Special Forces: Team X was developed by Zombie Studios and published by Atari, Inc. It was released February 6, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
It’s been nearly three years since Zombie Studios’ last crack at an XBLA shooter, Blacklight: Tango Down, and in that time, they’ve cultivated a hard-core PC following with its free-to-play successor Blacklight: Retribution. Now heralding the return of Zombie’s shooter-centric capability to Xbox Live Arcade, Special Forces: Team X delivers a mostly satisfying multiplayer fix with enough style to overlook the one-note experience. STX isn’t targeted at the ultra-competitive; it’s designed around ease of use, accessibility, and plucking enough chords to resonate with everyone in some way, even if it never particularly excels at any one of them.
It’s impossible not to see the reflection of other titles in the glossy presentation of Special Forces: Team X. The lean character bodies and cel-shaded visuals immediately drum up thoughts of Borderlands, while the handling, cover-system and gun mechanics are unabashedly lifted from the Gears of War series. This isn’t a slight on the title, to the contrary, there’s an admirable confidence in the way Zombie Studios has surveyed the landscape, imitating proven success, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. The amalgamation of gaming’s giants makes for a beautiful creature both accessible and familiar, but there’s something missing behind the eyes, and it’s little more than the sum of its parts.
Following their bankruptcy filings in late January, game publishers THQ and Atari have recently seen several of their XBLA titles delisted from the Xbox Marketplace. The XBLA games in question can still be found on the Xbox Marketplace, but they can no longer be purchased. A total of four THQ-published XBLA games have been pulled:
The same fate has not yet befallen all of the defunct publisher’s Xbox Live Arcade games, though. Costume Quest, Elements of Destruction, Nexuiz, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, Rocket Riot, Stacking and Warhammer 40K: Kill Team are still available for purchase.
Only one Atari game is currently unavailable: Warlords, which was first released on Nov 14, 2012. Yar’s Revenge, which debuted on March 3, 2011, was temporarily taken down but has since burst back onto the scene, albeit at half of its former 800 MSP price tag. Haunted House, another Xbox Live Arcade game published by Atari, is also currently selling at half price (400 MSP). And finally The Undergarden is selling at 240 MSP which is 70% discount of its original price of 800 MSP.
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Warlords, the re-remake of the classic Atari mash-up between Breakout and Pong, invades XBLA today. In Warlords, players defend their castle walls from …
Announced mid-August, Special Forces Team X didn’t have any clear platforms listed out of the gate. This morning a listing snuck (sneaked?) onto Xbox.com, which with games like these usually indicates an Xbox Live Arcade release. If the gameplay looks mildly familiar, that’s because it’s Zombie Studios latest project. They’re the team behind Blacklight:Tango Down and its non-XBLA sequel Blacklight: Retribution. But Xbox Live Arcade has already seen its fair share of multiplayer shooters. Blacklight: Tango Down, Breach, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and most recently, Hybrid. What sets this apart?
Apart from its cel shading and third-person focus, Special Forces allows players to play dynamically generated levels. Each round players vote for one of a number of tile combinations for a given map. It’s like Halo‘s Forge maps, except as near as we can tell you don’t get the opportunity to customize the maps yourself. That may be a slight downer, but no other XBLA shooter has dynamic map generation, meaning that the replay value here is likely to be huge. Zombie Studios boasts over 100 different combinations between the game’s maps. Player characters can be customized, too. Weapons, appearance, player skills and taunts will all be at your leisure to modify.
Hit the jump for a general list of features and screenshots. Oh, and don’t worry about the CENSORED tags in the trailer. Zombie says they were just for fun. They won’t be in the game.
This new trailer shows what it takes to be a Warlord and achieve total supremacy. With castles, shields, minions, and fireballs, this Xbox Live Arcade update to Warlords is shaping up to be one heck of high speed intense game. We also have the new box art that was just released after the break.