Released in 2018 on PC, Door Kickers Action Squad is now available on current consoles. With side-scrolling 2D pixel-based SWAT style gameplay, this action game is best played co-op but offers some stiff and unfair challenges when played solo.
You can check out my stream of the original PC version HERE. Pretty much everything said in the PC coverage remains the same here with the console version.
The player is free to select a door kicker, each featuring strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of invading a building that has been taken hostage by terrorists. Missions can include a kill-them-all objective, or work to save as many hostages as possible. The better the performance, the more stars are awarded. Stars are used to unlock new perks to increase character development with meaningful upgrades. Luckily, the player has access to most stages at any given time so troubling encounters can be skipped for later. However, earning a three star rating is always challenging as it requires perfect performance. But in order to achieve that perfect performance, the player needs stars to buy better equipment. This is easier when playing co-op but carries a significantly stiffer challenge when playing solo. The grind is real.
Since there are several character types, outfitted with unique gear and abilities, there are many ways to approach each stage, encouraging multiple playthroughs. Newbies might start with the armored up tank character but pros or co-op players might want to go with a more speedy character with faster shots but less armor; strangely, jumping height and climbing speed do not vary between character classes. Unfortunately, there are some enemy placements that are totally unfair as they stand on ladders, forcing the player to take cheap damage. This would not be so much of a problem if vertical shooting was a thing but players are limited to left and right aiming only.
There is a lot to like with Door Kickers despite some balancing issues. The pixel art is great and filled with personality. There is a ton of content to enjoy, gameplay encourages experimentation, and co-op offers some compelling multiplayer. With just enough strategy to be more than a pure action game, this is one door to break down.
Also available on PC, PS4 and Switch.
Better Than: ESWAT: City Under Siege (Genesis)
Don’t Forget About: Rainbow 6 Rogue Spear multi-cart link mode on GBA
Also Try: John Wick Hex