Killing my CO: two hours of chaos and confusion in Squad

Squad noob

It's hours before I finally get my first kill in Squad. Crawling through a trench for the best part of half an hour, I manage to get myself behind a cluster of enemies who have my team’s stronghold pinned down and under heavy fire. I can vaguely make out where two hostiles are by the localised plumes of dust kicked up by their every burst of machinegun fire. I move in for the kill.

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With scarcely two hundred yards separating me from my targets I stay prone and attempt to close the gap so that I can quickly take both of them out without compromising my position. I get lost in the opium fields for a few minutes as the gunfire stops and I have no Polaris to guide me. That’s when I stand up, spot my targets, open fire, and get killed by four soldiers I unbeknowingly crawled past. Two seconds spent engaging my targets and a brief glimpse of the pink mist I so badly craved - a disappointing payoff for two hours spent fumbling my way through a warzone.

Squad noob

Prior to that I had done an excellent job of firing at a suspicious-looking house in the distance. I’d also valiantly repelled a direct attack on a friendly-held base by squatting near a window and shooting at its frame every time I got nervous, which thanks to the deafening cracks of nearby grenades and the many deceased around me, was very often. When I had emptied every magazine and all but thrown my sidearm out the window, I equipped a shovel and readied myself for a last-ditch charge. It turns out that none of that was necessary as the previous ten minutes of gunfire had actually come from friendlies who were mounting a counter-attack.

Going into Squad I expected a certain level of this: dying to unseen enemies, the chaos of war and sound design so realistic you can feel it at the base of your spine. That’s the side of war simulators like Arma III, Insurgency and Squad that I have all the time in the world for. Games that simulate how absolutely terrifying it is to hear gunfire and not know where it’s coming from, or see a group of enemies converging on your position from all sides.

But there’s something else that gets ported over from reality to game, and that’s how totally powerless you are. Take a bullet and you'll have the small matter of bleeding out to address. Likewise, even the best marksman won’t be able to overcome the fact that bullets only travel so far. You can only run for short periods, and not very quickly. You’ll also die to potshots and see your entire squad eliminated by a single grenade or lone enemy rifleman lying in wait. According to Squad, war is hell.

Squad noob

Most of the time you won’t see who killed you, leaving you with nothing to reflect on or mull over during the lengthy trek back into the combat zone. Working in a squad isn’t all it's cracked up to be either. At one point I found myself serving under a floundering squad leader who ordered us to mount a Melchett-inspired raid so futile my fellow squadmates immediately began arguing back, eventually turning on their leader and exiting the game. This left me and Melchett hunkered down in a mud hut, too far from help and under heavy fire. The next ten minutes saw us gradually worn down by grenades and glances of machinegun fire. It’s made for a fun war story, but the moment-to-moment gameplay was exhausting and left me embittered. I killed Melchett, left the game, and looked for a new server.

Even in well-functioning squads, I never felt like more than a pawn in someone else’s game: being shouted at for joining an attack when I had been ordered to sit next to a wall and watch for enemies is a world away from the frenzied killstreaks of the Call of Duty series.

Squad death

I’m surely the problem: a gamer with a half-interest in faux realism and not enough commitment to stick it out for more than an afternoon gaming session. I had an equally miserable start to my Rainbow Six: Siege career, with nearly twenty rounds played and not a single kill or win to show for it. I let good squads down and contributed to the swift downfall of bad squads. I died quickly and I died often. But thanks to killcams and spectator tools, I always knew why. After two hours that eventually translated to me getting better. I was getting the occasional kill, staying alive long enough to make a difference and always offering a service to my team. An additional ten hours and I’d effectively sussed the game out.

By contrast, I had just one kill to show for two hours of drudgery, two if you count my betrayal of Melchett. But that’s not why I stopped playing Squad, it’s that I still hadn’t had a sniff of that eureka moment that every multiplayer shooter harbours. I plan on going back into Squad and giving it more time to click with me, but the knowledge that I’ll be way out of my depth and likely another two hours from any sign of improvement makes it a return I’m not relishing.

Any advice to offer an aspiring squaddie? Let us know in the comments below.

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Matanuska avatarKern avatarSegur ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽/ avatarLolssi avatarSamRothstein avatarPolishkruk avatar
Matanuska Avatar
92
2 Months ago

I think you're obsessing over kills too much. I've had a few matches where I've killed what I consider to be an impressive amount of people but perhaps the most fun I've had so far was in a match where I drove a Humvee around the whole time. Moving into a position to support the infantry, coordinating and bullshitting with the gunner, driving around in a circle in a poppy field surrounded by low walls while half a dozen of explosions go off around you and the gunner shrieks in terror... Good fun.

2
Segur ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽/ Avatar
27
Segur ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽/(5 days 23 hours played)
2 Months ago

This guy gets it. I play almost exclusively as a medic and my best moments are joking around with the guys I'm trying to revive. Other times I'm watching the entire squad go down and take the 50/50 chance of clearing out an area to revive just enough of them. Hilarious moments ensue.

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Kern Avatar
2
Kern(6 days 11 hours played)
2 Months ago

The best advice is to read the solid community guides on the Squad forum before starting. The game isn't about kills, it's about fighting together and winning as a team. Sometimes that means sitting in a logistics truck all game shuttling supplies to that FOB that puts too much pressure on your enemies for them to fight back. Sometimes it means sitting perched in a good firing position and mowing down squads with the HMG that someone is keeping fed with said logistics runs.

Kills aren't everything in Squad. I'd argue that the guy who is 1/5 but kept the squad running through selfless suicide runs to revive fallen squad mates is far more important to the team than the guy who's 15/5 thanks to his solo flanking.

2
Segur ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽/ Avatar
27
Segur ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽/(5 days 23 hours played)
2 Months ago

Like I said in my previous comment, I play mostly medic. And as medic, I have had a far higher score and done more for the team, than people who go 30/10 or even 50/10, through almost complete non-violence. Teamwork and the objectives are the most important things.

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Lolssi Avatar
264
2 Months ago

Siege has kill cams? Talk about tactical shooter...

1
SamRothstein Avatar
48
2 Months ago

Squad is a WONDERFUL game. Glad to see PCGamesN covering it.

1
SamRothstein Avatar
48
2 Months ago

The funny thing is that the writer is being backhanded critical of the game, yet makes it sound awesome. We need less fantasy FPS (overwatch, cod,) and more realistic military shooters.

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Polishkruk Avatar
1
Polishkruk(14 days 17 hours played)
2 Months ago

I'm curious as to when the author actually played squad. His accounts sound like it was from the days before v7 brought vehicles in with the constant walking and the screenshots he's posted are from before v3 which is when Squad entered early access on steam back in December of 2015.

I say the author is being deliberately misleading here. Why? I have no idea but his accounts are in no way indicative of the game currently. Perhaps of some of the worst squads and teams but definitely not the norm.

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