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Due Process Preview: CS Stop


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Due Process is an online 5v5 shooter that heavily encourages strategy through an interactive map, limited supplies, and permanent death.

The five-person squad loads their weapons, checks their gear, and lines up before the door. A timer clicks down, and the truck opens, letting this military unit’s boots hit the ground as they charge into the fray. One of them sets a charge and blows a door, and the opponents on the other side swiftly and immediately gun them down, ending the match. This is just one of many possible outcomes in Due Process, a multiplayer shooter where the preparation is just as important as the gunplay.

Due Process is billed as a tactical shooter, and it means it. The setup is simple: one team of five is holed up in a fortified building, while the other team must try to break in and eliminate them. After three matches, the teams switch, and the best of six matches wins the game. Attackers have access to things like flashbang and smoke grenades, and they can even try to cut the power to the building and use night vision goggles to gain an edge. The defenders, meanwhile, have barbed wire, Molotov cocktails, and shotguns, which can pay off handsomely if the attackers get caught in a chokepoint.

Related: Watch Dogs: Legion Review – An Ambitious But Clumsy Simulation

Health pools go down quick, and players do not respawn. Thus, charging in guns-blazing is guaranteed to end in failure. Both teams are forced to rely on an interactive map to plan their strategies and place themselves to make for the best advantage. The map color codes possible entry points, as well as points of interest like the power box needed to cut the lights and the bomb that the attackers must defuse in order to win. Players can draw on the map to highlight plans of attack, and can communicate through native voice chat to figure out strategies. Currently the game’s training mode, which does do a good job of explaining the basic combat gameplay and giving players a chance to try out every weapon, doesn’t mention this interactive map, which seems like a pretty critical oversight.

Screenshot of the Map in Due Process

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Players have to remember that while the time is ticking down on their planning phase, they also need to be grabbing gear. Each player has very limited inventory space, and each firearm has limited ammo capacity as well. Worse, supplies don’t refresh until the teams switch sides, which adds another level of strategy as teams consider what they’ll need for a given match and what they’ll want to save for later.

The heavy emphasis on strategy means that the maps in Due Process are incredibly significant. Each one offers a different layout, with different entry points, obstacles, and vantages for players to pursue and interact with. In an unconventional move, developer Giant Enemy Crab has decided to procedurally generate every map in the game. New maps are added weekly, generated by the system and edited by the developers before release. It’s not always easy to tell the maps apart because of this, because some of them might use similar assets, and one will rarely find an especially memorable map to grow attached to, as they might in a similar multiplayer shooter.

The intention with Due Process is clear. The high points come when a team assembles a perfect plan and executes it flawlessly, taking out the opponents with surgical mastery. They can also come when a brilliantly arranged plan goes sideways, resulting in memorable moments of panic and tense shootouts. In early access, this experience isn’t often the norm. As always, the online community is unpredictable at best, and unless a player goes in with four friends who they know and trust, there’s no telling how cooperative or communicative their team will be. As an early access online game, Due Process is also constantly at risk for connection issues, though these will hopefully be patched up before long.

Due Process has tried a lot of very novel systems to encourage players to get strategic. Some of them are definitely paying off better than others, but overall, it definitely shows potential. If players are looking for a multiplayer shooter that takes a bit more brainpower, they might just want to keep an eye on Due Process.

Next: HyperBrawl Tournament Review: Fun, Frantic, Fleeting

Due Process is in early access now on PC. A digital download code was provided to Screen Rant for the purpose of this preview.

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Updated: November 6, 2020 — 7:13 pm

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