E3 2013 Preview: Takedown: Red Sabre brings back old school tactical shooting
Tactical shooters aren't seen all that often these days. Most FPS games are fast-paced affairs, and even titles such as Battlefield and Rainbow Six, which can be a bit slower in pace than the Call of Duty franchise, aren't as rooted in strategy as older PC entries in the genre. Takdown: Red Sabre is a highly tactical experience that harkens back to old school team-based shooting games. Currently in development by Serellan, the game is due out sometime in the fall for Steam and Xbox Live Arcade.
The core style of Takedown is based on the Rainbow Six series of old. The whole thing is quite methodical, and it has a strong emphasis on teamwork. Six players can team up against six others in competitive modes. I was told by Serellan that there would be a variety of modes come launch, but details on said modes are currently under wraps.
This game is a mission-based shooter with a strong emphasis on tactics. There are two to three objectives per map, stringing together a mix of primary and secondary missions. Successfully pulling off missions requires you to work cohesively with your teammates. I sat down to play a bit of Takedown, and our lead player constantly gave out verbal orders and explained what he was doing, what he was looking for, and where to watch out for enemy ambushes. When he spotted enemies, he would inform us to be careful and to shoot at the best possible moment.
There are no multiple chances in Takedown. If you get shot to death, that's it. You're done. There are no revives and teammates can't bring you back. In essence, getting reckless and dying prematurely means you've just made victory for your team a much more taxing ordeal. You need to make sure every shot counts, and if you sense too much danger, it's best to pick your spots and wait behind cover. If you try to go into this game guns blazing, chances are you'll be slaughtered before you can even make much of an impact.
It goes without saying that Takedown is a challenging game. If you dig shooters and you're interested in something a lot different from what's crowding the market these days, this could be a game worth checking out for you come launch. It should be stressed, however, that high reliance on pure classic tactical gameplay means you cannot play this like you would a Call of Duty or Battlefield title — this is a completely different type of game, and it'll kick your ass if you're not careful. That said, there's a method to the slow pace, and it's obvious that this is very much a niche game created for a specific shooter audience.
While there are minor story elements in Takedown, the majority of the focus has been placed on the gameplay experience. Serellan has been communicating with its audience, and it's been making sure to work on the things that the players really want to see. This includes adding more maps, additional modes, and improved visuals.
Serellan is currently close to the end of development with Takedown. If you were a fan of tactical FPS games back in the day, this upcoming endeavor will bring back memories of those late-night play sessions with your buddies. If you're looking for something different in a shooter, be aware that this game is unlike most offerings out today. You'll know for sure if Takedown is for you when the game launches later this year.
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