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Squad: a 50v50 combined arms FPS where coordination and communication is crucial

tl;dr: Squad is the closest thing we have to Band of Brothers, the game, set in the modern era

I've been playing FPSes for the longest time, and recently I've been burned out by the fact that most games in the genre are often a truly solitary and miserable experience. Unless you're a super expert at the game, most FPS are games where either communication is non-existent, or the ones that require voice chat are often very toxic and the older I get, the less patience I have to shouty kids and insufferable asshats.

Squad, in my past 50 hours, has been a breath of fresh air. It is an hyper-realistic multiplayer FPS set in the modern era (think Afghan War) where two teams try to conquer enemy objectives until one team has suffered more losses than the other, using infantry and mechanised armour. Teams are made up by squads of 9 people with a squad leader that calls the shots, and there might also be a commander to decide the high-level strategy. Think ArmA, but with actual game modes instead of being a free-form sandbox.

The beauty of it is that by being a realistic military simulator, there's no space for any Rambo/Call-of-duty types that just want to get a sniper rifle and shoot stuff. Voice chat is mandatory to coordinate with your squad, with the squad leader making the big decision over radio, and proximity voice chat to tell your fellow soldiers what's going on around you. Playing this game you feel you're actually doing something with randoms, where any accomplishment feels incredible because it's made with fellow squad mates with actual voices, not because one has the best aim, gaming chair, and has been carrying the whole game. Also, the fact that the whole matchmaking scene is based around the classic, beloved server browser, one tends to visit the same servers, and unless you're socially-challenged, you tend to recognise the same people, making each experience even better than the last. It is sad that such an experience is so rare in 2021.

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It might actually feel quite overwhelming at the beginning, since the game doesn't do much hand-holding: enemies might look very similar to allies at a distance, there's no hit markers, arrows, ammo counters, but instead awareness of ones surroundings and patience are necessary to stay alive and being able to contribute to the team and the game as a whole. Thankfully, the community is very open and friendly to newbies, and every one is willing to teach and explain if something feels confusing. Just ask, and don't be an asshat.

In my 50 hours I've met excellent people, no one that's been toxic, except one guy that was way too drunk and an admin had to kick from the server. In these days of lockdown, away from people and friends, it's been the only game where, instead of being on the receiving end of toxicity and general silliness from internet strangers, I've been able to feel part of a team, around other people, working towards the same goal.

Fan made gameplay trailer, if you're curious (not my creation):


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