[Review] Door Kickers: Action Squad – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen
  • Developer: Killhouse Games, PixelShard
  • Publisher: Killhouse Games
  • Release Date: 28/10/2019
  • Price: $14.99 / £13.49
  • Review code provided by Killhouse Games

Intro

“Stack up! 3, 2, 1 Breach! Flashbang out!” The preceding phrase or some variation of it has become a cadence around our household. My son and I have been blasting our way into harrowing situations to take down armed enemies in Door Kickers: Action Squad.

Breach and Clear!

Door Kickers has you doing just that. Kicking down doors to apprehend criminals, diffuse bombs, or rescue hostages. The game is presented in a 2D perspective with you running from side to side. There are different officers you can select for each run. A gal, toting a riot shield, offers high defense at the cost of wielding a weak pistol. The Breacher has a powerful shotgun which can easily cut enemies down, and hostages if you’re not careful. Agent Fergie is a tough-as-nails FBI agent who can roll past gunfire and melee her opponents. Knowing each character’s strengths and weaknesses is important for selecting the right person for the job. This aspect made Door Kickers a lot of fun since you can attempt each level with different loadouts. In addition, you can achieve a three star rating per board, so multiple playthroughs are common.

Each level has a variety of ways to approach your objective. Whether kicking open a door to an apartment complex, smashing a window of a police precinct taken over by armed hostiles, or finding a key card to gain entry to diffuse a bomb. Aside from the standard missions, there’s an option to enable zombies on each board so you can try your hand at hostage rescue while fighting back the undead. Or just wait on the other side of the door while zombies tear at the armed villains. Challenge Levels ratchet up the difficulty and have strict requirements or forbid you from using specific skills. Overall, there’s no shortage of content with Door Kickers: Action Squad.

Flashbang Out!

Perhaps my favorite aspect of Door Kickers is the co-op gameplay. As stated above, my son and I played together and it made the experience much more entertaining. We eventually settled into a routine where we would approach each door and count down our breach and clear. The missions don’t require a ton of time making Door Kickers an approachable game for quick stints. Likewise, if you miss out on a star, it’s not a big deal tackling the mission again. One thing to call out, I tried to find an online game numerous times. Unfortunately I was met with a recurring search screen. However, I think playing with a stranger would be a detriment anyway since communication is vital for smooth teamwork. Throwing a grenade without calling it out always led to a downed SWAT member.

Tango Down!

The pixelated graphics were a nice choice for the presentation. Since hostages can explode or close range shotgun blasts get a bit gruesome, more detailed graphics would have put me off on playing this title with my kid. The music evoked tense situations and the sound effects were on point for a tactical assault game. Playing on the big screen was advantageous for fun co-op sessions. Handheld was a joy when crashing through windows and having the action up close and personal. Door Kickers ran smoothly in either case but it didn’t randomly crash a handful of times.

Final Wrap

Door Kickers: Action Squad packs bitesized breaching fun in an engaging package. With more than 80 levels, an endless mode and zombies it’s easy to recommend this title for the price and replayability. Some levels are extremely challenging without backup so I recommend playing with a partner for maximum entertainment.

Pros

  • Quick Tactical Action
  • Fun Customization Options
  • Co-op Carnage

Cons

  • Random Crashing
  • Lack of Online Matches

Verdict
Like a flashbang, Door Kickers: Action Squad caught me by surprise with its explosive gameplay and exciting bursts, without any disorienting effects.
4/5

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