camera angle control you cannot plan a route of retreat that doesn't include backing into walls and other obstructions that halt your movement and allow a swarm of creatures to surround you and prevent your escape. I would expect, at least hope, that camera angle control may be added to the game once it leaves 'early access'.
Defeated (deceased) creatures leave behind DNA strands which your character can collect by moving onto or through their neon blue twirls. At the end of your adventure the DNA strands collected are automatically converted into Credits that you can spend at the shop where ROBBIE STE3L will sell you various new items and upgrades. Always take the advantage that is the addition of new items and skills. Make sure your character has the best possible everything as soon as you can, collect everything that is dropped and open all chests that you can.
I have bought an item that added 1000 to my health but haven't located anything I can use as healing except the Green Crosses that float just off the ground at times few and far between. These do not autoheal until you 'open' them, running through them or stopping on them doesn't activate them, you have to manually 'take' them.
As you progress through the adventures you gain experience and as the correct amount of this is obtained you are given a note to let you know that pressing [F1] will take you to the screen where you can select a new ability from the choice offered to you. Going up levels (as role-players call gaining experience) seems to occur quite quickly but always with a bannered warning and the instruction to visit the skills page.
When you have these different new skills and abilities they, or at least their iconic symbols, appear on a bar along the bottom of the screen and given a number or letter for their activation. One problem I have encountered in combat encounters is that the action onscreen is so swift I often forget to use the special abilities, or when I do remember to use one I spend so long finding the correct key/s to press that I have taken my eyes off the centre-screen and the fighting has continued while I am trying to find the key that matches the special effect I wish to use - hastily adding here that this entirely my poor game management and memory and nothing to do with the actual game itself.
The players characters are Bounty Hunters zipping around the Galaxy from Planet to Planet taking on missions (contracts) that mainly seem to be for the good of the associated Planet, and yet none of the inhabitants of the planets for whom you are fighting are ever to be seen, nor, in most cases, are any of their homes, cities villages etc only the invading hordes of creatures.
There is luck, there are strategies and there are tactics. KILLSQUAD plays like a mixture of Sci-Fi Role-Playing, Animated-Action-Adventure and MMO. Whether more content is likely to be added or not, KILLSQUAD is an enjoyable rumble in the jungle that is the universe. A straightforward stress relieving shooter that really asks little more than you stay alive and shoot straight.