Door Kickers
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5.8
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Breaking and Entering

Door Kickers is a Real-Time tactics game that puts you in control of a SWAT team. The game is played from a top-down perspective and currently in this Alpha stage includes 29 levels and no other game modes. That's a lot of content when you think about it, especially with different tactics and difficulty settings, so you won't need to be asking for more for a long time.

Tactical games have always caught my eye, whatever the perspective, and I felt right at home and connected when in control of my squads. The numerous entry points to the key location and the multiple ways to open a door added variety, while splitting into two teams and entering opposite entry points simultaneously worked well and added options.

On each map, your squad's numbers vary from two to four, split on opposite sides of the area. You don't get to choose your exact starting point, but other than that the game is truly your choice. The mission starts in planning mode which is paused and you have full freedom to choose which squad member goes in first, or when it's the right time for backup. There are no action points to stop your play so it truly is a free choice. On the move, you can pause the game and re-position your team members with no penalty, or in real time if you feel skilled. This can be useful to get that quick edge on the tango hiding behind an object. Once all the enemies in an area are eliminated, the mission ends and you get a rating out of three stars; the faster you clear the area, the more stars you earn.

Easier said than done. One major thing you must keep in mind is that enemies spawn in different areas, in fiercer numbers or spread out tactically with each play. This adds massive replay value as the next time you boot up the game and play that mission the same way, your squad may be torn to shreds by one guy who wasn't there before. Now that may seem unfair to some, but you have tools like a spy camera to help with scouting for the guy who may not even be there the next time.

For breaching doors or just tossing around that sharp corner, you have flashbangs. You probably already know that their use is to daze and confuse your opponents. The system for lobbing the flashbangs is a bit wonky, as you can't curve the arc to get it perfectly around corners; you can only throw it straight and hope for the best. Most of the time it works for hallways and such, but it really shines when breaking through doors. You give one of your squad members a waypoint past the door you want to throw the flashbang, then right click the door and get a choice of three ways to enter. If you choose to flashbang, the character will throw it through the door and run in, incapacitating enemies within his view. You can also choose other ways of breaching; there's the regular way of just kicking down the door, and also some more options which I won't spoil.

Another tactical feature are 'Go codes'. These can be used to synchronize your squad when entering rooms. For example, if I give an order to one of my troopers to enter a room, then I tell him to wait for 'Go code Alpha' that means he will wait at that point until I say Alpha is clear to move. I can bind all members to Alpha and they'll all go together, or I could set one to be Alpha and another to be Bravo, who waits for Alpha to clear one part of the room and then comes in from behind if Alpha needs backup. These 'Go codes' are extremely fun to play with and very useful at times.

Your squad members come equipped with either a pistol or M4 Carbine. Because the pistol is smaller and lighter, these guys should go first around corners; the M4 troops are slower but have more firepower, so they can be used as backup for the lighter troops, or for breaching. Once again 'Go codes' are your friend in one of these scenarios. It's your free choice whether you want to use codes or just go in guns blazing. There's no right or wrong way, there's just death and lots of it.

A campaign and mission generator is in the works for the future, so expect even more re-playability and possibly a raise in price for release. Multiplayer is a possibility, but not in the near future. There are also some mods lying around here and there, nothing major as you would expect this early, but still some small adjustments.

Door Kickers is developed by KillHouse Games, and is currently on Steam Greenlight! Go vote for this awesome game to be on steam and support the indie devs by buying it! Even at this early stage, it is definitely worth it. If you're a fan of any tactical game, don't hesitate in picking this up.

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