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'Killing Floor Incursion': Thrilling, addictive, adventure

Marcel Thee

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, August 6, 2018  /  09:22 am
'Killing Floor Incursion': Thrilling, addictive, adventure

Zombie-slaying adventure: Killing Floor: Incursion is praised as a well-crafted and enjoyable zombie shooter game in VR. (Tripwire Interactive/File)

An exclusive entry into the PlayStation VR (Virtual Reality, with the Oculus Touch being compulsory to play and oddly, the PlayStation Aim controller not being compatible), Killing Floor: Incursion is a straightforward but addictive adventure of blowing endless hordes of zombies off.

While VR gaming still has its fair share of issues, Incursion is without a doubt one of its best titles yet.

Snappy and viscerally exciting, this extremely bloody game shares the strength of its predecessors — 2009’s Killing Floor and 2016’s Killing Floor 2 — in being especially fun to play together with friends. This element compensates greatly for the game’s almost characteristic homogeneous modus operandi, namely its enemies and stages.

That’s not to say that playing and slaying zombies alone isn’t fun. Utilizing the VR mechanics, the cartoony gore-fest is as engaging as ever, with blood splashing and zombie parts flying all over the red-drenched levels.

Even as a visual gimmick, there is no denying the dumb fun in choosing how to fight off the hordes of zombies (dubbed “Zeds” in the franchise), whether it is through gunning them down; utilizing one zombie’s limbs to chuck onto another; using the ol’ trick of axing off a zombie’s head or simply smacking them away with your hands.

As always, the game is about intensity — and with these creatures gnawing and growling right at your face, it is naturally thrilling.

As mentioned, players can go solo, but working together is simply more fun; you can lend each other weapons during battles and cover different areas — a necessity when the baddies come at you in increasing numbers.

This element of cooperation is what makes the game (and the series by large) an almost-must-be-played-in-groups type of experience.

Zombie mode: The game’s Holdout mode puts you up against a never-ending barrage of tougher and tougher zombies without any respite.Zombie mode: The game’s Holdout mode puts you up against a never-ending barrage of tougher and tougher zombies without any respite. (Tripwire Interactive/File)

Whether it’s deciding what kind of strategy — sticking together or barricading different sides of the area — would be best, or the simple joy of being in pure freak-out mode together, the hysteria is infectious and makes this a strong party game.

It’s those truly endless hordes of zombies that the game keeps ramping up that make Incursion feel so intense. Players get to barely breathe between levels before another swarm of zeds comes for a visit from all directions. Working together well is a must.

As with almost all of the PS VR games available right now, Incursion isn’t exactly brimming with content. A week’s time might give diligent players enough time to venture through all of the game’s levels, but that doesn’t really matter in context, as players, of course, don’t tend to engage in VR sessions for too long a period of time.

Bring it on: The game comes with just the right mix of weapons, enemies and settings.Bring it on: The game comes with just the right mix of weapons, enemies and settings. (Tripwire Interactive/File)

The main campaign is made up of a few short missions that are relatively quick to complete. There’s a bit of visual variety to these levels, but they aren’t massively distinguishable.

As always, the main progression is mostly made up of the growing number of swarms to fend off. A more obvious sense of progress comes from the increasing weapon options as you move on.

There is a “Holdout mode”, which is essentially the same as campaign, but even more linear, with not much variation excepting the continually larger number of zeds to kill.

Like the majority of similar VR shooters currently available, movements occur by pressing buttons (X and O) to turn on the PS4, while major movements happen through teleporting between places. It’s not ideal, and often makes it feel like a shooting gallery, but as the most viable option in this type of game right now, it works well enough.

As before, the game’s big bosses are its best features — introducing a very colorful variety of attacks and looks. Their level of difficulty is also another reason why playing together with friends will present a better overall sense of excitement.

Developer Tripwire Interactive has done well in creating a VR version of its popular zombie-killing title. It’s not a pioneer of anything in particular, but it’s a solid, if predictable, game that feels like a really good time at the arcade.

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Killing Floor: Incursion

Available on Steam Developer: Tripwire Interactive Available on PlayStation 4 VR and PC VR Reviewed on the PlayStation 4