Knight Squad comes to Xbox One and is meant to be played as a multiplayer game. Sure, there are a few single player options in there as well, but the real fun is in the multiplayer modes. If you have the option, go for local multiplayer as well – even though online plays smoothly as well.
Although it has all the trimmings of a modern multiplayer game, with local and online options and a ton of gameplay modes, Knight Squad is a bit of a retro arcade game at heart. The art style is simple, level design is minimalistic and the control scheme is one of the easiest we’ve seen in ages. Your thumb stick controls your knight, while one (!) action button controls your attacks – that’s all there’s to it. Oh, and the odds are stacked against you. Just as in many of the old arcade games, death is never very far away once you get thrust in the middle of the action.
Luckily, this doesn’t mean that a session is over in a heartbeat – you can get right back into the action almost instantly, and it doesn’t involve any of those quarters that you needed back in the arcade days. Looking at arcade classics, the game probably looks and feels most like Gauntlet, though with a much more frantic pace and an emphasis on mayhem rather than adventuring.
There are a ton of different game modes available to play, ranging from classic death match and team-based modes such as capture the flag to more unique games like Juggernaut. This mode is more or less a “king of the hill” type game, but with a machine gun instead of a hill at the center. Whoever gets there first starts maiming down the other knights, but will eventually be swarmed and killed. Then, it’s the next gun wielder’s turn to try and last – and it becomes a fun game of cat and mouse where you always wait for the right time to storm the person holding the gun. There are even more modes available if you buy the optional DLC, but we were pleased to see that the base game already comes loaded with a ton of modes to choose from.
As mentioned, this is a game best played with a bunch of friends. Single player modes are included, but none of those modes are likely to see you coming back to them for a second or third playthrough. Instead, gather some friends around if you have access to multiple controllers, or go online for the next best thing. It’s fun, it’s frantic – Knight Squad doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but what it does, it does well.