Door Kickers: Action Squad is developed by KillHouse Games and PixelShard and published by KillHouse Games. Door Kickers: Action Squad is an old-school 2D side-scroller where you take on the job of a member of a SWAT Team. You’re tasked with various missions across 6 episodes. As you emerge successful, whether it’s by eliminating hostiles or saving hostages, you’ll be able to grow your character into a tactical and lethal asset to your team.
Door Kickers: Action Squad is a more fun take on KillHouse Games’s more serious title of the same name, Door Kickers. Though it may be a more fun version, it doesn’t take away from the tactical aspects needed to be able to play this game. You will need to think about how to approach each mission across 3 game modes. There is Infinity Tower, a mode where you just go through continuous scenarios. There is Classic Mode, which has 84 missions to complete, each with a different scenario: Hostage Rescue, Eliminate the Hostiles, Bomb Defusal, and Arrest Warrant. Then there is Zombie Invasion Mode, which is just like Classic, except with zombies thrown in for more chaos.
As you complete each mission in Classic Mode you will earn stars, which are used to unlock gear and weapons. Also as you play, you earn experience points, which can be used to level up either their Team Skills or their Class Skills. Team Skills are universal across all members of the SWAT Team, whereas class skills are only for the class you currently have equipped.
Door Kickers: Action Squad has 6 playable classes: Assaulter, who is equipped with an SMG; Breacher, who packs a shotgun; Shield, who carries a ballistic shield and a pistol; Agent Fergie, who wields a pistol; Recon, who carries a suppressed SMG; and Off-Duty Guard, who is strapped with an assault rifle. Each class has their own selection of weapons and gear that is unlocked via stars. Stars are earned via completion of the mission, based on how you met the conditions in each level. For example, for a hostage rescue, did any hostages die while you were eliminating the hostiles in the room? If so, that will impact your star score.
There is a big tactical aspect to Door Kickers: Action Squad. You could simply charge into a room and start spraying and you may be successful, but if you’re not careful, you could easily place yourself in a very dire predicament and end up having to restart the level. As you play through the missions you will have a gauge in the top left corner with different items that can be earned on your missions.
This bar is called your Strategic Point (SP) Bar. This is filled up by killing hostiles for .5 SP or rescuing hostage for 1 SP. As the bar fills, you’re allowed to use any items or gear on that line, if you happen to fill it up, you gain access to your “Ultimate,” which has powerful effects from taking out multiple enemies to eating food from your wife for buffs.
However, if you happen to die before your SP bar fills up to grant you that unlock, you will fail the mission. Though you lose any stars you may have earned and all your SP gauge, you’re still rewarded experience points for any progress made prior to being felled. Experience points are given based on performance on the mission. It factors in kills, hostage saves, and/or completion of the primary task on that level. For instance, you do an Arrest Warrant, your main task is to find the boss, and take them alive.
While on this mission you will have hostiles and possible hostages as well, eliminating the hostiles and saving the hostages are bonus tasks and will award you more experience whether you’re killed in action or complete the mission. Once the experience bar fills up you will earn 2 skill points, which you can place into either Team Skills or Class Skills. Skill points are used prior to beginning a mission in the load-out screen, which is where you pick your class and set up your gear and Ultimate skill.
Honestly, there isn’t much of a story other than you simply just running one of the 4 mission types and earning stars. For a game like this though, it’s actually a positive thing because for a game that is meant to be played in a “pick up and play” fashion, bogging it down with story would lose some of the fun that the game carries with its simplicity.
Personally, this game was fun to play. It challenges the player to be more methodical the next time they approach the room they died in or to remember to check their SP Bar to see what they can use either before or after an encounter. This makes Door Kickers: Action Squad requires just as much tactical prowess as it’s more serious counterpart, Door Kickers, which was also developed by KillHouse Games.
Overall, Door Kickers: Action Squad was a fun experience. It’s something that can be played when in need of some quick chaos and a bit of challenge. The controls are simple, but it will take some time to master all 6 classes and utilize them to their full potential. Also, being able to partner up with a friend whether locally or online co-op to romp through the levels together can lead to some really crazy shenanigans and fun times. KillHouse Games was quite genius to make this game so simple, yet so hard.
If you would like to get in on the action, you can pick it up now on PC for $13.99. If you’re looking to snag it on console, it will be coming to the Xbox One and PS4 on October 24th, and to the Nintendo Switch on October 28th.
Door Kickers: Action Squad
- Rating - 8/108/10
Overall, Door Kickers: Action Squad was a fun experience. It’s something that can be played when in need of some quick chaos and a bit of challenge.