Special Forc……… – yes the title sounds rather ridiculous but Zombie Studio’s latest offering is no ordinary shooter. From the crew behind the Blacklight series, “Special Forces Team X” is a Third Person cover-based multiplayer shooter available on the Xbox Live Arcade and Steam. Yes, there are many shooters out there but sometimes one stands out from the crowd. This one may not re-invent the genre but it sure does provide plenty of hap-hazard fun.

Special Forces Team X or STX for short is a combination of Third Person Call of Duty style combat and a Gears of Wars cover system. Visually it’s a cell-shaded cartoony look which fits the movement the title is going for – it looks great and runs smooth.

This online multiplayer boasts the exact same gametypes you’ll find with any other popular shooter. The usual Team Deathmatch, Free for All, Capture the Flag or Points are all here. STX rewards you the most if you play as a team, so no lone wolf shenanigans here. In theory, it forces the players to work accordingly but without a proper in-built voice system – it makes it rather difficult to actually do any team work at all.

Being a cover-based title as well, STX proves difficult to control with it’s awkward transition into and out of cover. Getting stuck on walls, going over objects you don’t intend to and not going into the right cover messes up the experience. The bugs are aplenty and it dampens the overall outcome of firefights.

One unique point about STX is the modular style map system. Before every round, players in the lobby vote and decide on what the map should be before entering the game. It works in a three tile format where you can choose different type of pieces to make up a whole map. You can choose from indoor warehouses to open constructions yards so not all maps you play have the same layout. This spices up the matches all the time.

With the game based on XP, leveling up and customization play an important role with STX. You can customize your soldier with different clothing to make them look somewhat unique on the battlefield. By gaining XP, you can unlock better weapons on the field to improve your firepower.

Before you nose dive into this shooter, take note it’s purely an online based multiplayer with no option for any singleplayer madness – not even with bots. So finding games will be a key aspect and that’s where it falls. There’s barely anyone playing this title especially when there’s local servers. I must admit, it took me a fair while to get through enough of what title has to offer because of the lack of matches thus this review being a little late.

Special Forces Team X is a title that excels in playability. It’s fun to jump in and have a few matches. Unfortunately with the lack of patches and bug fixes, this game may throw a lot of people off after the first few matches. It requires some fixing before I even recommend people laying down a lump of cash – till then Special Forces Team X is Team No.

A PC review copy of Special Forces Team X is provided by Atari