Already claiming its name as a horde shooter on PC and consoles, Killing Floor has now stepped into the realm of VR gaming and is upping the ante for the first person shooter genre as a true competitor for games of its type.
+Absolutely gorgeous graphics
+Gameplay mechanics are some of the best in the VR genre.
+Aiming guns like a real-life weapon makes it absolutely one of the most immersive experiences to date
+Feels like it belongs right where it is within the already established franchise.
-Some of the weapons can be slightly hard to use and is not friendly for those looking to sit or stand still.
When it comes to VR games, we’re used to seeing first-person elements being brought to the forefront as one of the most suitable genres for VR gaming. As an already well-established genre outside of VR, horde shooters aren’t exactly something extremely well known in the shooter genre. Now, here we are – one horde shooter in the bag and one that does it rather well.
While DOOM VFR certainly corners the market in what it aims to accomplish. While both are very similar in several ways, they aren’t exactly the same, nor do they aim to accomplish the exact same thing. Instead, we have to look at what sets the two apart. At its core, the Killing Floor franchise is all about fighting off relentless waves of zombies (often referred to as Zed’s). Many of these Zed’s are deformed, hideous, and each carries on with their own unique abilities ranging from extreme strength to the ability to explode and cover the area in nauseous fumes.
Therefore, at its cores, Killing Floor: Incursion has a lot of things in common with its core series, but is presented in a very different way to long-time fans of the series. For those who are already familiar with the franchise, there’s a lot of this game that will seem familiar while other elements may seem a little off. First off, Killing Floor: Incursion is a slightly slower affair. Maps are massive, waves seem a bit less aggressive than before, but never-the-less, the threat is very real.
Waves spawn faster, enemies spawn a bit more frequently, and your HUD is a heck of a lot different. After all, who thought about the idea of making it so you can look down and holster your guns to your sides (literally, you act like you are putting them inside holsters) or even grabbing a flashlight and slide it into a clip on your vest? But what’s more interesting is how the game responds in this simulation of the “real world” events going on within the Killing Floor universe.
Want to know what your teleport energy is at or how low your health actually is? You’ll need to lift your hands, looking to where your PlayStation Move or VR controllers are. These will be indicated with health on the right and energy on the left. Interestingly enough, the game isn’t like its predecessors in a few minor ways. One, levels are much larger – as previously mentioned – and gunplay is more unique.
Headshots themselves actually require you to line your weapon of choices sights up with your actual eyes, giving you a clear view on whether or not your shots will count and if they are dead on. Puzzles are existent, requiring you to navigate your way around the map, snagging what few things you can before moving on. Each one playing their own role within the plot put before you.
However, when it comes to VR, this is expected. There’s a lot of need to learn about what’s been placed before you and why. There’s even reason to wonder about why an item has been placed where it had and how it got there. There’s even an actual story for you to learn about, given its depth, it’s highly recommended that you pay attention to what is being said and what you see.
As you progress through the game, boss battles are placed before you, each ranging from a standard affair to something a bit more of a spectacular representation and adrenaline-inducing encounters. Bosses, just like in Killing Floor and Killing Floor 2, are absolute bullet sponges just as one would expect. The only way to fight them is shoot and dash, staying out of their reach as to not take damage from their killing blows. Enemies such as the Scrake and Fleshpound are horrible foes to go up against, but with a bit of patience, a bit of coordination, and the battle is yours to be had.
The hardest one I encountered was in the third area of the game – the Parisian Catacombs – a place that’s deep below the asphalt streets up above us, ones that required me to work my way through each of its tight corridors. Before long, I was introduced to the sniper rifle, a rather hard to use weapon due to how Killing Floor: Incursion plays. This weapon, while extremely difficult to master, is one of the best there is. Its damage is insanely high, its usability is limited as you do have to shoulder it like a real-life gun. That alone makes it one of the best weapons you can use to date.
But now? Now I crave more guns like this in Killing Floor: Incursion. I crave the idea of blasting as many enemies in the head as I can throughout the entirety of the games 3-4 hour story. However, you may be wondering more about this boss fight that I mentioned, the one that made Chapter Three by far the hardest one in the game. Heck, it was hard enough I watched our senior content coordinator and director of PR struggle with the game itself. VR is where he absolutely dominates unless it’s a game like Diablo III and here? He was absolutely having a hard time taking on a Husk.
The whole fight evolves around you dodging about the middle of this rooftop in Paris Burning – well a look-alike – and shooting him when you can using said sniper rifle. The part that threw us off wasn’t what you would expect by any means. Rather, we weren’t expecting those odd-ball enemies to join the fight, one or two aiming to turn us into some light-night zombie kibbles. Given a few reluctant moments to dodge enemy attack and we were once more facing down that annoying Husk.
After a bit, I found myself having teleported across every square inch of the match, beating down any foe that got in my way. Swinging my fist when needed be in order to knock any zeds that got way too close away. To be honest, fights like this, even when using my pistols (which I keep holstered at my side) is an absolute blast and it makes every bullet feel like it matters. By the end of the fight and the small moment of relaxation that came after? I was panting, I was shaking from the excitement, and at some point, I’m pretty sure I almost punched our TV.
I did it again when taking on a Fleshpound, one of the most fearsome foes in the Killing Floor universe. The best part of it all? The entire game is playable in cooperative play. The experience itself is amazing, it’s adrenaline-inducing fun, and your friends only add to the already existing chaos that ensues. In addition to the story mode, there are several other modes to explore. First up is the horde mode, which on its own is an interesting mode to play, and requires you to take on endless hordes of Zed’s and their random mutations on throughout the course of every wave. At least at the moment, which gives you two modes to enjoy.
If that’s not enough carnage for you, just know that Killing Floor: Incursion is already getting a ton of support from the developers, which has already seen a new map and even a new mode launch in recent days, which we’re hoping makes their way to the PlayStation 4 variant rather soon.
Killing Floor: Incursion – Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Release Date: Available Now
Lastly, we have the visuals. Let me tell you now. The visuals are some of the best in the VR genre. They’re realistic, they aren’t scaled down by any means, and as odd as it sounds, I can’t wait to see what the game will look like in the very near future as more and more updates are made to the PSVR headset itself.
If that’s not enough appraise for the game, then I really don’t know what is, but all I know is? I gotta stop this review here. I can go on for days on how this is by far one of the best VR shooters I’ve ever played. So get out there and give it a try for yourself. You won’t be sorry.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.