While it isn’t my favorite genre, I have always kind of enjoyed hack and slash action games. The games are not the deepest, but sometimes it is fun just trying to kill a bunch of enemies with your overpowered characters. Killsquad originally released on PC back in 2019, but today it is making its PlayStation 4/5 debut. I never ended up checking out the game on PC so this PlayStation release gave me a chance to check it out. Killsquad is a fun hack and slash twin stick shooter hybrid that is quite fun to play with friends even if it can be a little repetitive and grindy at times.
In Killsquad you and up to three of your friends become part of a mercenary group. You will pick the contract that you want to complete and off you go. The objective of each contract is basically the same. You are dropped on the planet and need to make it to the end in order to get your payment. Along the way you will fight a bunch of enemies and gather resources. Eventually when you reach the end of the mission you will have to complete a specific task. Usually you end up having to defeat a boss. Sometimes you have to defend an area or complete some other task to complete the job. If you successfully complete the job you will receive some loot and your payment. You can use these to improve your weapons and otherwise increase the power of your character.
In a lot of ways Killsquad feels like your typical top down action game. The gameplay basically boils down to killing anything that stands in your way. You can choose from five different characters. Each character has their own unique combat style. Some of the characters are more melee orientated and play mostly like a hack and slash game. Other characters are ranged using a weapon that can hit enemies at a distance. These characters play more like a twin stick shooter. You and your teammates must use your different strengths to work together to defeat the enemies that stand in your way.
If you have ever played a hack and slash or twin stick shooter before, you should already have a good idea of what it is like playing Killsquad. While the game has a few interesting tweaks, the gameplay is very similar to these genres. Thus your enjoyment of the game is likely going to be similar to your thoughts on the genre in general.
While Killsquad has some issues which I will get to later, I generally enjoyed playing the game. I think I can attribute this mostly to the game focusing on what is most enjoyable about these genres. The game is not super deep, but it didn’t need to be. Instead the game focuses on fun combat where you have to destroy a bunch of enemies. The game excels in this area as the combat is quite satisfying. Taking down large groups of enemies by yourself or with a team is really satisfying.
I think part of this is due to the game design and controls. Killsquad is quite simple to get into. For your basic attack you can just turn the right stick in the direction you want to attack. You also have a dodge and a number of other abilities that you can unlock as you progress in the game. You can quickly pick up the game and join a bunch of friends to take down the enemies. On top of all of this the controls are quite precise where it is your fault when you make mistakes.
Outside of the controls, the multiplayer aspect adds a lot to the game. You can play the game single player. It is enjoyable enough to play by yourself and the difficulty is fair. I would highly recommend trying to play the game with some friends though. These type of games are always more enjoyable with a friend(s). It is fun to defeat hordes of enemies with your friends.
This is especially true for Killsquad as the different characters actually play quite a bit different. All of the characters share some things in common. Each character’s strengths and gameplay style do vary quite a bit. I checked out each of the characters and I noticed they played quite a bit different. Some characters have more powerful but slower attacks, while others have quicker but less powerful attacks. The melee and ranged characters also play quite a bit different. Depending on your playstyle there are likely characters that you will enjoy playing as more than others.
There are a lot of things that I lied about Killsquad. The biggest complaint I have with the game is just the fact that it gets a little repetitive/grindy after a while. Outside of acquiring new abilities and equipment, the gameplay never drastically changes. Once you learn the basics of how to play the game, you basically already have a good grasp on how the rest of the game will play. You then just need to get better with your character as you upgrade them to face stronger enemies. You will encounter sections of the game where you likely will have to grind past contracts in order to acquire credits and resources to upgrade your chosen character. If you are expecting the gameplay to change and evolve as you advance, you are probably going to be disappointed.
This doesn’t ruin Killsquad as I still did enjoy playing the game quite a bit. It does have an impact on how best to enjoy the game though. In my opinion Killsquad is not the type of game that you are going to play for hours at a time. Instead the game is better in shorter doses. The good news is that the game emphasizes shorter games. Each contract generally takes around 20-30 minutes to complete. This is a good length where it is satisfying to finish, but not overly long. It also helps with the repetitive nature of the game since you can play one or two contracts and then come back to the game another day. If you play Killsquad for longer than that, I think it could start to drag as nothing drastically changes throughout the game.
In addition to Killsquad getting kind of repetitive after a while, the game’s other biggest fault is the fact that it is not the most original game. Combining twin stick shooter mechanics with hack and slash gameplay is kind of unique. Having two pretty distinctly different gameplay styles is interesting and fun when in larger groups. I never really noticed anything while playing it though that made it really stand out from other games from the genre. The game is fun to play which is a good enough reason to consider picking it up. If you are looking for a game that will revolutionize either genre though, you will likely be disappointed.
As for Killsquad’s length, I think it is solid. The game has 30+ different contracts to complete. Each contract takes around 20-30 minutes to complete. In order to power up your character you likely will have to complete some of the contracts a few times. There isn’t much story to the game so repeating the contracts is fine. The location will be the same, but the gameplay is still enjoyable.
I enjoyed my time with Killsquad. The game doesn’t really revolutionize any of its genres, but it didn’t really need to. Instead it focused on creating a fun hack and slash/twin stick shooter experience. It succeeds at that task. The gameplay is easy to get into, and it is quite enjoyable mowing down enemies. Each of the characters play quite differently, and it is really fun to play with your friends.
Killsquad’s greatest weaknesses come from it just not being the most original game. It doesn’t really do anything different from other games in the genre. At times the game feels kind of grindy. The gameplay never really changes all that much outside of occasionally acquiring some new abilities. Because of this it can get a little repetitive at times. Therefore it is more enjoyable in shorter doses rather than long play sessions.
My recommendation for Killsquad comes down to whether you enjoy cooperative hack and slash/twin stick shooter games. If you don’t really care for the genre or aren’t intrigued by the premise, I don’t know if the game will be for you. Fans of the genre though who have at least some interest in the premise should really enjoy Killsquad and should consider checking it out.
Release Date: PC – July 16th, 2019, PlayStation 4/5 – July 19th, 2023 | Systems: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Developer: Novarama | Publisher: Novarama
Genres: Action, Co-op, Hack and Slash, Twin Stick Shooter
Official Website: http://novarama.com/killsquad/
- Fun and satisfying combat especially when you play with friends.
- Each character actually plays quite a bit differently.
- Shares a lot in common with other games in the genre.
- Better in shorter doses since it otherwise gets a little repetitive/grindy.
Recommendation: For fans of hack and slash twin stick shooters that like to play with friends.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Novarama for the review copy of Killsquad used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.