Takedown: Red Sabre has been designed to scratch a very particular itch. The late nineties saw the emergence of the squad-based tactical shooter, a genre well served with games in the Rainbow Six franchise, and Irrational’s sublime Swat 4. The hallmarks of the genre were an emphasis on careful planning, steady execution, and a sadistic lack of leniency. If your player character was lucky enough to survive a single bullet wound, his effectiveness would be so impaired that progress would be severely impacted.
By the time the HD console generation came around, there wasn’t much happening in the tactical shooter space. Sexed-up spinoffs like Rainbow Six Vegas made the genre more approachable, but the core loop of intense tension and planning punctuated with bursts of exactingly performed violence was a casualty in the “consolification”. Takedown developers Serellan LLC clearly shared my dismay at this wonderful genre falling by the wayside, and in their (successful) Kickstarter pitch, they dropped the right names, and espoused the right values, so I was keen to see what they delivered, almost two years later.