Takedown: Red Sabre (Xbox 360) Review


When it comes to video games, the difficulty becomes important in terms of making it playable or not. Some games are able to balance both realism and playability. Takedown: Red Sabre on the other hand takes realism too far that makes the game near unplayable. If you want to play a FPS that is really hard, than Takedown: Red Sabre is for you.

Tactical shooting games are rare to see these days. Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six games are the pioneers of this sub-genre of shooter and they were awesome. With the rise of Call of Duty from 2007 onward, most FPS games have copied its style and most of them play like if you were Rambo. Takedown: Red Sabre was born because the developer wanted to see the tactical shooter rise back from the dead so to speak. The game’s Kickstarter campaign was successful, although the game itself didn’t turn out as well as fans had hoped it would.

I’m a fan of tactical shooting games, but Takedown: Red Sabre just doesn’t do things the right way. One of the biggest things that make this game damn near unplayable is its insane difficulty curve. There is no varying difficulty level you can set in the game so everyone will struggle from the very beginning. To make matters even more worse, the tutorial levels don’t even tell you what the controls are! I had to find out the controls by myself.


When it comes to other video games, you normally have aids that help you see where you need to go and where the bad guys are. Normally you’d have a waypoint to tell you where you need to go or at least a map. In Takedown: Red Sabre, you are going in blind and need to discover where you need to go with your own eyes. Some missions require you to find a few bombs and it can get very frustrating walking around the levels not knowing where the heck they all are.

The difficulty of the game is what really makes this game really unplayable. I’ve played literally hundreds of games in my life and this is the hardest shooting game I have ever played. The first time I played the game I walked just a few meters and someone started shooting at me. I didn’t know where the shots were coming from and I panicked. Before I could react and find who was shooting me, I was dead already and it was game over. You only need to get shot at two times and you are automatically dead. There are no checkpoints whatsoever because when you die, you have to start from the beginning all over again.

5 thoughts on “Takedown: Red Sabre (Xbox 360) Review

  1. “The game would have been easier to play if you could revive your teammates and vice-versa. The Rainbow Six games allow you to revive members of your team and there are checkpoints that help you out during missions too.”

    Which Rainbow Six are you talking about man?
    No Rainbow Six from the 1st in 1998 to RavenShield in 2003 provide a “teammates revival” nor checkpoints.

    If you are talking about about the more recent R6 (like the Vegas crap), I suggest you go back in time a little bit and start playing real tactical shooters, since those new ones are just plain FPS run and gun.

    You have played “hundreds of games”; how can you have not played the 1st R6, Eagle Watch, Rogue Spear and RavenShield? Looks like you missed a lot dude.
    Had you played those, you’d rate this game 1/10. Or maybe 2/10.

  2. As a tactical FPS player and from the point of view from someone that played the original Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Counter Strike, Swat and the list goes on, I would like to put my 2p worth into this discussion.

    I think this review was well written but then I know nothing about horses and given 20 minutes on Wikipedia could probably write a blinding review on ponies (the brown ones are the best)

    You may be referring to the Redstorm Entertainment Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon (although GR was published in the end by UBI but bother were developed by Redstorm who also released 2 R6 games prior to any UBI involvement) as the pioneers of this genre.

    TDRS was designed to be a full on 1 shot kill hard tactical shooter. The whole idea was to revive a genre of game that we have not seen for many years.

    As a reviewer that has played literally hundreds of games, I am sure that you are fully aware of what I am talking about.

    Do you remember the fun that there was with R6 and GR in the multiplayer servers through systems like Game Spy?

    I am sure you will remember things like the 1 shot kills, no re-gen, no mini map showing where the enemy were, no little red/pink diamond over the enemy allowing you to shoot without having to look, the whole “you run you die” situation?

    There were no enemies standing in the middle of an open area facing away from the fight and unaware of what was going on around them (easy targets to hit as you belt it full pace through the liner closed map with your hand held by the developer with no fear of being shot). No shouts and taunts from “tangos” that would rather tell you where they are than shoot you in the face as you bumble about the map not understanding what the game is about.

    Don’t get me wrong, games that play you and take up 40% of your time on meaningless but oh so pretty cut-scenes have there place but are not part of the “Tactical FPS” genre, TDRS took a big step with a small team toward bringing thought back into the gaming world, this is what many of us have been waiting for for a long time.

