Many games nowadays are searching for innovation; some through the game itself, introducing some brand new mechanic to change the way one plays, some through peripherals which are needed for the game to run, such as your skating/snowboarding games or an occasional steering wheel for a driving game. Door Kickers goes for the former, trying to innovate the shooter genre by introducing an element of strategy to the mix.
Simply put, Door Kickers is an overhead camera shooter, pitting your soldiers against terrorists who invaded a building, and you have to clean up the evildoers. The twist of the game is in the strategic element, in that one has to plan a lot and then just watch what happens. The beauty of strategic games like these is that failure is not really an irritating process but a learning one, in the sense that you always discover something which made you fail the attempt and thus act upon it to change the course next time around. It is a really good formula which is executed neatly and without too much complications. The gameplay in fact is really simple and one will have no problems getting the hang of things. Clicking and dragging the left mouse button will move the soldier, while dragging the right mouse button will control the aim of the soldier. Holding Control while moving the soldier will have him strafe for the length of the patch previously drawn, which could come in very handy when entering a huge area through a corridor. A right click on the soldier himself gives the player a set of actions to choose from, such as throwing a flash. There are also doors which have to be broken into to progress into the rooms. There are a series of options which one can do with doors, such as kick through them or blow them up with explosives, as well as throw a flashbang without entering the room.
The game also features a variety of weapons, starting your soldiers with the pistol and going further up as you progress, starting unlocks with the assault rifle. Weapon unlocks are shown to the user through cute little transitions when loading a level or returning to the mission selection screen. Door Kickers has an in depth progression system which goes directly with your performance in the levels played, and works as follows. The levels follow a three star reward, one for the bare minimum, which is killing all enemies, and three for killing the enemies while preventing friendly deaths and keeping within the maximum time allowed. The stars are then used to purchase upgrades for the soldiers, be it weapons, equipment, grenades and the like. There is also levelling up through experience gained when playing, which can then let the player spend skill points, acquired through progressing in levels, on perks.
There is a campaign mode which unlocks its first mission when you hit level 6, which means that for the time being you will learn the skills needed and practice quite a bit in the Single Mission mode. This mode gives the opportunity to play levels regardless of progress, thus enabling players to play the hardest levels on day 1. It is obviously out of reach but this freedom ensures that one does not bore himself completely doing easier levels but can jump right where the game gets hard.
Door Kickers also boasts a rich level creator, which as the name implies permits the creation of levels by the user. It contains an incredible number of items to select from and decorate the level, be it grass, lampposts or enemies, there is almost anything one can desire for level creation. Clearly there was a lot of work behind this, and not a simple decision to put in creation systems just to say that the game has one. It sets an example for other games with level design in them, and being an independently developed game further increases the extent to which this is true.
The game really feels that it could do multiplayer but given the nature and freedom of the player to tinker with the soldiers and turtle may result in unfair matches or games. The concept surely sounds good on paper, but one can only encourage developers in trying. Intensive testing will be a no-brainer if Killhouse Games decide to delve into making this idea a reality, which by the standards of the game may be a sweet one. Only time will tell if this could really be the start of a new multiplayer scene.
Door Kickers comprises a lot of things to attract a multitude of player base. Guns, strategy, door kicking, cool menu music, rpg-esque levelling systems, and three star levels. The game has it all. Even potential to do more. But judging on its merits alone and not on what it could be, Door Kickers is a brilliant game which delivers a lot more than one expects on face value.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.