Kill.Switch

Kill.Switch
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
Words By:

Someone's definitely going to release a third person shooter called "OH NO, IT'S ANOTHER THIRD-PERSON SHOOTER" - it'd sell by the truckload for sure. But this one's got one heck of a cool name; Kill.Switch (not to be confused with Killzone) and despite initial reservations about the graphics that eventually became a major concern, Kill.Switch gave this reviewer some of the best shoot out action he's had in quite a while.

Kill.Switch sees you playing a super soldier named Bishop. He's a highly skilled cybernetically enhanced mercenary whose memory has been wiped clean, and the plot leads him teasingly by the nose with a mysterious agenda. Your missions take you all over the place, to global 'hotspots' like the Middle East, the Caspian Sea region, and North Korea. As the twisted story unfolds, your reason for being is revealed as well as who you are, and exactly why you are undertaking these dangerous, sometimes seemingly impossible assignments. Kill.Switch might not win any prizes for graphics, but it's certainly an innovative and exciting tactical shoot 'em up that emphasizes realistic cover tactics with its unique "Offensive Cover System". It also lets you peek out from behind cover, or use "blindfire" tactics too. The game constantly demands that you use proper tactics, and forces you to use the surrounding environment for cover. Should you think you can wade in all guns blazing then you won't last 5 seconds. The copious enemies are far too accurate with their increasingly deadly arsenal of weapons, and their AI is sneaky and genuinely clever as they realistically use cover (just like you'll have to).

   

The animation on the enemies is also pretty good, as they stagger when hit and also have varied and dramatic death sequences. Perhaps surprisingly in a game of this type, there is not a drop of blood in sight in-game, which is weird considering most of the link sequences seem to feature the events surrounding the nasty death of Bishop's wife. It's a confusing plot for a confused game - Kill.Switch clearly doesn't know quite what it wants to be - perhaps the inevitable sequel will let us know exactly what the heck was going on.

Playing a bit like a solo Desert Storm with the now typical first and third person control methods, Kill.Switch starts with a nifty quick training mode and then you're off on a mission. R1 fires your weapon; square throws a grenade, R2 reloads, R3 zooms the view if the weapon allows it, and circle is a melee attack. L2 scrolls through the available weapons and the D-pad selects weapons, weapon modes and grenade types. L1 is crouch but also activates Kill.Switch's best bit, the stealth game's ubiquitous 'wall hug'. With L1 pressed when Bishop touches a wall he'll press up against it - from here, you can make him sidle, crouch, peek round corners, shoot or throw grenades blind, or even aim accurately by swapping to first person (an it's all done very simply and intuitively).

   

Kill.Switch doesn't play like a Metal Gear Solid copy, nor is it a Syphon Filter, Splinter Cell, Desert Storm or Max Payne clone, and its praiseworthy ambitions mean it would seem quite capable of blowing itself a niche in a crowded and hyper-competitive market. Sadly the graphical glitches, the rocky frame rate, the simply terrible looping music (you can turn it down, but stupidly the FMV sound gets turned down too - will developers ever learn to thoroughly test sound levels or give you the option of setting them individually to your own preference?) and the lack of a two player mode make it way less than the triple A title we were hoping for. What you do get is an exciting and innovative shooter that's as hard to put down as some classic 2D shooters of the past.


Good Points

- Playable, exciting and innovative action…


Bad Points

- …Let down by poor graphics and some terrible music. A confusing and unnecessary plot that never really gets explained or resolved.



by: Sloppy Sneak