Many modern FPS titles contain the obligatory ‘breach’ scene. You know the one; you blow a door off its hinges and suddenly everything goes into slow motion. You scan the room, and as luck would have it, all of your enemies are right in front of you, ready for the picking. It’s flashy, it’s cinematic, but it’s not necessarily an accurate representation of real-life scenarios. Door Kickers seeks to take the concept a few steps further. Its entire premise is centred around breaching various environments, whether it be a small house or a fortified compound, and taking out every enemy combatant in the area. Visually, it doesn’t look flashy or cinematic, but it’s arguably far more realistic than many top-end FPS titles.
Presented from a bird’s-eye viewpoint, Door Kickers is a tactical game at heart. Each scenario is broken up into ‘planning’ and ‘live’ segments: the ‘planning’ phase essentially gives you the time and opportunity to lay out the groundwork for your operation. You deploy your squad at various entry points, then proceed to map out their route throughout the environment by either directly drawing on the Switch’s touch screen, or using the analogue stick. In addition to this, you can access items such as flashbang grenades via an inventory wheel, and you can plot out the direction at which these are thrown in the same way you control your squad.
The environments themselves are essentially displayed to you like blueprints. It doesn’t show you where the enemies are located, and this is precisely the point; much like in real life, you have absolutely no idea what’s hiding behind each door. It forces you to really think about how you’re going to go about breaching each building, but there’s also a lot of opportunity to experiment. You could stack your entire squad at one entry point, have your point man throw a flashbang into the corridor, and bring the rest of the squad through to pick off any enemies that appear, or put two squad members at different entry points, each facing in different directions and meticulously scan each room as you make your way through.
It’s a tough game, particularly in the later stages, and if you’ve not got the patience for it, then it’s not going to be the game for you. To start off, you can select individual stages, starting with relatively easy scenarios and building significantly in difficulty from there. Once you’ve reached a certain level, you can start tackling ‘campaigns’, which are just several levels grouped together. There’s no overarching plot to bind the levels together, which is a shame, but not a deal-breaker. Finally, you can also generate random levels by selecting various parameters, such as size, number of enemies, and so on. There’s a lot to be getting on with, and if you’re a fan of tactical games, this is definitely one to watch out for.