    I am fully aware that there were and are issues with the game, yes you may have to spend 30 mins downloading, installing and opening router/firewall ports in order to host games but you do this 1 time and it is done, yes the AI on both sides have issues which will be resolved (I say this because if you go onto the Serellan forums you would note that the dev team are in constant contact with the community) I know it is difficult to believe because it is not what we are use to but go check it out you may be surprised.

    Honestly although there are issues, they are not big issues, the game is hard, it has never pretended to be anything else, it was marketed as being hard and is in that sense what the tactical FPS community wanted.

    The lack of mini map is a good thing, I have played through missions a few times to learn them and now do it based on observation as you would in the real world, the weapons/loadout is not confusing, It is good that is was kept simple, .I want to shoot shit not spend 20 minutes deciding what gun to shoot shit with. You are right, the graphics are average, however I would take average graphics and no nonesense over pretty games that have no point and serve no purpose any day.

    Yes there could be more maps and yes there could be squad control and I hope these things will be implemented in the future or even in the next Serellan game but the lack of these features does not cause me do dislike the game and if anything infact makes it even harder, there is also the issue of time taken to switch to the next op after you die in the SP game but again, this makes me want to not die rather than ditch the game.

    There is so much fun to be had with TDRS, get in a multi player TDM and play pistols only while on voice chat I can guarantee it will kick the crap out of certain other AAA titles just due to the fact that it is different.

    I also note that you forgot to mention the map design, these are some of the best maps in both looks and playability that I have seen in 23 years of gaming, they are fantastic, they all have multi layers and are 100% open, no locked doors or choke points, you could complete the same map 20 time without playing the same mission, the level design and colour pallets are simply outstanding.

    In short, it is the difficulty of this game that makes it so playable, it is so rare now to play a game where the community don’t rage and curse and blame eachother when they fail, all you have to do is accept that the game is hard and that maybe you need to work on your skills and slow down a little in order to progress and I have no doubt that you will enjoy it.

    Add me on Steam, lets play some time, you will see me die a lot:-)

  3. Yes I forgot to mention the maps designs which are fantastic. That is the only thing good about this game, unfortunately.

    Now you must know very well that I do not care about graphics since I am talking about games from early 2000. I have not mentioned anything about grapics man. Nor radar shit, or cutscenes. Do not put words in my mouth. I do not care about all of that. I never mentioned difficulty either. I just talked about R6 and checkpoints. Correcting a mistake from your review (which is still not corrected).

    But since you are asking, let’s go.

    No radar is very good indeed. But a player list would be welcomed. You know, just to know with whom you are playing. But Serellan told us it was “harcore and realistic”. In real life you ain’t got radar or player list. Sure. Like leaning. You cannot lean and walk, because it’s so much more “harcore and realistic”. Very bad communication from their part, trying to cover up their mess. Same with the loadouts. It is absolutely not intuitive and clumsy.

    You are mentionning that you do not want a ton of weapons and keep it simple. I agree, I have never said the contrary. The 1st R6 had a couple rifles a shotgun and some SMGs. Same goes for Takedown. The rounds type, however seem correctly implemented. FMJ will go through material, and not JHP. Great, really. They even added JSP. Didn’t tried it. We both agree on that point.

    Now opening port on a firewall to online play or host? Ever heard of UPNP? You might do it once, but opening a port is never a good thing, security wise.

    This is the main reason why this game was so hated on release: the single player was unplayable because of the screwy AI and bugs, and the multipler just wasn’t working. Really not working. At all. Many players, if not all, left forever the game. After a few patches, things started to work. More or less. That’s when people realized there were no ingame voice comm, nor player list, nor proper lobby, nor map layout, nor loadout change, nor shadows, nor team orders, etc. Everything a tactical game needs.

    I also have to disagree with you on the difficulty. I see that you like dying fast, one shot one kill. Yeah I do like that too. Dude, I am still playing the 1st Ghost Recon (with the Heroes Unleashed mod). But TDRS is actually NOT hard: tangos do not flank you, they do not throw nades at you and engage you like in GR for instance. No, the difficulty in TDRS is “fake”. The AI is just aimbotting. Flash nades don’t work. Pathfinding is screwed. Running around makes the tango miss shots, which encourages run n gun. Come on man, stop lying to yourself. There is no “thinking” in TDRS.
    There isn’t even a quick map layout before the action so you can prepare your tactics.

