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Video Game / Door Kickers

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Door Kickers is a PC game developed by Kill House Games, eventually ported to mobile devices, that revolves around controlling a SWAT Team from a top-down perspective. While the game itself is often described as a Turn-Based Tactics game, the game features Real-Time with Pause tactics instead, where you will have to pause and issue or change orders very frequently.

The gameplay is heavily based around tactics and equipment that real "Tac Teams" use, and features dozens of different weapons, 5 different unit classes, perks, and a leveling system.

Aside from dozens of self-contained missions, there are also several campaigns, which basically a series of single missions with a loose story connecting them, with casualties and deaths carrying over from one mission to the next.

A spinoff called Door Kickers: Action Squad was released in September 2018. Rather than turn based tactics, the game is instead a side scrolling real-time tactical shooter.

A sequel set in the Middle East, called Door Kickers 2: Task Force North, is in Early Access as of 2021. It features a more military style of gameplay, focusing on fighting insurgents and terrorists in the generic country of Nowheraki. In addition to playing the conventional and heavily-armed US Army Rangers, you can play as the stealthy CIA Special Activities Division, and the Nowheraki SWAT, a local military police force.


Door Kickers contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Achievement Mockery: The Slacker achievement in Action Squad; use Sniper Support to take out 1,000 enemies.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Expect to see a few of these in later Action Squad levels. They're basically jousting enemies that run at you, hit you for a decent chunk of damage and knock you back, and then run off before coming around for another pass. Also annoying to hit because they only come up to about most character's knees.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Exploiting enemy behavior is often a key to survival and clearing a mission.
    • Armed enemies tend to be divided into hiders (whom stay in a single room, often in a corner) and movers (who, once alerted, will try and move to attack your team, or alternatively start patrolling). Enemies seem to enjoy walking through the same door your SWAT team has their guns trained on, and they only rarely seem to take cover. This is less common in Door Kickers 2 as the enemies are more likely to take cover if it is nearby and ambush the player's squad.
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    • Enemies will shift directions they are facing in response to noises they hear. This, combined with silenced weapons and quiet entry options like opening doors and lockpicking, can be used to get the drop on even alerted enemies.
    • Enemies in Door Kickers 2 may, in addition to the above, begin firing long bursts off full-auto fire in the direction of player-created explosions, even if there are walls between them and where they heard the explosion, which effectively tells the player "I AM HERE!" even if none of the player's operators can see the enemy going rock-n-roll.
    • Similar to the above, some enemies in Action Squad may react with hostility to kicking a secured door, either by shouting or opening fire on it. Whilst some rooms start revealed so this is a little redundant (you can already see the enemies there), it can hint at the enemies inside sealed rooms. This can backfire though, as certain enemies will execute hostages if alerted.
  • Alliterative Name: Many of the enemies follow this trope. Examples include Tackdriver Tim, Operator Orville, Grenadier Glenn, Businesslike Ben, Juggernaut Jim, and Jacketed Jake.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: For the Nowheraki SWAT, the Leader class is one of your strongest troopers in direct combat, able to wear full armor and carry a sniper rifle, carbine, or a rifle with a grenade launcher.
  • Blinded by the Light: A useful tool, especially in Action Squad, since they detonate in mid air a second or two after being thrown, have a large blast radius, and can stun almost every enemy. If you hit someone directly they might get set on fire though.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Officers are able to perform the Mozambique Drill when using a pistol at close range, where they will fire two quick shots and perform a headshot with the third. The headshot is a guaranteed kill that ignores any armor, which is extremely helpful in dealing with armored enemies who otherwise may require over a dozen bullets to kill.
  • Bullet Time: Action Squad features special doors in the background that cause you to go into dramatic slowdown as you pass through them, as you're thrust into very close quarters with one or more enemies, usually of the kind that can very quickly kill you. In one level this is Played for Laughs, with one of these rooms having no enemies in it... but there are four Grannies ready to start smacking you with their canes.
  • Call-Back: In 2, a few missions feature a CIA Agent going by the name of "Fergie", the name of the FBI Agent from Action Squad.
