Special Force Tour: Free Competitive FPS
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Special Force is a free to play first person shooter by DFIGames. It is the SEA version of Soldier Front by ijji. I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the game by GM_Millais and the DFIGames team. Let us take a look at what I learned about the game! The game plays like any other FPS game. The keyboard is used to move your character while the mouse is used to look around, aim and fire. You have the ability to change all the key bindings and adjust the mouse sensitivity to suit your play style. The in game graphics are decent. They are nothing impressive but are good enough for the game to be playable. You will not have to worry about having a tough time distinguishing between the environment and enemies. There are not many choices for the resolution and you are limited to a maximum of 1280x1024.
There are many things that can be done in the lobby. The obvious use of the lobby is to look for and join a room to begin playing. However, players can access the character shop, weapon shop, item shop, inventory, replay and configuration. The character shop is used to buy new characters and equipment. When you create your character you have to choose a force to join. However, you may buy additional characters from different forces later on. The clothing and accessories are different for all forces and offer different colour schemes. If you buy additional characters, you may decide which colour scheme will help you to camouflage with the current map. Equipment can also give improved stats in certain areas and at times decreased stats in certain areas. It is up to you if you would like to sacrifice movement speed for more defence or lose some survivability to move quicker. Use this to your advantage to fully customize your character to suit your play style!
Additional weapons may be bought from the weapon shop. Players may buy primary, secondary and throwing weapons. Primary weapons are used as your main weapon for getting kills and the secondary weapons may be used for special cases. Some examples could be that you are in the middle of the fight but your primary weapon runs out of ammo or your primary weapon is a sniper rifle but you are forced to fight in close quarters. Throwing weapons are grenades and currently melee weapons cannot be bought. There are a decent amount of weapons available. Although there are not too many and the game could use a bit more to offer more variety, the game is still newly released. New weapons will be available in coming updates!
The weapon shop
The item shop will be used to purchase items using real money. You can think of it like a cash shop. Currently it does not sell anything but when it has been released it will offer items such as sprays. Players can equip their purchased items in their inventory. Your characters may be changed and their weapon sets can be customized. You may have two weapon sets which can be switched between during the respawn time. This allows you to be able to play different roles in the same battle.
One of the features that Special Force offers that not many F2P FPS games have is the ability to replay your matches. This feature will be unlocked in the future and can be used to record your game. Your matches will be recorded as a video file but the format is currently unknown. This feature might cost a small fee to use. Lastly, the configuration menu can be used to adjust key bindings, graphic options, mouse settings and macros. Macros allow you to say phrases without having to type the whole phrase but currently they only work in the lobby.
Currently there are five modes available to players in Special Force. First of all there is the training mode. In this mode there are targets scattered around the map where players can test out their weapons and improve their aim. These targets have the same amount of health and armour as a normal player without any items. Your damage is also displayed so you can practice which areas to aim and see how fast you can kill.
There is the Single Battle mode. This is the mode that usually goes by the name free for all. The objective is to kill as many people as you can and like the name suggests, there are no teams. There is also the team death match mode where there are two teams that aim to reach the required amount of kills to win. These are the two modes available if you just feel like killing people.
If you want to play a mode where there is an objective besides just killing, these next two modes may be of interest to you. First of all, SF has the team battle mode. In this mode two teams must defend or retrieve an item depending on which team you are on. The defenders may win by killing the whole attacking team while the attackers must retrieve the item or kill all the defenders. There is no respawning until the end of the round.
Captain mode is the unique game mode in Special Force. In this mode all players on both teams start as captains. Captains have a lot more health than a normal player and have bigger heads to allow players to know who the captains are. When you are killed you respawn as a normal player and the team to lose all its captains first will lose.
Having the high ground is great when sniping
I also got the opportunity to ask some questions to the Product Manager for Special Force.
OnRPG: Hello! My name is Abubakr and I am a journalist from OnRPG. Before we begin, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Choi Hwa-Seok, but you can refer to me as Choi. I'm the Product Manager for Special Force: Singapore Chapter, working at DF Interactive.
OnRPG: In the future will there be IP blocks for Special Force or can anyone from around the world play the game?
We have no IP limitation for the Singapore Chapter. Our focus is on English-speaking countries around South-East Asia not covered by our partners such as Singapore and Malaysia. However, we are operating a global service and welcome anyone from anywhere to join us and play.
OnRPG: The item shop will allow players to purchase items with the use of real money. What kind of items will be sold? What is being done to ensure that paying players do not have a huge advantage over F2P players?
The cash item shop will feature an assortment of weapons, equipment, characters and functional items. Within the Functional Items, there is a very wide range of varieties, from bonuses (EXP multipliers), to aesthetic changes (Crosshair change), statistic resets (Kill/Death Reset) and even weapon bombs (Mystery gift boxes).
When it comes to ensuring F2P players do not have a huge disadvantage, it is all about balanced planning. Also, we have many in-game events where special weapons and items can be earned or won by anyone and everyone. At the end of the day, we want players to enjoy the game so much that spending money on customizing or upgrading their soldiers becomes one of the greatest pleasures in the game.
OnRPG: What can players look out for in the future?
In the immediate future, we are looking into implementing a clan system. This will help facilitate the gathering of gamers to form teams and clans, adding a deeper dimension to their online gaming experience. Furthermore, now that Special Force will be hosting its own annual World Championships, we aim to send representatives from Singapore and her neighboring countries when the competitive scene picks up. In addition, an agreement has been made that Special Force will be an official game for future World Cyber Games. So look out for great things to come. For the long term, we will continue to release game updates with fresh content to keep our gamers interested for as long as we're in service.
Onrpg: What would you say is the most unique feature of Special Force that will want users to try your game out from the rest of the competition?
The most unique feature, or should I say advantage, that Special Force has over competing titles is that we have a uniquely large database of content to draw from. Special Force has been in service since 2004 in Korea and in many parts of the world, and its database has been, and will be continuing to, generate interesting content. Special Force has proven itself over the years and is still the no.1 FPS game in many parts of Asia, including Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Korea and Japan.
OnRPG: The replay mode sounds like an amazing addition to your game. Will all users be able to use it? Does it affect your computer's performance or will all PCs that can run SF smoothly be able to use the replay feature?
The replay feature allows the gamer to record his actions in battle and replay it as and when he/she likes. We will also ensure that gameplay performance is not compromised and those PCs which meet our specified requirements should be able to run it smoothly. We have yet to implement the replay system, so I'm not able to answer your question with regard to the availability for all to use at the moment.
Onrpg: Each different force has its own exclusive equipment. Are there any advantages besides blending in with the map environment depending on the colour of the equipment for using a different force? For example, does a certain force have more movement speed equipment than others?
Each Special Force offers a different look but has no inherent advantage or disadvantage compared to the others. However, some equipment is exclusive to certain Special Forces and offer bonuses to the character, so you may want to do some homework before choosing.
Onrpg: What kind of gamers is Special Force aimed towards? (Casual, Hardcore, etc.)
The beauty of Special Force is that it caters to all sorts of gamers. We have game modes such as Captain Mode or Zombie Mode that caters more toward the casual gamer, while we also have modes and maps that cater for highly competitive gamers.
To conclude, Special Force is worth a try. It is a good free FPS that offers good gameplay and the opportunity to get into competitive gaming. Since this game is in WCG (World Cyber Games) it does not mean that it cannot be played casually so you can enjoy this game even if you are a casual player. Special Force will be available worldwide but may cause some users to have lag issues due to their location. If you are from NA, please take a look at Soldier Front if you encounter lag issues.