Over the past generation of games (that is, games that have been released in the past 6-7 years) we've seen perhaps some of the biggest changes and advancements within the industry. Whether we're talking the growth of digital distribution, the advent of Kickstarter, or the rise of independent developers; the game industry is a much broader and more accessible vertical to release a product on. Takedown: Red Sabre is a game that clearly straddles these new lines. It's a game that most likely would never have seen the light of day in any different scenario, but in today's market it's a perfectly viable game for a very specific group of gamers. But is it good?
Takedown: Red Sabre is a hardcore tactical shooter created by Serellan, a new studio formed by several industry veterans. When the team went to Kickstarter earlier this year to achieve funding, the game they wanted to create wasn't like your Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon of today. Serellan wanted to create a shooter that felt more like the original Rainbow Six or S.W.A.T. games found on the PC in the late 1990s. They believed there was still a market for games with punishing difficulty but rewarding and realistic gameplay. It's on this mantra that Serellan keeps coming back to.
The entire game doesn't feature any story, instead there are five missions and two training missions you can tackle in single player or co-op. The mission maps vary in terms of settings and offer a nice balance of longer open areas and tight quarters combat, with the latter being favored. Graphically the Takedown: Red Sabre is solid, the Radar Station map looks particularly good and the lighting on the Biolab also shows off some of the engine's strengths. Objectives vary on the maps from killing all enemies, to disarming randomly placed bombs, or hacking a computer. The reality of most objectives is simply holding a button down while standing in front some object in the environment, but it does give a goal.
It should be noted that there are some basic things missing here that many modern gamers might take for granted. For instance while missions themselves might feature multiple and random objectives, there's no such thing as a waypoint marker or any sort of guidance as to where you go next. While this is fine for the hardcore, I think at least making this OPTIONAL could go a long way for accessibility. In fact there are several features that Serellan says makes the game hardcore, that I think adding the ability to turn on or off could help Takedown feel more fleshed out. For instance killing a terrorist provides no feedback, you literally have to walk up and check that there's a tango down. While the audience Serellan kickstarted the game to may like this, I think there's an even larger one that would like the option.