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Killsquad review
Thomas Mikkelsen


Contract killing with a team

A game for friends...or alone

First, a confession. I have no friends. Or... I should clarify... all my friends are grown-ups who no longer have time to come over to drink beer and play video games. So I might as well not have friends at all. As such, this review of a 4-player online/couch multiplayer game is primarily based on solo gameplay and a couple of online sessions with strangers. So take it with a whole cup of salt.

Killsquad is a top-down twin-stick shooter first launched into early access in 2019. Featuring procedurally generated maps, AI-powered enemy spawn distribution, five playable classes, heaps of upgrades, loot, and equipment. And the best part is, Novorama, serving as both developer and publisher, wear the fact that this is a paid game on their sleeve, proudly flaunting the fact that they won't fleece you with microtransactions as soon as you start playing.


The five available classes are Troy the Gunslinger, a pistol-wielding, baseball cap-wearing sharpshooter who looks like Deadpool if he didn't bother to cover his face; Kosmo the Anarchist, a Martian tank with a hockey mask who carries a huge hammer; Cass the Apostate, a sword-wielding Nebula (from Guardians of the Galaxy) lookalike; Zero the Sawbones, a robotic defensive medic who looks like a Geth wearing a WWII bomber jacket; and Ekaar the Prodigy, the most stereotypical "alien" you can imagine - complete with 4 arms and bug eyes.

Most of these classes are exactly what you expect them to be. Troy's a ranged damage dealer, Cosmo a close-up tank, Cass a close-up damage queen, Zero a ranged healer, and Ekaar is the gadget support guy. This team of mercenaries takes on various missions on remote planets for money and loot, and - credit where credit's due - Killsquad's loot game is on point. Weapons and tech allow you to upgrade your 'Vector' or battle effectiveness. At the start of each mission, you're at level 1 and as you progress, more and more skills are unlocked. These skills are determined by and upgraded through tech, some of which you'll find in the field or earn, and some of which you'll buy using in-game mullah.

Customizing your characters with weapons and tech, optimising them according to your play style, and studying their tech-trees is a big part of Killsquad's allure. Gameplay itself, on the other hand, quickly becomes mundane. At least when playing solo. With strangers online, it's marginally better, but I can imagine it's a heap of fun with three friends on the couch with you. A luxury I do not have.

Contract killing for fun

Procedurally generated and varied maps do wonders in keeping what is, at its core, a simple and unchanging gameplay loop feeling fresh, albeit samey. Taking down bosses feels like an achievement, and the difficulty is well balanced. The few online contracts I took showed that the classes complement each other well.

Even though my friends had other things to do, Killsquad is the perfect 'dads' game. Each contract is only 15-30 minutes, which is the maximum amount of time you can leave your kid sitting on the toilet when they're waiting for you to wipe. So although I don't see myself spending a lot of time soloing in this game, I very much look forward to putting it on the big screen when my 'friends' come over, and I can imagine jumping online for a quick match every now and then for the foreseeable future.

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fun score


Hectic combat, rewarding loot and upgrades, feels balanced


Gets old pretty fast playing solo