Giant Enemy Crab
I remember a time back when Tom Clancy tactical shooter games used to be good. Back before the pink tiger stripe weapon skins and rainbow-colored tassels dangling off of rifles, with totally unrealistic combatants—you know, the silliness that Rainbow Six: Siege has become?
The first Rainbow Six games were incredible. They emphasized careful planning, communication, and tactical awareness once a mission kicked off. I’d say that 2008’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 was the last good tactical shooter running under the Tom Clancy license and probably one of the last good tactical shooters in general. Since then, there have only been a couple of games that have stood out in the genre, such as BlackFoot Studios’ Ground Branch.
Indie game developer, Giant Enemy Crab, looks to change that with their newly released (at least on Steam’s Early Access) game, Due Process. Described as a “PVP tactical FPS about PLANNING & EXECUTION,” Due Process features two teams that square off against each other over three maps. One team plays the attackers, which are sort of like Judge Dred-like cops, and the defenders seem to be some sort of urban insurgents. The attackers must infiltrate the building that lays in the middle of each map, while the defenders have to…you guessed it…defend the bomb.
Now, this may all sound familiar but the implementation here is quite different. Each team shares a common weapon’s locker that contains different kinds of guns and special devices. The thing is, if a player loses any of this equipment in the field, it’s gone. So, if someone on the attacking team gets a little too happy with a certain type of explosive in the first couple of rounds, for instance, the other team will know when they’re out of that ordinance. What’s also cool is that at the end of each round, you can pillage any weapons and equipment that were dropped by other players.
Therefore, as with any tactical shooter worth its spent shell casings, communication is key in Due Process. Not only do you have to coordinate what weapons and equipment each player will be taking for each round, but you’ll also have to discuss your planning phase.
One of the things that is really unique about Due Process is that the game’s maps are procedurally generated. The best of these maps are then curated by the developers and released in batches on a weekly basis. What this means is that unlike games like Rainbow Six: Siege, where players who have memorized every nook and cranny of its maps and know how to exploit them, Due Process has everyone on more or less equal footing.
What’s also cool about the maps in Due Process is that before each match, you get to see an overview of the map you’re about to play on. Not only that, but players on your team can draw on the map to indicate things such as where they’d like to toss flashbangs of smoke grenades, possible entry points, and so on. In other words, it harkens back to the good ol’ Rainbow Six days of yore, where strategy and tactics were king.
Unfortunately, Due Process’s maps are pretty small. There’s just a central building with about 5 or 6 rooms that must be infiltrated and that’s it. Also, the round timers are a little too short. A typical round will complete in all of 30 to 50 seconds since the maps are so small and the time limit is so severe. I really hope that the developers feature larger maps (possibly with multiple structures) and more time for players to execute their tactics, in the future. I don’t like feeling rushed when I’m trying to execute a carefully laid plan.
Visually, Due Process has some charming pixilated graphics that are unusual for a shooter. I really like the way that the characters are animated as well as the visuals of the buildings and their surroundings. Unfortunately, there are limited options for player movements, such as peeking around corners, etc. but maybe more options will be added in the future.
As it stands, Due Process is a breath of fresh air as far as tactical, competitive shooters go. It’s got fantastic visuals, fun, tactical gameplay with a friendly community, and a strategic planning layer that harkens back to when tactical shooters were actually tactical instead of fast-twitch-centric. I’ll be keeping my eye on this title.
Due Process has some pretty good 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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