Takedown: Red Sabre is not your typical, cookie-cutter first person shooter. I felt it the moment I sat down at one of the PC’s in the room for 505 games. As a person more familiar with the styles of a Call of Duty or Team Fortress 2, I was immediately sobered in the first few seconds from my comrades in arms shouting orders and announcing enemy tangos in sight. Takedown is a serious, tactical shooter and the guys at Serellan make no apologies for it.

All right, don’t let my opening paragraph scare you away. Takedown may have a serious side, but that takes nothing away from the fun and intrinsic rewards of working as a team, clearing rooms and obtaining objectives. This game is all about team-based strategy and communication. In the demo I played, my Red Sabre team was infiltrating a top-secret corporate facility to destroy data in their possession.

I’ll admit that I had some nervousness and trepidation at first. One shot kills meant that every bullet counted. We began taking out enemies in the courtyard. Like I do in many shooters, I was reloading often to stay on the ready. Well, I quickly found out that was taking too much time, I had to conserve my reloads for when there was opportunity and when my teammates weren’t reloading so they could cover me. Serellan obviously took painstaking amounts of time to recreate realistic everything – from physics to reload times to bullet trajectories and bullet penetration. This may all seem oppressive at first, but once you’re in the world and operating, these realistic aspects become tools instead of a hindrance.

The environments are superbly laid out with AI that uses those environments to every advantage they have. Once, I peeked out a door, it was clear. I said “Clear” and my partner and I moved out through the door. POW, I was down. An enemy had stood with a clear shot on me, but I never saw him because he was behind a window that was reflecting the sun. I never saw him. Let’s just say there was never an unbroken window after that. I wouldn’t be tricked again. All the environments have a clean, modern feel to them that I think fit well into world they are building.

The very last round I played, the team made it pretty far with only one hard drive to remove. All of sudden, we hit a bad pocket of guys. It wasn’t like walking into the obvious kill box at the beginning of the level, but our enemies were ready for us. I was the lone survivor. And even with my teammates and the rest of the Serellan team behind me, it was very lonely in those now-empty corridors. The worst of it is we left one hard drive behind. I had to backtrack. I was almost there when I turned a corner and the two of us each went down in a hail of bullets. It was intense, but what a rush.

Takedown: Red Sabre is not going to appeal to everyone, but I can guarantee that this game will have a strong community that will make this a success. With 6-player Co-Op and 6v6 competitive multiplayer, I think everyone will find a great balance of teamwork, communication and tactics. I’m definitely curious to see where the game goes from here. Takedown: Red Sabre is slated for PC and XBLA release.

Takedown Red Sabre E3 Gameplay