Killing Floor Double Feature PS4 Pro Review
The Killing Floor franchise is ten years old and to celebrate, developer Tripwire Interactive has released a KF Double Feature for the PS4 that provides a nice balance of gameplay between the two. With Killing Floor 2 you get a coop horde shooter while with Killing Floor Incursion for PSVR you get a campaign mode that fills in the history of the franchise while giving PSVR players that in your face experience only VR can do. Together the two games make for a package that has all gameplay elements one could wish for.
Killing Floor 2 is very much like a brother to the last DOOM game. They share much of the same DNA in terms of gameplay–fast, furious, gory, and relentless. In both games, to move is to live. Stop moving and you’re dead. Where KF2 differs from DOOM is it’s all about coop play. There’s no single player campaign here.
KF2 does have a backstory but it is cursory and has just enough meat on its bones to provide context to all the mayhem. It goes like this: there are a bunch of monsters on the loose courtesy of Biotech company Horzine whose research has run amok. It may be Horzine’s mess but it is up to the public, soldiers, and mercenaries to clean up the mess.
It’s Survive or Die Here
There’s no campaign here. It’s kill or be killed for as long as you have the reflexes and appropriate perks to stave off your inevitable death. Your goal is to survive waves of genetic monsters referred to as Zeds, earning money with each kill that you use to buy weapons. Each more powerful than the one before, some ground in reality while others bestow ridiculous killing power upon you. Make it through ten waves and then it’s boss battle time. That’s one of two main modes. There is also a versus mode.
So that is KF2 in a nutshell – never-ending hordes of monster massacres. The shallowness of this mode is offset by several factors ranging from the aforementioned mentioned weapons, the player classes, and setting up a team to best face the beasts. Coupled with those features is the game presentation. The monster designs and how you can tear them up by strategic dismemberment or headshots – all rendered in great detail keep you coming back for more.
The weapons are rendered in great detail too and developer Tripwire has targeted their use expertly to make the guns in this game feel so right. There are over forty different weapons and that does not include grenades and knives. Each weapon feels different from one another and depending on which class you play and the perks you focus, they add a different flavor to your loadout too. All weapons are graced with great animations – be they when being used or idle plus they all have their own slick sound design too.
Suit Up Soldier
Speaking of player classes, there are ten to choose from: Berserker, Commando, Demolitionist, Field Medic, Firebug, Gunslinger, Sharpshooter, Support, Survivalist and SWAT. Picking a class will restrict which weapons you can use with the exception being the Survivalist class can use all weapons. Each class has its own set of perks and part of playing the game is finding out which loadouts and perks best suit your gameplaying style and the needs of your team.
Mowing through enemy waves allows for further customization as you level up and then face a boss battle after the tenth wave. You will face one of two bosses–Dr. Hans Volter or the Patriarch. Each has their unique strengths you will have learn strategies to defend against. They also have their weaknesses you will need to discover to help dispatch them. Volter is an emaciated sadist in an exoskeleton while the Patriarch is the former CEO of Horzine. They both possess three lives and carry a last-ditch survival mechanism to make killing them even tougher. The Patriarch can cloak himself and scurry away to hide and heal himself. Volter will attack you with a forcefield to try and overpower you and steal your health.
To further vary things up are the various flavors of Zeds. Eleven in all varying from the standard zombie-like Clots, easy to dispatch singly–tougher to do so when they come in groups, to the Scrakes. Fewer in number but much stronger and equipped with chainsaws. The real joy is in dispatching the Zeds thanks to the M.E.A.T. system. M.E.A.T. stands for Massive Evisceration and Trauma system which gives you twenty-two ways to slice, dice, and rip apart the Zeds. The blood flows aplenty in a river filled with limbs, heads, gore and viscera.
The game makes no bones about what it is all, about but call me a crotchety old man, I just can’t consider any game the full package without a single player campaign. Still, that lack does not take away from how fun this coop mode is.
Killing Floor Incursion is a newer game released in 2018. As many VR games, this one is shorter than KF2 but makes up for it with a campaign mode and a control scheme that has a bit of a learning curve. However, once you get used to, you really become engrossed in the game as you pull out guns, knives, flashlights and other equipment as the tactical situation requires. Generally, the tracking is quite good as you reach to your waist for your guns, to your chest for your flashlight, and over your shoulders for your knives. Almost every item in the environment is available as a melee weapon including the limbs and decapitated heads of the monsters! There is something very viscerally satisfying about pummeling a marauding monster with a limb from one of his brothers. Make note though, there is no DS4 support for this game. You need two Move Controllers. An option to support the AIM controller would be a nice addition.
The number of enemies are not as varied in the VR game and in total there are only four stages – Cabin in the Woods, catacombs inside a canyon, the sewers and Eiffel Tower of Paris, and an industrial complex. Pretty standard fare for this type of game. There is some innovation here and one of the highlights is the Paris tower scene as you use a sniper rifle to fend off waves of monsters. It feels so right in VR using the sniper rifle as you work the bolt and aim. Really well done.
There are the welcome comfort VR comfort options so you can choose between teleport or smooth walking or both! The graphics are top notch for a VR title and the same ability to decapitate or cripple enemies exist here too with the requisite gore and blood. Mention most also be made of the 3D positional audio. Vital in the horror genre not just for creating mood and tension but for helping locate enemy locations. This is a solid zombie shooter and supplants Arizona Sunshine as the king of zombie shooters.
Killing Floor 2 and Killing Floor Incursion go together like Rocky and Adrian. Each game has gaps. But different gaps that complement one another. Put together they give you a gameplaying experience where the sum is greater than the individual parts.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- Action out the wazoo!
- Many ways to play KF2
- Killing Floor Incursion grabs you viscerally
- Frame rate suffers a bit
- Killing Floor Incursion lacks variety
- KF2 feels anti-climatic