  • Cannon Fodder: The Nowheraki SWAT teams Militia class in 2. They have fewer options for gear, with a lot of it being outdated, no optics, no access to helmets, a maximum of a single rifle-grade armour plate that only covers the front, worse training, and no access to any specialized gear like breaching charges or shields. However, they only count as half a unit towards your troop limit, meaning you can bring two of them for every unit slot, allowing you to outnumber the insurgents at times.
  • Crosshair Aware: A rare benevolent/friendly example; the Sniper Support Ultimate in Action Squad tags up to three enemies and inflicts significant damage, enough to oneshot all but bosses and miniboss types, indicated for you with big red crosshairs. Certain enemies also project a visible Laser Sight right before using fairly powerful attacks.
  • Cold Sniper:
    • While the player will never actually see the sniper in person, his voice tone, while calm and professional, can be off-putting to some people.
    • Parodied in the official web comic, where the officers assume this trope is in play, but the sniper is revealed to a obese man sitting comfortably in his chair and listening to music while surrounded by various types of junk food.
  • Collateral Damage: The Breacher excels at this in Action Squad, and this isn't always a good thing. Whilst you'll blast through everything in your path with enemy-piercing, armour-crushing slug rounds, if you're not lucky and careful you're very likely to end up hitting hostages in the process. Of course, for missions where this isn't a concern...
  • Combat Pragmatist: You are encouraged to play this way. Grenading rooms with no civilians or hostages, using suppressed weapons, snipers, blowing in walls, flashbanging a room before storming in, and more are viable. Suppress the enemy with molotov cocktails, blast entrenched foes with rocket launchers, shoot the enemy from the darkness with night vision goggles, get their attention with a soldier with a loud weapon while soldiers with suppressed gear sneak up on them... Fair fights get your police officers and soldiers killed, so never fight fair if you can avoid it.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Rangers can each carry a wall-breach charge in their special equipment slot that will destroy a chunk of most walls, allowing one to bypass parts of a map to flank the enemy or reach an objective.
    • The CIA don't have wall-breaking charges, but they can silently pick the locks on doors to stealthily enter areas that other squads would have to loudly breach.
    • The Nowhereaki SWAT's Sapper class has this as their specialty. While Rangers can only carry one wall-breaching charge, the Sapper can carry three demolition charges to get quick and violent access to inaccessible parts of the map.
    • All squads have access to rocket launchers as well, for when subtlety is not an option and you need that wall breached now.
    • Action Squad is much less permissive in this regard, though it still allows you to purchase door-breaching charges for certain classes which can be used to break down secured doors instantly - and kill anyone on the other side in the process, whilst the Recon class can silently pick doors like the CIA agents. The Professionals Abroad addon has some levels with Suspiciously Hazard-Striped Walls that can be breached with explosives to open up alternate routes.
  • Dynamic Entry: It's in the name! Very much so in Action Squad, where you explicitly have to kick down certain doors unless you're playing as the Recon. Some can be quietly opened, but can still be kicked open with the melee key if you decide to - for instance if there's a suicide bomber on the other side and facing the door. Alternately you can also use explosive barrels, breaching charges, IEDs, or raw firepower to blow down doors.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • While most of the game's enemies are outmatched in one-on-one combat even by low-level troopers with no perks and basic equipment, Mooks with assault rifles and body armor such as Operator Orville are a very different story.
    • Door Kickers 2 has a steadily-improving scale of dangerous enemies. Veteran Insurgents come with body armor and grenades and sometimes RPK machineguns, while Foreign Advisors are elite soldiers from an unspecified country assisting the insurgents, and are as dangerous and deadly as your own Rangers.
    • Action Squad has machinegun and flamethrower elites who can absorb a significant amount of punishment, even from the Sniper Support Ultimate. Fortunately they're not immune to flashbangs. Like 2, enemy equipment and dangerousness also steadily increase throughout the missions, with the game gradually introducing new concepts and threats over time.
  • Endless Game: Action Squad features an endless tower mode, with random challenges and modifiers for each floor cleared. How high can you go? Only one way to find out.