    When you say that the missing squad control makes the game harder… come ON. You are gonna tell me that when your weapon stops working (reloading bug) it’s fine since you can’t do jack anymore and that’s harder? Same for the useless leaning? Would you go as far as saying that the game’s bugs are welcomed since they make the game harder?! This is denial.

    Look at Insurgency, which is quite famous right now, you also die with one bullet. Those guys didn’t do a Kickstarter. But they succeeded. So you tell me. What gives?
    There are a lots of games where you still die fast. It is not as rare as you might think. Take America’s Army 1 & 2. Take RavenShield. Look at Arma. Also SWAT 3 & 4. Then Operation Flashpoint, SOCOM… okay granted those are not recent games. Only Insurgency is recent enough.
    Coming up are Ground Branch, and Project Reality. Maybe.

    TDRS was indeed created hoping to stay as close as possible to the old tactical shooters. But look, Serellan only had $200 000. Yes they are a small team. Yes they could not probably have done better with so few money. But still… this is a technical demo man… coated with lies: screenshots with shadows, the trailer with the bullet hit shock and puff of blood, the lightning effects… those were misleading. Sure those are graphical features that I don’t care (except for the shadows, this can help sometimes), but they were cleary advertised to attract people. This is borderline scam.

    I followed their team getting created since the Kickstarter, and bought the pre-release. I listened to all the promises. I saw them making sounds recordings. I believed man. What a deception. This game is still a disaster right now.

    Slow walking and fast death don’t make a game tactical.

  4. OK, so now I see your points.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t having a personal go at you, I just wanted to point out some good things about the game that you had not mentioned in your review.

    Things like:
    no mini map, no linear gameplay/maps and a few other things that I mentioned.

    I was not saying that you had mentioned these things, nor was I putting words in to your mouth. I just thought that for a balanced review that these things should be mentioned.

    I also play GR Original, still one of the best tactical games made but still not perfect.
    I also play Insurgency which I think is a great game.

    My main issue with your review was that you said the game was un playable because it was too hard, however now that you have explained you feelings with more detail I can see what you actually meant and your comments were relating to the AI and aimbot rather than the game not being playable because it is too hard.

    You listed the “average graphics” in your bad points, this was the only reason that I mentioned it.

    Please be assure that I meant no offence to you and I think there may be a misunderstanding in translation?

    There are a lot of games due to be released in the coming year and I think the Tactical FPS genre will be revived with them.

    Serellan tried to do that with TDRS and although I was not part of the original kickstarter so wasn’t aware of the issues that you list relating to that I still play the game although more single player due to the server issues.

    Of course Pre-mission planning maps would be a good thing, as would HBS and any other tools available that would make the game more interesting, however I still maintain that it is playable and really the AI is the only big issue and is being worked on.

    All maps are possible to complete on SP without losing any operatives and the enemy AI can be beaten, so on occasions, going slow and playing tactically can be an advantage.

    I was serious about adding me on Steam and playing some games by the way.

    No hard feelings.

  5. Dude

    Once again, I have never said in my 1st post that the game was too hard nor did I mentioned the graphics were average. Re-read my first post, I was just trying to correct a mistake the reviewer made talking about “checkpoints” in Rainbow Six.

    Oh I see…
    You must think I am the guy (Damian Antony Seeto) that wrote the review…
    Well, I am not the reviewer :P
    I am just a guy passing by and commenting his review.
    You must be confused man.

    Ahaha now that I am re-reading your 1st post, you were talking to the reviewer too!
    I thought you were replying to me, to my 1st post!
    We were both confused. Actually, we both agree on many things.

    You are highlighting the good points of the game, and I am more focused on the bad ones.
    And, we both agree that this review is not good. :)

    However I stand my point, the reviewer said “It is too hard”, I say “the AI is too broken, and is aimbotting”. Not saying it’s too hard, just saying it is too buggy to be playable. Especially the AI.

    I hope this game gets better. However I do not see how they could pull this off…

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