Despite coming out a few months ago on PlayStation VR, I’ve only recently had the chance to play through Killing Floor: Incursion. I know, I know, I consider myself a keen supporter of Sony’s virtual reality headset and I’m even a fan of Tripwire’s brutal shooter, yet it’s taken me this long to finally play through it.
Well, I’m glad I did – Killing Floor: Incursion offers a slick first-person shooting experience that not only provides some satisfying shooting mechanics but also some entertaining multiplayer action too.
On the story side of things, Killing Floor: Incursion is a little underwhelming. You play as a soldier who, after suffering from a crack to the head, ends up in some sort of experiment where needles are getting injected left, right and centre (which is as jarring as it sounds when seen in virtual reality). The procedure also involves going through a simulation which, of course, goes wrong and sees you facing off against countless vicious Zed across multiple environments.
It’s a bit of nothing and doesn’t really do anything to improve upon the game’s campaign. Sure, it tries to keep things interesting by injecting a bit of humour here and there, but it ends up falling a little short. Thankfully, most gamers won’t be here for the story but rather the all-out shooting action.
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning the controls. Killing Floor: Incursion offers both free-movement or teleportation, so players of all comforts with virtual reality will be able to get into the game with ease. To get the most out of Killing Floor: Incursion I’d recommend free-movement – there’s quite a lot to see in the game and there’s a big focus on exploration, so it always feels a lot more immersive to actually move around freely as opposed to zipping around spot-by-spot.
You need Move controllers to play Killing Floor: Incursion, so there’s no Dual Shock alternative or (more disappointingly) Aim support. It can make actually moving around feel a bit fiddly due to the fact you have to use the face buttons of each Move controller, but at the same time there’s a big focus on dual-wielding so it pays off on that front. There’s nothing diabolical about the controls either way though and most players should find themselves getting around with ease by the end of the first level of the game.
One thing I have to mention about the controls that I loved was how you holster all your weapons and gear to your body. I loved pulling a gun from my side or from behind me, whilst simple things like grabbing the torch from my chest felt satisfying too. Sure, I was guilty of accidentally dropping items a lot and it could get confusing trying to remember where each weapon is, but it’s a lot more satisfying to grab them from your body as opposed to simply using a button-based weapon wheel. It feels neat and just adds to the satisfying sense of action that the game offers.
Killing Floor: Incursion’s main mode is the campaign, which sees you work through a series of different levels that are made up of three parts, the third being a boss fight against some zany but grotesque creature. The levels themselves are made up of exploring, shooting and solving simple puzzles, which was actually a pleasant surprise since I was under the impression that the game had gone for the wave-based shooter approach. Instead, there’s a decent little campaign here that kept me thoroughly entertained throughout its roughly four-hour length – sure, it might not have done anything to revolutionise the virtual reality shooter genre with its ‘go to area, kill and repeat’ formula and it could be a little linear, but it also utilised the Killing Floor world in a meaningful way that made all of the non-stop action a lot of fun. The boss battles were pretty great too and all lived up to the over-the-top standards set by the series.
A shooter would be nothing without fun guns to use and enjoyable shooting mechanics, and thankfully Killing Floor: Incursion delivers here. Let’s face it, any shooter that utilises Move controllers is going to be fun, and it’s the same case here – blasting away at a set of enemies on each side with different arms (or even cockily crossing arms to pull off head shots) is immense. Even attacking with basic melee weapons felt incredibly satisfying too, with there being a real weighty feeling to even the simplest of weapons.
The two-handed weapons could be a bit of a mixed bag, though. It wasn’t that they weren’t enjoyable to use, but rather that they didn’t always have perfect accuracy when aiming through the iron sight. This wasn’t a constant issue, but it was as if the game was struggling to track the two Move controllers properly when you lined them up together to aim down at your enemies. It definitely made it a lot more difficult to take down foes and instead saw me focusing on using things like the shotgun rather than something that demanded a bit more accuracy to aim with.
Still, as mentioned it wasn’t a consistent issue and when things worked well it felt good. The two-handed melee weapons in particular stood out to me – nothing quite like taking a Zed apart brutally with an axe, right?
Besides all of the shooting action, one thing Killing Floor: Incursion manages to nail is the sense of fear. You’ll constantly hear enemies running around you and coming from all directions, and then when you turn around they’re right there in your face. The amount of times I jumped out of my skin because of some monstrosity that just popped up in my face was unreal, although it did make it all the more satisfying when I managed to pull that quick headshot off to save myself. Admittedly, you do get used to it and the fear does quell a bit as you progress through the game, but Killing Floor: Incursion does deserve some praise for its uneasy horror aspects as much as its shooting.
One thing I haven’t mentioned is that the entirety of Killing Floor: Incursion can be played online with a friend, which is absolutely brilliant. There haven’t been a whole lot of co-operative virtual reality experiences yet, so having campaign to play through is definitely a plus. There’s even an additional mode to play in called Holdout that focuses on killing onslaughts of enemies as opposed to progressing through levels, with a good variety of maps on offer that are full of different power-ups. It’s definitely something that’s worth sticking your teeth into, especially when playing with a friend.
Killing Floor: Incursion’s virtual reality twist on the brutal all-out action that the series is famed for is a heck of a lot of fun, with the non-stop shooting and the game’s eerie vibe making for a thoroughly entertaining experience. Add to that the fact that it has a decent campaign that can played in online co-op, and it’s easy to see that it’s one of PlayStation VR’s more substantial first-person shooters.
It does have the occasional flaw, with two-handed weapons sometimes struggling to track and the campaign sometimes feeling like it follows a repetitive formula, but in all Killing Floor: Incursion is certainly a title that virtual reality fans won’t want to miss out on.
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
Format(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), HTC Vive, Oculus Rift