  • Enemy Summoner: "Homies" in Action Squad are cowardly 'enemies' who will flee at first sight of you, often opening doors and letting other enemies see you. They're the only 'regular' enemy type you can actually arrest, but you have to corner them or flashbang them first.
  • Funny Background Event: On a couple of Action Squad levels you can see a pair of Homies just chilling out on a couch, playing on a games console. The room they're in is usually completely inaccessible.
  • Gaiden Game: Action Squad is a faster-paced side-scrolling action shooter that takes place in roughly the same setting.
  • Guns Akimbo: One of the ultimate abilities for Agent Fergie in Action Squad is to draw a second gun and start blasting away with both. It's discarded when you use all your ammo though.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Action Squad lists each character's playstyle difficulty as either Easy, Medium, or Hard. Except the Breacher, whose difficulty is "LOL".
  • Interface Spoiler: The Nomex Suits upgrade in Action Squad, which reduces the damage you take from fire, can be acquired fairly easily and fairly early on - much sooner than you'll encounter either molotov-wielding Elite Mook units or pyro Mini-Boss types.
  • Kill Streak: In Action Squad, you earn points for taking down enemies, rescuing hostages, arresting Homies, and completing objectives (such as disarming the bomb in Bomb Defusal or capturing the main target(s) in Arrest Warrant missions). These points can then be redeemed for health, armour, and gear resupplies, a 1-Up, co-op teammate revival, or your selected Limit Break.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of the active gear items some classes can take in Action Squad is frag grenades. Explicitly called out as inappropriate for law enforcement;
    Kills indiscriminately.
    I thought we're the Police?!
  • Levels Take Flight: Action Squad, Campaign 5, Mission 10, Flying High. Probably one of the most difficult levels simply because it's a ton of hostages, a very tight space, and mooks occasionally spawning behind you. Don't ask how four enemies just came out of the same toilet you were just in.
  • Locomotive Level: Campaign 3 of Action Squad culminates with a bomb defusal mission on a moving train. Naturally you start at the back end and have to make your way to the front, saving as many hostages as you can along the way.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Zig-Zagged (realistically) in the original game, depending on the shield's coverage and how tough it is. It's possible for a big shield to completely protect a trooper from a hail of pistol fire, only for a few shots from a rifle to punch straight through and bring him down.
    • The aptly-named Shield class in Action Squad uses one. She's the slowest character by far, but also absurdly durable once health and shield strength are fully upgraded, even against rifle fire assuming you're carrying the rifle-resistant shield. Just don't let anyone get behind you.
    • Assault and Sapper class Nowheraki SWAT officers in Door Kickers 2 have access to two types of shield: a lighter one with wider coverage but only able to deflect lighter rifle rounds and vulnerable to heavy armor-piercing ammo, and a thicker, smaller shield that is immune to everything but with less coverage.
  • Machete Mayhem: Two enemy types in Action Squad are armed with machetes; their sole purpose is to sprint towards you and hack you to bits. The basic type is fairly dangerous already, but their upgraded variant can easily kill in a single hit, especially if they get you from behind.
  • Made of Plasticine: When using slug rounds with the Breacher in Action Squad, expect to leave levels painted in gore as enemies will explode into giblets from all but the longest range shots, especially once you've spent a lot of points on shotgun slug skills.
  • Missing Backblast: Both played straight and justified in 2. The AT4-CS (Confined Space) used by the Rangers and CIA was specifically made to be used in enclosed spaces by adding a salt water countermass to absorb the backblast. However, the same can't be said for the RPG-7s used by the Insurgents, or the RPG-26 used by the CIA, SWAT, and Insurgents, which are missing their backblast.
  • Monster Closet: Certain doorways in Action Squad can spawn additional enemies if you pass through certain areas or do certain things, making for a nasty surprise on the first time through a level. Chances are if there's doors on the background walls that aren't taped over, stairwells to upper levels, or bullet-time rooms, enemies are gonna pop out of 'em at some point.
