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KillSquad (PS4) Review with Stream

Originally released on PC a couple years ago, KillSquad is now available on console complete with full multiplayer glory.  It is a top-down twin-stick shooter with RPG mechanics, a formula that isn’t used nearly enough in the modern gaming landscape.

All the gaming stereotypes are here: a handful of characters each with a unique set of abilities (tank, ranger, magic user, etc), you play in a broken post-apocalyptic world, and big skill trees and weapon drops ensure you keep coming back for more.  Basically, all the RPG elements and tropes you would expect are here and them some. But in this case, that is perfect okay because the twin-stickiness is so gosh darn fun. 

So what makes KillSquad, KillSquad? Besides the four-player online co-op support, the twin-stick mechanics are awesome. From procedurally generated levels, you play as mercs for hire and it is your job to kill the things that other galactic badasses couldn’t. Granted, the job postings are nothing special – go here and kill this bad guy usually – but the visual style changes from stage to stage and the difficulty can escalate in a moment’s notice. Stages can also carry a gimmick so it isn’t all just shooting, like dashing between safe zones as poisonous fog permeates from the ground.

The control scheme is a big part of the fun. Twin-stick controls are so easy to use, anyone can instantly grasp the concept. Then, mix in your basic dodge roll and special abilities on cool down timers assigned to each of the remaining buttons, and you have a recipe that is difficult to ruin.  Throw in a couple friends and don’t be surprised if hours sneak by. Accessibility is a strong taking point with this one and having all the super moves set to cool down timers means the game wants you to have fun, experiment, and kill everything without remorse.

Thankfully, it is possible to play and progress when playing solo; the difficulty isn’t impossible when venturing by yourself. At the same time, co-op is outfitted with drop in/out so partners can join mid-game which is a most welcomed quality of life feature. There are also many weapons to unlock and skill trees to grow but don’t need to mindlessly grind to access new stuff. This is a game that wants you to play, enjoy what you are playing, and experiment with the items you find along the way.

There are some noticeable blemishes, like the severe frame rate dips during the stage ending tally screen, the PC interface feels like Destiny which isn’t the best for console, and the text is impossible to read. Seriously, this game might have the smallest text in any game ever released. But since the action is high, you don’t need to read much anyway.

It is a $30 game but there is plenty of streamlined, accessible content here so the price tag is easily justified. Just try and convince a couple friends to get it too because co-op is undoubtedly the way to go.

Also Play: those twin-stick Lara Croft games (not to be confused with Tomb Raider games)

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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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