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Killing Floor: Incursion

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Release Date: May 1, 2018


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PS4 VR Review - 'Killing Floor: Incursion'

by Cody Medellin on March 28, 2019 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Killing Floor: Incursion brings all of the horror sci-fi carnage that fans love to the next level in this cooperative VR shooter.

Buy Killing Floor: Incursion

Killing Floor was originally a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, which gave players a sense of what co-op zombie killing was like years before Left 4 Dead. While the latter is a bona fide must-have, Killing Floor is a deeper experience due to the inclusion of a shopkeeper that lets you replenish your inventory between rounds and the ability to temporarily route the zombie hordes by blocking off doors. Almost a decade later, you had Killing Floor 2, which upped the presentation significantly while still keeping the core gameplay loop of the original. Instead of giving us Killing Floor 3, however, the developers at Tripwire Interactive have decided to give the series a little detour into the realm of VR with Killing Floor: Incursion.

Unlike the previous two games in the series, Incursion makes more of an attempt to tell a story. You play the role of a nameless soldier who's recovering from a major zed attack. While strapped to some machinery designed to help you recover, you're sent into a virtual training program to regain your mental faculties. However, the program has been infected with a virus, and dying in the program or letting it continue to run corrupted will also result in your demise outside of the program. Your job is to survive all of the virtual zed attacks while also trying to figure out how to get out before the virus runs its course.

The controls should be very familiar to those who have played some of the early VR shooters. You can use the two Move controllers to aim and shoot at enemies, but you can also use your free hand to manipulate some of the door locks. Movement is warp-based, so you need to point where you want to go before you warp there, but the warping is regulated by an energy meter. At times, you'll have to hold down your movement button to get your movement marker to slide forward until it arrives at the desired destination. Turning is handled by buttons, and you'll be turning approximately 20 to 30 degrees per button press, which prevents you from getting disoriented.

Shooting feels fine when you're using handguns, and the lack of manual reloading means you don't have to worry about putting in a fresh clip. Some guns will ask you to manipulate them using two hands, and while the game doesn't support the use of the AIM accessory, using the guns still feels nice. Pumping the shotgun feels natural, as does pulling back the bolt on the sniper rifle. Grenades need their pins pulled before they can be chucked, while knife-throwing feels accurate, since you're using the trigger to let go of the weapon instead of the Move button, which feels more awkward.

Perhaps the most satisfying thing to do is use melee attacks. Simply punching a zed will suffice, and using the butt of your gun is also effective. Finding and using knives and axes are certainly preferred due to their reach and ability to cut off limbs. The limbs can also be used as melee weapons, and even though they aren't as effective as an ax, hitting a bunch of zeds with dual arms is still amusing. Then again, you'll want to melee as much as you can once you get the bladed limbs of some zeds, since that's the strongest melee weapon.

All of this sounds like a fine VR experience, but there are a few things that mar the overall experience. The first issue has to do with the boss fights, which don't match up with the quality of the action everywhere else in the game. As you would expect, the boss zeds are simply bullet sponges, and the presence of other zeds during the fight are merely there to make the fights more terrifying. The only strategy you'll ever need in these fights is to warp away, turn around, pump a few shots into a boss, and repeat the process until the boss falls. Set in very open arenas, the boss fights are dull since the only way you can get hit is to not pay attention to when you should warp.

The other big problem has to do with weapon accuracy. For some reason, you're never going to have good aim with any of your guns. Even if you try to aim down the sights of a pistol, the bullet travel is way off, so trying to get headshots from a distance is impossible. Sniper rifles aren't any better, since trying to use the sights only works half of the time, so shotguns are the only accurate weapon. You have the benefit of seeing where your bullets go, since they seem to all be tracer bullets, but when you're getting surrounded by zeds, unless you plan on hitting everyone at point-blank range, you're better off sticking with melee weapons for ensured kills.

In concert with that, the accuracy issue also affects weapon holstering. There doesn't seem to be an issue with holstering two-handed weapons behind your back, and returning a flashlight to your chest registers just fine. However, putting your handgun back in your chest or waist holster sometimes results in you firing a shot to the ground, and trying to cross over your body to take out or put back a pistol is more difficult than you'd think. Putting a grenade on your chest or waist is almost impossible, so unless you plan on holding a grenade in your hands at all times or using it at the spot where you picked it up, you're never going to have one available for boss fights.

The game's only other mode is Holdout, and it plays more like the previous two Killing Floor titles. You select the environment and try to hold out as long as possible against wave after wave of approaching zeds. While there is no shop this time around, new weapons are available after every round, so you still get the feeling of upgrading and having an improved chance of survival due to a better arsenal. Don't expect anything deeper than warping from place to place and whaling away at every approaching zed.

Both Holdout and Story modes have co-op play as an option, and if you can find someone willing to play with you, it's certainly the best way to make the game easier. This is especially true, since the mode doesn't seem to scale up enemies or boss energy that much, so the presence of someone else easily compensates for your limited movement. Otherwise, the solo game isn't too challenging unless you select the hardcore difficulty level.

Like many VR titles out there, the game manages to impress despite the blurriness of the PSVR at times. The zeds look gruesome, and their animations are smooth when they shamble toward you and when they start to disintegrate. The backdrops are also nice, and while you can easily tell that some of the textures are flat, they still fit in with the style of the two previous titles. Sound is also a strong point here, as the gunshots and explosions and zed groans come in crystal clear, with the spatial audio being a nice touch for a VR game. There's not much to complain about in the audio realm.

In the end, Killing Floor: Incursion is fine. The guns work well, but the lack of accuracy will have you favoring melee weapons until you have to use your guns to solve puzzles and fight against bosses. The lack of device accuracy also means that you'll have a tough time trying to holster your weapons, making the combat feel slower and allowing enemies to get in a few cheap hits, but boss fights make the combat feel tedious. The game being available in co-op is nice, but once you're done with the campaign, there isn't much to draw you into the horde mode. If you're a fan of the series, you'll dig it, but don't expect much in the way of replay value beyond showing off the technology to friends.

Score: 7.0/10

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