Tactical squad shooter Zero Hour has just got a chaotic new game mode

Zero Hour featured image
(Image credit: Attrito)

Tactical squad shooter Zero Hour has always prided itself in realism, reviving the intense fine-margins teamplay that was required in genre classics like SWAT and Rainbow Six. Of course it faces some fierce competition in the genre today, but over the three years since its release, Zero Hour maintains a committed player base and a commendable 'Very Positive' rating on Steam from nearly 26,000 reviews.

The developers over at Attrito M7 Productions know that to keep up in the arena of modern FPS combat, you need to keep evolving, and adapt to the environment to survive, which is why they're now delivering Update 4.5 to reinforce the game's arsenal of game modes.

The highlight of the update is Deathmatch Free-For-All—a pretty self-explanatory mode that usually needs no introduction, but Zero Hour's take has a few interesting hooks of its own). Setting aside the tight, team-based play that Zero Hour's become known for, in this mode you spawn in with a weapon of your choice and let rip on your enemies (which, by the way, is every other player you see).

combat in Zero Hour

(Image credit: Attrito M7 Productions)

The usual features of Zero Hour still apply, so when you gun someone down, you can take their weapon, which will mean that they then spawn in with the original gun you were wielding. Deathmatches will be playable on all the game's existing maps, and yes, you'll be able to knock out the lights using breaker switches, forcing everyone to put on their night-vision goggles, and giving an eerie new feel to the map as it's plunged into darkness.

Stripped of the methodical coordination required for Zero Hour's team-based PvP modes, the Free-for-All has more of a casual 'jump in and let rip' feel, letting you focus entirely on those elements like gunfeel and movement that the game's refined so much over the years. Of course, Zero Hour's bread-and-butter remains the team-based PvP, where SWAT teams face off against terrorists to try and defuse bombs or rescue hostages, and there's an excellent co-op mode too, where you and your pals use all the gadgetry and tactics at your disposal to face off against tough AI opposition (which will really tickle the nostalgia bones of SWAT 4 fans).

There are myriad other quality-of-life tweaks with the 4.5 update. The death screen has been overhauled, replacing the loud bass sound when you die with a screen that keeps you in the first-person view, but with squinted vision and slowly moving your view in the direction from which you were killed. It's a neat, stylish new touch.

freeing a hostage in Zero Hour

(Image credit: Attrito M7 Productions)

The lobby screen has seen an overhaul too, and now shows you and your squad mates, in all your bespoke attire, sitting in a SWAT van, terrorist van, helicopter, or boat (depending on the mission) as you brace for deployment. Then, when the round starts, you get to see you and your team exit their vehicle and deploy straight into the action. Again, it's one of those small touches that does a lot for immersion, making the pre-mission process feel like more of an actual hangout, rather than a mere screen that would make the less patient players among you get all twitchy with your trigger fingers.

The new update likely to lead to an influx of new players (just like you, Rookie) who'll be looking to find their feet in the game, making it a fine time to give Zero Hour a pop. You can buy Zero Hour now on Steam, so grab your trustiest, most tactically minded squadmates, and head on into the fray.

preparing to breach in Zero Hour

(Image credit: Attrito M7 Productions)

To get involved with the game's community, you can join the Zero Hour Discord, as well as follow the latest events on Facebook and YouTube.

Look alive, folks, because things can get tough out there…