  • More Dakka:
    • In 2, Rangers of the Support class have various types of squad machineguns, letting them lay down devastating rapid fire in open areas or tight hallways. The Nowheraki SWAT can equip both their Assault and Militia classes with these as well to provide fire support, while the former class, as well as this faction's Sapper class and the CIA faction's Undercover class, can also choose to equip a Mini-Uzi sub-machine gun as a secondary weaponnote .
    • Action Squad has enemies armed with both machine pistols and full-on machineguns. Both can potentially make very short work of your team, though thankfully the former are fairly inaccurate outside of close range. The Assaulter can also pull out an LMG as a backup weapon, and Agent Fergie can switch to an MP5K in place of her pistol.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Tasers can be equipped as an alternative to pistols. They can instantly down a hostile, but it merely incapacitates them for a short bit. To secure the hostile, one of your own operatives must stand over and handcuff them. However, make sure to keep an eye on any handcuffed hostiles, or they may be freed by their friends or get... ideas. While generally more risky, detained hostiles reap greater rewards than dead ones, so there is an incentive to take enemies alive. They're also used for missions that require you to bring suspects/HVTs in alive.
    • Thoroughly averted in Action Squad - you can briefly stun perps (either by Goomba Stomp, kicking doors into them, or using flashbangs), but the only ones you can take alive are in Arrest Warrant missions and the occasional Homie. You will slaughter your way through every other mission.
  • One-Hit Kill: Don't let the red bandana-wearing sword mooks get behind you in Action Squad One hit from their sword will kill you, no matter your class or health.
  • One-Man Army: Mostly averted, but not impossible to invoke. Teamwork, timing, and effective use of equipment is crucial from the beginning, and trying to micro-manage a single trooper and play the game like a third-person shooter will often end in death. However, with Trooper training, perks, and raw player skill, it's possible to do a level with only one Trooper. There's even a challenge specifically rewarding you for it.
    • Action Squad, being a more arcade-y sidescroller, has you controlling just one character, with the ability to earn lives from kills and rescues. You can do two-player coop though.
  • Optional Stealth:
    • Thanks to silenced weapons and nighttime missions with night-vision goggles, you can engage in sneaky shenanigans. Several missions require stealth, or at least encourage it, as it allows your troops to get close to hostages or other objectives without alerting the enemy.
    • The CIA is all about this. Undercover agents can don disguises and conceal weapons to blend into the civilian population, while Black Ops agents can wear a big poncho to conceal their gear until it is time to toss it off and go loud. CIA agents are also able to silently pick locks for stealthy entries into secure buildings.
  • Qurac: Door Kickers 2 is set in a generic Middle Eastern county named "Nowheraki."
  • Required Secondary Powers: In order to use their flashbang grenades most effectively, SWAT troopers have equipment and training that makes them immune.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. The revolvers available offer no real advantages over the .45 pistols, but have multiple weaknesses such as a lower fire rate, smaller ammo capacity, and inability to pull off the Mozambique Drill. The weakest enemy in the game also uses a .38 revolver that is ineffective in harming your officers.
    • Played with a little in Action Squad, where Agent Fergie can use a few different semi-automatics, or a higher-power revolver. Whilst the revolver has very limited ammo capacity (as you'd expect) it's also exceedingly accurate even if you empty the cylinder as fast as possible.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Downplayed. The names and facial features of several Troopers make it clear that they're female, but the game never makes a big deal of it, so its possible to have a successful Trooper without realizing they're women. All Troopers in both the first and second game use the same (male) voice lines, as well.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In 1 Officers who use certain handguns (such as ones equipped with compensators) cannot use them alongside the Center Axis Relock perk, as the Center Axis Relock stance puts the handgun close to the user's face and could result in injury due to the compensator redirecting gases.
    • In 2, different weapons have different types of ammunition, and mounts for different scopes depending on their country of origin.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The revolver toting enemy is named Junkie Harry.
    • The description for front-plate only armor includes the quote from Black Hawk Down of the ranger explaining to Grimes that he won't need his rear ballistic plate unless he plans on running away.
    • The steam achievement for unlocking the assaulter class is named "Now I have a machinegun".
