Games from a top-down perspective with role-playing elements are often compared to classics like Diablo. And while they borrow elements from it or take heavy inspiration from it, seldom do they emulate the level of quality or fun. As is the case with Killsquad on PlayStation 4, which is also available for Xbox One and PC. Multiplayer dungeon crawling and completing missions together sounds like a great time, but can be ruined by incredibly poor execution. And if that wasn’t bad enough, a slew of bugs and lackluster visuals can make a bad experience feel even worse.
Killsquad has you taking control of one of five characters, each with its own powers and abilities to fend off hordes of enemies. You have your range characters with projectiles and powerful abilities to keep a distance, as well as melee fighters that like to be hands-on. Regardless of who you choose to play, you’ll be running through levels to complete missions alone or with a squad of up to three other players. Outside of some abilities that separate each character, everyone will end up completing the same kind of objectives and find themselves in the same routine within levels.
The most annoying part of what you play in Killsquad comes from the overabundance of bugs and glitches. Every mission you drop into will suffer from things like texture pop-in, disappearing enemies, poor hit detection, and occasional control issues. Loading can also be a big issue when going from the menus into a mission, as well as different portions of missions that move you from one location to another. On missions with stone backgrounds or rocky environments, there’s a massive amount of texture pop-in that becomes ridiculous and very distracting. Running through a level when you have a large group of enemies pursuing you can lead to other technical issues all over the place. Making a concentrated effort to clear areas out can help alleviate this a bit, but playing a mission can quickly become not fun to play through.
Even the main menus of the game have issues going on. Moving the cursor around to make a selection can sporadically cause your character to rotate randomly, even when you’re not using the right stick to do so manually. Your character will just slowly begin to rotate as you move up and down to make selections. This happens a lot, even if you disconnect and resync your controller. It might be some sort of bug that causes this in the menus, but it’s present all the time and might cause other unknown issues during gameplay.
Speaking of which, fighting enemies can become monotonous very quickly. Depending on the level you enter, most enemies will look the same with little variation between them. Using your weapons can be done multiple ways, with either the right analog stick or face button to attack. Using the stick is often better so you can attack in all directions when you need to. While you gain experience for each kill you get, you level up your character to unlock your various abilities within the mission you’re on. You don’t automatically have access them from the start, you have to level up enough to unlock them for use. In concept, this sounds like a great idea, but in practice, it becomes more of a hindrance when you’re in combat. You can end up going through most of a mission without using some abilities that require you to be at higher levels.
Completing missions can grant skill points to your character, allowing you to unlock new active and passive abilities. You can also find various items and equipment in boxes or from fallen enemies. Equipping new weapons and items can grant different boosts, especially with elemental stats that can deal more damage to specific enemies. Not every bit of loot you find will be useful though, especially if you find yourself needing to replay missions over because of failure.
Killsquad has a big focus on cooperative multiplayer, which can be a major asset in most missions. Having a team with different characters will give everyone an edge against hordes of enemies that appear on missions, as well as boss battles against larger enemies. You’ll need to coordinate with friends to get a multiplayer game going, however, since there’s hardly anyone to match up with online. The game allows you to host or search for open games for specific missions. Unfortunately, you won’t have much luck trying to find others who are actively online, resulting in you needing to play missions on your own. While this could be an issue with the number of players actively online with Killsquad, the game also doesn’t have many options for setting up multiplayer sessions.
Killsquad has a lot of problems that make it hard to enjoy fully. While the concept of cooperative missions and loot sounds great, the many technical issues it suffers from overshadow everything. It’s hard to get together others for a multiplayer session, forcing you to play alone. By the time you get deep enough into Killsquad to really enjoy most of its aspects, you’ve already suffered through a bad experience that lasted way too long. Had most of these issues been ironed out beforehand, Killsquad would actually be an interesting game that some could enjoy. But as it is currently, it’s a real mess.
Have you gotten a chance to play Killsquad on any platform? Do you have a squad of friends to connect with for multiplayer games online? Let us know your thoughts about everything in the comments down below!
This game has a lot of technical issues that become a real problem. Texture pop-in, bugs and glitches during combat, as well as controller issues that occasionally happen. Combat can be interesting when everything works how they’re supposed to, with larger battles getting chaotic. Setting up multiplayer games can be difficult without much planning beforehand.
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