Killing Floor: Incursion - What Nightmares are Made Of (First Impressions)
Besides working for VR Game Rankings, I also moonlight with the VR Roundtable podcast. VR Roundtable received review code for Killing Floor: Incursion, ahead of it's August 16th release date, courtesy of Tripwire Interactive and Oculus. You can check out VR Roundtable's early YouTube let's play right here. We've all had a chance to try out Killing Floor: Incursion, but we're extremely early in the game at this point. So, unfortunately no definitive takes on the game quite yet. However, even in my short time with the game, I've come away with some very strong feelings about it.
The first thing you need to know about the game, is that it's very intense. I know that the word "visceral" is such a tired and played out word for describing video games, but seriously... there really isn't any other word that more accurately describes this game. Killing Floor: Incursion is about as visceral as games get. The other thing that you need to know, is that this game isn't for the faint of heart. While this game is certainly high-energy action, rather than psychological terror, there's plenty of terrifying encounters to experience. Nightmare fuel is in great abundance in this production.
I consider myself a middle-of-the-road type when it comes to horror. While, I can normally make an attempt to play any horror game out there, I'm not necessarily immune to "nope-ing" out of something. There have been times, when I have ripped the headset off my head, and just walked away from a game experience. So far, in Killing Floor: Incursion, I've been able to deal with the horror that Tripwire Interactive has thrown at me, but I have to say, some of these zombies and creatures you're battling can be quite disturbing if you really take the time to look at them.
The funny thing is, you'll actually get some time in which to marvel at the wonderfully hideous character models that Tripwire has brought to bear. Occasionally the game will go into an automatic slow-motion mode, which you can use to quickly pop a few enemies heads, assuming your gun is at the ready and you can aim quickly enough. Besides the gunplay, you can also slice and dice in this game with the greatest of ease. It's like a Ginsu Knife commercial from the 80's! Instead of slicing up cantaloupes and watermelons, you're slicing up the zombie enemies into bits and pieces. The blood and guts in the game is at a slightly higher level than most horror games I've played.
Interestingly enough, while this game might seem like the type of horror game that only enthusiasts could stomach, there are certain things that Tripwire Interactive does, to help calm the nerves a bit and lower the intensity level. The conceit for the game is that you've entered into a neural link with a simulation gone horribly wrong. You're supposed to be in a training simulation, but some type of virus has corrupted and taken over the simulation. Enemies will digitally materialize into the world, and when you kill them, they will slowly digitally dematerialize. Seeing this, helps me get my bearings and calm down a little bit. You see the digital fade away, and realize that everything going on is just a simulation. Some horror fans might be disappointed by this, because they feel that it takes them out of the game a little bit. Honestly, this is the whole point, because I'm telling you, this is actually pretty damn intense. Some of the zombies in this game are very terrifying creatures, that animate realistically, with the ability to startle the heck out of you. These monsters can approach you from all angles, and the 3D audio does a wonderful job of making you feel like you're inside this horrible real-life situation. I could hear footsteps of approaching zombies and monsters, and it's a very unsettling sound. Our lizard brains can't help but react to this type of stimuli.
So, the real question is, should you run out and buy Killing Floor: Incursion on Wednesday for $39.99? I can't definitively answer that question quite yet. I hope to get through the game and have a review available on launch day, when the review embargo has expired. What I can suggest, is checking out some of the early gameplay videos that are floating around the internet, like Steve's video that is linked above. See if the intense, visceral, horror/action gameplay is something you're looking for. It will certainly be interesting to see if this game lives up to the streak that Oculus has going with their higher-end releases. Oculus has really been killing it lately with games like Lone Echo, Mage's Tale, Wilson's Heart, Rockband, and Robo Recall to name most of the big ones. Will Killing Floor: Incursion be regarded as highly as the rest? Tune in on Wednesday to find out!