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Killsquad Early Access Preview

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 30 - 2019

Killing it with the squad on Early Access.

Novarama’s Killsquad launched on Steam Early Access just recently, giving mercenaries the chance to get in early on the ARPG action, kill loads of aliens and make a few credits along the way.


Being an Early Access title, Killsquad is unfinished and will likely change quite a lot through its journey. However, it has to be said that even at this early point, Killsquad is a pretty solid experience already. I have played my fair share of Early Access titles and rarely do they come across as polished as this. I just wanted to put that out there for those who shy away from Early Access titles for fear of getting something that is almost unplayable.

So, Killsquad is an isometric action RPG in which players choose one of four mercenaries and then take on contracts which will take them to various alien environments, preferably with three other players, and kill loads of stuff. Gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played an ARPG before, and so it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to work out what is going on and how to survive.

The four different mercenaries available will cover most play styles, with a couple of ranged warriors and a couple that are more suited to getting up close and personal with the aliens. They each have their own unique weapons and a couple of different abilities that will allow them to cut through the enemies, usually with plenty of on-screen pyrotechnics. Taking inspiration from another genre, at the beginning of each contract the mercenaries will start at level one and then level up through the course of the contract, unlocking new and more powerful abilities and attacks as they progress. Once the contract is finished, they will get their rewards and then drop back to level one for the next contract.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the mercenaries will remain the same as the player completes contracts. Each mercenary has a Vector score, which is something like an equipment level. This dictates the difficulty of contract that the mercenary is suitable for, and players can increase the Vector level of their favourite mercenary through either finding new equipment during a contract, or purchasing it from the store in the lobby. New weapons are available, alone with a couple of other equipment slots, and upgrading each of these will keep the mercenary getting more powerful and able to take on more difficult contracts, to earn more money and rewards. Rinse and repeat.

ks2 (Copy)

The contracts are relatively short, keeping the action moving at quite a frantic pace. Through the course of the contract, the player will find DNA which can be spent at a weird little robot store thing that will pop up during the level. These purchases are simple things like extra health and the like, and only last for the duration of the contract. Any unused DNA at the end of the contract will be converted to credits for use in the shop.

While it is possible to play Killsquad alone, it really isn’t very friendly to the single player. This is a co-op game, and as such makes it nice and easy to team up with friends or accept the help of strangers. I cannot emphasise enough how much more fun the game is with others. It may be that further down the line the developers will make the single player game a little more accessible, but at the moment it really is all about the team. One thing that makes Killsquad a great game to play with friends is the speed with which the player can get into the action. From starting the game to actually being in a game takes mere moments. It is quite impressive.

With impressive visuals and a cool soundtrack to accompany the intense gameplay, what more could the developers add to Killsquad? Well, there are improvements to be made, and the developers already have a road map up suggesting their plans for additional content alongside any fixes they need to make. The highlight will of course be the addition of new heroes along the way, which will give the game far more variety. However, progression needs to be made more interesting outside of the contracts, when it comes to increasing the Vector level, as right now it feels quite bland. The game is also very grindy, which could well put a lot of players off. But these are things that could, and likely will, be fixed through the course of Early Access.

ks1 (Copy)

Novarama’s Killsquad has a lot of potential and is already great fun to play. The developers seem to be very active and the road map for improvements suggests there is a lot more to come. For fans of co-op ARPGs, Killsquad is certainly one to keep an eye one.

Killsquad is currently available on Steam Early Access.


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