    • The red-suited, cap-wearing hostage takers from Action Squad strongly resemble Red Dead Redemption II's Dutch Van Der Linde in dress sense, voice and choice of weaponry. They are also the only enemies smart enough to actually use the hostages as, well, hostages.
  • Sneak Attack: Attacking unaware enemies will generally always guarantee a critical hit that instantly kills them. Suppressed weapons, particularly suppressed submachineguns or pistols, are a very useful option for picking off enemies to gain entry to an area before going loud.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: In later campaigns of Action Squad, there's a rather sadistic twist on this; some hostages will be strapped with bombs, and there's an enemy type that holds a detonator. Some hostages will get up and run towards you when they see you, allowing the guy with the detonator to set the charge off. The hostage will block any shots whilst standing, so you have to figure out a way to get to the detonator guy or just hope the hostages don't rush you.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Demolition charges, wall-breaching charges, grenades, rocket launchers, underbarrel grenades, molotov cocktails, SLAP charges... there is no shortage of options to blow up the environment and your enemies.
  • Suicide Attack: Action Squad and 2 feature fanatical suicide bombers who will charge straight toward your team the moment they see you. In extreme close quarters they can detonate before troops with long guns can react, necessitating either a great deal of caution, short-ranged weapons like shotguns and carbines, or liberal use of flashbangs or grenades to clear a room. In Action Squad they'll almost kill most classes from full health, but it's narrowly survivable if you're the right class and have maxed out health plus other upgrades.
  • SWAT Team:
    • The first game, and its spinoff Action Squad, are all about a tactical SWAT unit going up against various entrenched criminals.
    • In 2, you can control the Nowheraki SWAT, which is a native military/police force. They have fewer weapons and lighter armor compared with the Rangers, but have access to shields, lots of explosives, molotov cocktails, and the option to deploy large numbers of militia to support them.
  • Take Cover!: You can duck down behind certain glowing objects in Action Squad to use them as cover from ranged enemies. Pretty handy sometimes. Don't mind the fact an empty steel drum probably won't stop full-caliber rifle fire. Some enemies will also take cover from you as well, mostly the molotov-throwers and a couple of other higher-tier enemies, which makes it impossible for you to hit them unless they're out of cover.
  • Taking You with Me: The detonator-holding enemies in Action Squad will sometimes raise their hand and set off the rigged explosives as they die, just to spite you. You either need to absolutely obliterate them (e.g. Ludicrous Gibs via Breacher weaponry), stun them, or free their hostage and then kill them. Heavy machinegunners in Professionals Abroad may also try to blow themselves up on death unless you're quick.
  • Time Bomb: Certain missions in Action Squad see you racing to find and disarm a Big, Bulky Bomb before it goes off. The timer is helpfully indicated at the top of the screen, and the squad will call it out the moment it comes on-screen so you know you've found it. Complicating matters, it may be hidden in background rooms and you need around ten (uninterrupted) seconds of interacting with it to actually disarm it, so no last second wire cutting saves here.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Agent Fergie in Action Squad can roll whilst crouching, making her the only class capable of moving whilst doing so - and it can also significantly reduce damage taken if hit whilst rolling.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you accidentally - or intentionally - kill hostages in Action Squad, a significant chunk of your health will immediately evaporate. Figuring out how to save all the hostages is thus as much about self-preservation as it is about getting a high score.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Suck to be on the receiving end of, that is. One Elite Mook enemy type in Action Squad packs a flamethrower, and whilst its range is short by real flamethrower standards they can still hit you from offscreen, inflicting a chip-damage-over-time effect that ignores your armour. You have to be extra careful around them too, since when their health depletes they don't just fall over dead - it's Flamethrower Backfire time. Careless positioning can get you and/or hostages exploded.
  • Zerg Rush: The Nowheraki SWAT have Militia class troopers who have only basic medium-range rifles, light armor, and grenades. However, they take up only half of a deployment point, meaning you can potentially two militia in place of a single trooper. Assuming there's enough deployment spots on the map, you can field a lot of militia. While they aren't as capable in close combat as other units, they make up for it by being able to quite effectively engage in medium and long-range combat.