Developer Tripwire Interactive's newest venture into the world of their best-selling FPS franchise Killing Floor is a VR fragfest that lets you mow down Zeds, or zombie-like clones, with satisfying ease. Using guns, axes, grenades, and even severed limbs, your PSMove controllers will be flailing and your face will be grinning.
Killing Floor: Incursion – Launch Trailer | PS VR
You begin KF:I as an injured Zed-fighting soldier strapped to a medical bay in a high tech lab. After a good jabbing by mechanized needles, you're thrown into a VR computer simulation, which unfortunately is also plagued by Zed monstrosities via a malicious computer program. Led by communications from an officer in the real world trying to find the cause of the infection, you'll shoot, slash, and blow to smithereens everything that stands in your way.
At its core, Killing Floor: Incursion is a teleportation-based twin-gun VR FPS, much like Doom VFR or Arizona Sunshine. The campaign progression is more polished than either, and the gameplay is tighter than that on display in Arizona Sunshine. Doom VFR might prove it's equal in graphics, and it's simpler approach to gunplay makes for a more user-friendly experience; however, better story presentation and fewer areas of utter darkness elevate KF:I above its counterparts.
It should be noted that, in addition to the PSVR headset, players also need to possess two PSMove controllers to play at all. These are necessary from a sheer mechanics angle, as there are plenty of actions players will need to take to clear Incursion's campaign. Players often have two pistols, which can be holstered, grenades that can be stored on their belt, and dual knives that can be stored in shoulder-sheathes. Each move controller has a button used to grab and release items, and the non-dominant controller has a button for teleportation, while the dominant has two dedicated to turning ninety-degrees in either direction.
The movement is smoother than the already serviceable locomotion in Doom VFR, and we found ourselves facing dark corners on far fewer occasions. One glaring exception to this improvement is the odd drift forward that the teleportation guide makes–it's often too slow, and rapidly moving the responsible controller does little to improve the guide's movement.
Still, locomotion is well done, and even enemies right at your nose can be dealt with by swinging items or empty hands, something that Arizona Sunshine still struggles mightily with. Grabbing holstered guns and knives generally works okay, though returning items to their carriers sometimes is a hassle, resulting in dropped goods; luckily, most of these seem to quickly teleport back to where they should be on your person, but it might've been streamlined by some quick-draw button.
The stages of Killing Floor: Incursion's campaign are broken into wave defense sections, fetch quests, and boss fights, all of which work pretty well. Fans of Resident Evil 7 will enjoy the first country-esque level, and the art direction fits well with Killing Floor 2 (which shares some design staff). The campaign came in at about four hours for us, but this is extended by the option to play it Co-Op, which is a big plus. Add a nice horde mode that can also be played Co-Op, and you've got a VR treat that other titles don't yet match.
All of this amounts to a pretty great game, and it's a lot of fun. There are, however, problems, the first of which is the intro tutorial. As opposed to the campaign, the tutorial is a little confusing, long, and not well directed. The culprit is the odd decision to have a supposed computer AI talk to you at the same time as another character, as well as a lack of clear printed instructions to accompany those verbally offered.
Then there's the throwing. Throwing grenades in Doom VFR is a blast, even if it's hard to sometimes face in the right direction to see the havoc you've wreaked. In Killing Floor: Incursion, however, we found throwing to be a real hassle, especially for tall players. Expect to adjust your PS Camera if you have it set up below your TV, and figuring where your tosses will end up–whether knives or grenades–is an exercise in frustration. At best, the mechanic is painfully difficult, and at worst, purely broken. When grenades were needed for the campaign, pulling the pin (using the second hand is fun, but needlessly complicated) and dropping it where the enemy would soon be and then teleporting away is easier than lobbing them correctly. Almost as frustrating was the use of two-handed guns, though their power made up for a lot of their difficulty when aiming.
graphics and sound
Like prior Killing Floor games, Tripwire Interactive has given us very pretty gore to drool over. Zeds are gruesome and get dissected by your blows, and severed limbs-turned-weapons waggly back and forth grotesquely. The provided flashlight is useful and keeps a nice ambiance without the need for every screen to be near-pitch black (we're looking at you, Doom VFR).
The voice acting is great, also, and wearing a good headset along with your PSVR helps with the atmosphere, allowing players to catch any sneaky backstabbing Zeds on their approach.
Is it worth it? Yes, very much so.
Sure, the tutorial is bad, and the throwing mechanic is somewhere between broken and difficult. But the graphics, shooting, and campaign are great fun, and as Doom VFR's main competition for action-heavy horror VR goodness, Killing Floor: Incursion comes out ahead with a better campaign story and fun Co-Op play.
|+ Nice graphics||– Broken throwing mechanics|
|+ Shooting and melee are great||– Bad tutorial|
|+ Storyline is engaging and well-paced|
|+ KF titles are always good fun|