Takedown: Red Sabre Review
For those of you not aware of Takedown: Red Sabre’s past, once upon a time it was a Kickstarter project that focused on the glory days of tactical shooters like Rainbow Six.
But even for a small project like this one, none of these promises have come to fruition – proving that not all projects that get Kickstarted end up a success.
The Problems With Takedown: Red Sabre
Mechanically Takedown: Red Sabre is just not up to scratch. Flimsy gunplay makes it a chore to achieve any sort of skill, which is made increasingly infuriating when enemies respond with seemingly pinpoint accuracy.
And though no game should be judged entirely on aesthetics, Takedown leaves much to be desired in this regard. Honestly, we’ve seen N64 games with more detail.
The worst offender is the AI, however, which ranges from completely and utterly stupid to broken, and everything in-between.
Though Takedown is a game that needs to be played with a much slower pace that the frantic shooters of the modern age, the barbaric AI really forces you into a crawl.
They won’t take cover or try and flank you. Goldeneye 64 had smarter AI, and that was a game where enemies would run at you through an automatic door.
These guys just stand there, eternally waiting for you to step through the doorway before unleashing a fatal bullet. You’ll have to slow to a crawl if you hope to clear a room without dying.
Let’s be clear, it’s not the difficulty of Takedown: Red Sabre that is so off-putting, but the unfairness in just how ropey it all is.
A Simulation Shooter?
Many were drawn into Takedown: Red Sabre for its promise of matching the classic Rainbow Six FPS games that we know and loved.
Don’t expect that. There’s none of the depth of tactics management involved here; instead of commanding a team of soldiers around particular locations, Takedown has you in control of one man in the squad and that’s it.
If he dies you can switch to one of the other remaining soldiers, meaning they act as little more than lives as you progress through the stage.
It’s ridiculous to think that an FPS pitched as a ‘simulation’ shooter would resort to a train of highly trained operatives taking it in turns to attack. Maybe it’s some bizarre counter-terrorist etiquette we don’t rightly know about.
It’s impossible to properly manage your loadouts too. You may want to switch to a more stealthy approach – rather than going guns a-blazing – but you’ll have to memorise which loadout is which, since selecting them won’t give you a suggestion of what is equipped.
It’s an embarrassing oversight when strategy, tactics and correct equipment should be the single most important feature in a game like Takedown: Red Sabre.
No option to view a map is pretty poor form too, since it’s here that you’ll at least be able to understand the layout and form a strategy – however rudimentary it might have to be – to tackling each stage.
Takedown: Red Sabre’s Multiplayer
Though there were greater issues on launch – which have now been patched – multiplayer in Takedown: Red Sabre only highlights further problems.
It’s not always easy to set up and once everyone is in a game you’ll find your limited to one life and one soldier.
As a result, should you inevitably fall at the hands of that horrendous enemy AI then you’re stuck watching your allies creep around every damn corner the level has to offer.
There’s no other way to play, of course, since it’s all so poorly balanced that any other play style will mean a prompt restart from the beginning.
So just don’t die, ‘cause otherwise you’ll either be bored numbless watching someone else play the game or you’ll simply force quit the game. It’s really not worth the effort.
If there was a little more skill involved in surviving as with, say, Dark Souls, then the added tension would perhaps have you rooting for your team-mates.
The multiplayer also highlights how inspired the map design is, too. Though you’ll encounter multiple levels and rooms, it’s clear that there’s a very linear path through the majority of these stages.
There’s none of that Rainbox Six style ‘let’s try going round the back for a sneak attack’ or ‘how about splitting up and flanking them?’ goodness, just heads-down, push-on combat. It’s mundane, really.
And of course, it’d help if there was an indication of what you were meant to be doing at all. There’s nothing clear about Takedown: Red Sabre at all.
Takedown: Red Sabre Review
It’s clear there’s a basis for a good game here, but so much of Takedown: Red Sabre needs tweaking, fixing or completely recreating before it becomes even passable as an FPS.
The difficulty is something that players will no doubt get their teeth into providing they weren’t at such a disadvantage throughout the game.
The lack of strategy or careful planning, too, removes any hopes of this being the Rainbox Six game we have wanted since the original; Takedown: Red Sabre just doesn’t have the quality to match such a comparison.