Squad (Alpha 15) Review – The Best Military-themed Shooter Gets Even Better

Squad (Alpha 15)
Offworld Industries

As some who logged thousands of hours on what I consider to be the best military-themed video game (and favorite game of all times to boot) I’ve ever played—Project Reality—I was sad to see it eventually die off. PR was actually a Battlefield 2 mod (the last great Battlefield game) and expanded the already large maps to gargantuan levels. It also added more classes, weapons, and factions.

When Squad first entered into Early Access on Steam, my old PR buddies and I swarmed to it like voracious vampire bats. It didn’t hurt that Squad was built from the ground up by a great band of game developers, including a core group of PR devs. Besides the updated graphics that Squad sports, it is similar to PR in many ways. Indeed, Squad has the same gigantic maps, multitude of classes, weapons, and factions (although not as many as PR…yet).

One of the most exciting additions to the PR formula has got to be its base-building, at least for me. Whereas in PR you’d merely stick a FOB (Forward Operating Base) down somewhere and call it a day, in Squad you can construct additional assets to your basic FOBs, such as multiple HESCOs, machine guns, etc. This really switches up the dynamics of each conflict because you never know where the enemy has built there FOBs during the opening period. Not only does this make things really unpredictable, the rush you feel when your squad has located an enemy FOB just can’t be matched, especially by some casual shooter like any of the recent Battlefield or Call of Duty titles.

With each update, Squad continues to define itself further as a gaming experience that skirts the line between casual, arcade shooters (BFs and CODs), and full-on military sims, such as Arma 3. If there was anything that I thought needed touching up, with regards to Squad’s gameplay, it would probably be its general gunplay. Whereas newer games such as Insurgency: Sandstorm have absolutely nailed the feeling of super-fluid gunplay and tense shootouts, Squad still feels like it lags behind in that department. However, Squad excels when it comes to everything else, such as teamwork, communication, and coordination.

Alpha 15 is the latest release update for Squad and it’s really something else. The devs have added a new Infantry Tutorial which is orientated at teaching new players the basics of the game. There’s also a new Interface Tutorial that teaches the Deployment interface in an easy-to-understand, first-time event capacity.

Those who are more into logistics can now load and unload supplies via a new Vehicle Interaction Radial Menu. This will allow you to load and unload supplies via a single common menu from any seat, or from outside of the vehicle. Multiple players can now unload their vehicles faster than if it was just one player. You won’t be able to load or unload supplies from a vehicle if it is moving. So, no more Left Clicking/Right Clicking for loading and unloading supplies (that was such a chore).

Alpha 15 has also added a whole slew of new layers to Squad’s wide range of maps. But probably the most exciting addition (at least for me) has to be the new BMP varieties. First up is the new BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This is the second-generation Russian IFV, succeeding the BMP-1. The BMP-2 operates with a three-man crew and can hold up to seven additional passengers. It’s armed with a devastating 30 mm auto-cannon that can utilize AP or HE ammo and fires 550 rounds per minute. It also sports a turret-mounted ATGM, so that it can challenge even tanks on the battlefield.

The second vehicle is the new BMP-1 ZU-23 Anti-Air Variant. This variation of the BMP-1 basically replaces the turret of the old version with a manually operated ZU-23 Anti-Air Autocannon. This weapon can absolutely shred infantry to ribbons.

With the new Alpha 15 update, Offworld Industries has shown that they are far from slowing down their development schedule. In fact, Squad is coming along very nicely as updates seem to be occurring more regularly. As it stands, Squad is definitely the best tactical shooter out there and a game that anyone who likes communication and teamwork shouldn’t pass up.

SCORE: 91%

Squad features some pretty nice looking graphics that make its tactical shooter gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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