KEY POINTS

  • "Zero Hour" is a true tactical FPS that focuses on CQB encounters and squad tactics
  • The game is inspired by the classic "Rainbow Six" and "SWAT" games
  • "Zero Hour" is receiving constant updates from its developers 

The tactical shooter subgenre of FPS games hasn’t seen much in terms of new game releases over the past few years. Much to the dismay of fans, venerated titles in the genre like “Ghost Recon” and “Rainbow Six” have mostly evolved to cater to different audiences. However, “Zero Hour,” an indie game made by a small team in Bangladesh, retains the traditional feel of the original games in its genre and currently, it’s one of the best tactical shooters in the market.

Zero Hour” is a cooperative, CQB-focused, squad-based game similar to “SWAT 4” and “Rainbow Six Lockdown” where players are tasked with responding to terror attacks in and around Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Players take the role of operators of a tactical police unit specializing in threat neutralization, hostage extraction and bomb defusal.

The game features competitive PvP modes and PvE scenarios that can be played either solo or co-op. In true tactical shooter fashion, “Zero Hour” is seriously slow-paced; players are actively discouraged from running and gunning due to the lethality of combat and unpredictability of AI combatants.

Players have the option of executing missions however they see fit. For example, a squad can breach and clear compounds with force using flashbangs, frag grenades, ballistic shields and high-caliber weapons. Alternatively, missions can be executed stealthily by cutting off a building’s power and clearing the premises with night-vision goggles and silenced firearms.

Zero Hour offers intense CQB encounters in PvE and PvP scenarios Zero Hour offers intense CQB encounters in PvE and PvP scenarios Photo: M7 Productions

The AI in “Zero Hour” is quite good. Enemies can be found patrolling parts of a map and they will respond accordingly to loud gunfire, flashbangs and lighting conditions. Some enemies may occasionally use hostages as human shields and use parts of the environment to their advantage.

The game’s art is very impressive for a small team. Graphics are clean and high-quality and the animations are top-notch. Audio effects can be better but the developers have announced that they are working on overhauling the game’s sounds for a future update.

“Zero Hour” is currently in Steam Early Access but so far, the game has proven to be very capable of delivering an authentic tactical shooter experience and with a very active development team working out the game’s tiny cracks, it has the potential to be a very big success for the genre at large.