Coordinate a team of ragtag mercenaries, each with their own unique skill set, in order to complete tactical missions in a simultaneous squad based tactics game. If this sounds enticing, then it is likely that you will fall in love with TASTEE: Lethal Tactics.
Developed by SkyBox Labs, this charming game has a simple premise: there are two stages in every game, the planning stage and the action stage. The planning stage involves orchestrating the movement and vision of your small squad of mercenaries, whilst the action stage illustrates the results of your actions. Whilst this may seem quite simple on paper, the actual game can get quite deep and tactical, especially in some of the later missions in the game’s 30 mission story mode. Throw in a tense but flawed multiplayer mode, with all the bells and whistles of competitive play, and you have a real fun time on your hands.
The game starts off with a short but effective tutorial, it does not throw you in the deep end with all the toys and expect you to swim your way out of it. The controls are quite easy to learn and the game’s single player story mode slowly drip feeds new characters and new mechanics to ensure that by the time you finish the story mode, you are ready for the multiplayer action. The story mode did get progressively harder without ever getting to an ‘unfair’ stage. You unlock different mercenaries that each bring something new to the table, whether it be through the ability to snipe or even the ability to use flash bangs. The enemy AI is smart enough to constantly flank and harass you at every opportunity, so it really important to ensure that your squad is versatile to deal with any unexpected threats.
Furthermore, the maps are all varied, with each level having multiple routes to the destination, however it is important to note that it is the journey and not the destination that matters. Positioning is key in this game, having a squad member in the correct place at the correct time could be the difference between success and failure. Sometimes it can be a bit hard to gauge the exact field of vision for an enemy troop, so this could lead to a few deaths, but overall the game does an excellent job at showing you exactly where your actions will lead you. So the Story mode does a great job at introducing you to this game, but what about the rest of the game?
The bread and butter of this game comes through the tactically tense multiplayer experience it can offer. Think of it as a 1 v 1 game of chess, but with guns and explosions. But why did I label it as ‘flawed’ earlier on in this article? That is simple, the game currently does not possess a timer for the multiplayer turns. This can be very frustrating at times since your opponent could go out for dinner, take a walk on the beach, come back home and then end his turn. Stay away from this game if you are looking for a quick round of multiplayer entertainment, instead there is the ability to play multiple different online games at once and keep switching between them. Personally, I’m not a fan of this sort of method as it makes the pace of the game really slow, but if you are a patient person, then you may not see this as a flaw and instead this may be the perfect game for you. This subjective issue aside, the multiplayer is fantastic when you finish a full game in one sitting.
Overall, the wide variety of characters, the intriguing tactical design and the engaging multiplayer make this game a must buy for video game fans who are after a deep and tactical online squad based tactics game. Allowing me to exert complete control over my small squad of up to 6 different mercenaries and helping maneuver them through the varied maps with finesse definitely felt great. This game makes you feel like the conductor of an explosive orchestra, fine tuning your actions until they go off. Definitely worth the current price on the Steam, I would highly encourage you to try out this game.
A review copy of this game was provided by the developer.