Squad: A Rising Star

Squad: A Rising Star


Jackson Sloan, Staff Writer

A popular game among military enthusiasts, Squad started off as a small project meant to be the spiritual successor of an even smaller modification to Battlefield 2 called Project Reality, but has exploded in popularity and content over the past few years due to YouTube coverage on the game. The newfound attention is deserved, due to Squad’s amazing graphics, fun gameplay, and friendly community that continues to support the game.

There is no main story to Squad. Instead, you join a match and pick one of the two factions the match has to offer. These factions can range from real life armies such as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the United States Marine Corps to imaginary units, such as the Insurgents and the Middle Eastern Alliance. The conflicts take place all over the world in real life locations, from Goose Bay, Canada to the city of Fallujah in Iraq. The terrain and the unique factions create an interesting blend of tactics and strategies to utilize, resulting in fascinating scenarios where teams are balanced by terrain and not weaponry or player count.

The graphics of the game, from the soldiers, equipment, locations, and vehicles, are spectacular. It is advised to make sure that your system can run Squad before purchasing it, but if needed you can simply turn the graphics down (which are still good, even at medium). If you can run Squad on high graphics, then you won’t be disappointed. You can look at a tank and see the small scratches and dents from years of service, or at a forest and see the rays of light shining through, creating a beautiful atmosphere. However, there have been numerous graphical issues, and the recent update that updated the engine has made it worse, with some players having performance issues or blurry textures, some of which can’t be fixed.

The individual gameplay of Squad is balanced, entertaining, and unpredictable. You play as one of two teams, with an average of 40 people on both sides. People organize squads (small teams of up to eight members) using voice chat to conduct reconnaissance, bring supplies to the battlefield, or engage the enemy forces directly. There are a variety of roles, from the basic rifleman to the powerful machine gunner, each featuring a unique piece of equipment or firearm that other roles can not select. This plays into the teamwork emphasis of Squad, and makes for fun gameplay.

What truly makes Squad an exceptional game is the required collaboration and communication. Whether players communicate through the in-game text chat or voice channels, they need to communicate with their teammates. This not only allows a flow of strategies and battlefield information crucial to a team’s success, but also builds an association of players. Instead of being focused exclusively on fighting and taking objectives, Squad allows players to chat and socialize with each other.

Overall, Squad is a very entertaining experience with a great community, and while there are numerous performance issues and microtransactions have recently been added, I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a balance between hardcore military realism and arcade shooters.