A long time ago, in a country far away, there was a little boy playing Call of Duty 2. It was a great FPS, with an enjoyable single player campaign and awesome multiplayer. This game, and many other of its era, have provided years of joy to our little buddy. Then he grew up, and the FPS genre went down the shitter. Well, at least Black Squad is free, so let’s give it a try.
Initial Food for Thought
I was initially excited when I heard of Black Squad, since the name reminded me of Black – by far my most favorite single-player FPS game. Yet, to my disappointment I have later found out that this is just a coincidence. I am aware of my very sour tone when it comes to talking about modern FPS’s, so let me explain why I hold such a negative view of them. No agenda of the protagonist, weak guns, boring graphical design, horrible single player campaigns, boring map design, dull and repetitive gameplay and bad soundtracks. Yes, there are exceptions, I somewhat enjoyed CS:GO and Battlefield 2, as they both innovated the genre to some extent and thus there was at least something unique about them. Yet, both of these titles are also quite old by now, and only prove my point of the decline of the FPS genre over time. With all of this out of the way, let’s find out if Black Squad can impress me.
Lies and Deception
I’ll begin with the proposition that the free to play genre simply doesn’t work for FPS’s. Even though the game specifically promises “absolutely no pay to win”, it takes just a scroll down the steam page to find $100 worth of DLC packed with exclusive items, which are not just cosmetic.
So, after an exhausting rant we finally get to the gameplay. There is a reason why I dedicate only one paragraph to this topic – it’s ok… just ok, no more, no less. It attempts to create an amalgamation of CS:GO’s fast-paced combat and Call of Duty’s class and weapons system. It technically works, yet feels wrong – simply as a rip-off of both. It does not attempt to innovate, nor create a better product, it simply wants to appeal to the audiences of the aforementioned titles, pull them in as a free game, then get them frustrated since they cannot compete with their peers who have already paid to win, and thus, do the same. Other than that, the game plays it very safe. Everything is as you would expect it – The map design is very similar to CS:GO, the guns feel like confetti cannons and you can one-hit your enemies with your sniper rifle, even if aiming for the knee – typical FPS experience, right? To top it all off, the soundtrack is a generic unlicensed metal instrumental. It’s almost sad to see how hard the game tries. With that said, even though I give it hard time as a critic, the game is playable and If you enjoy latest COD’s, you will most likely enjoy Black Squad as well.