Killing Floor: Incursion is the latest game in the Killing Floor franchise by Tripwire Interactive. Like previous entries in the franchise, Incursion is mostly about fighting zombies (called Zeds in this series) in waves, with some exploration and puzzle work in between. Unlike other entries in the franchise, however, none of this is really within the real world of the game. You play as a soldier hooked up to a virtual reality system from which he cannot readily escape. A virus has hijacked the system and manifests itself in the form of the Zeds. For the first time, fans of the series can embark on the survival horror adventure in virtual reality, supporting both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The game’s four levels follow the same pattern; fighting the Zeds mixed in with finding a particular object or marking after clearing an area, followed by a boss fight. You will have to make frequent use of the flashlight, which has a mode to provide visible light, but also a mode that can reveal the hidden objectives, most of which are invisible otherwise. The levels themselves aren’t anything impressive in terms of design, but they are enough to keep the player engaged and on their feet while progressing and waiting to encounter Zeds. The Zeds themselves look great on a VR headset. The screenshots in this article do not do them justice because they cannot provide the depth perception a headset can. They will actively attack you and can be quite surprising if they’re not in your field of view.
The controls are the weakest point of the game. The game provides options for standing or sitting gameplay, but the actual movement is handled with the analog sticks. Similar to other shooters like Robo Recall, the left analog stick is used to highlight a portion of your view, which your character will instantly teleport to. When stationary, moving the stick left or right will cause your view to pivot and become centered on that direction. This can also be achieved through physical turning, though many will want to avoid this as not to become entangled in the headset’s cables. This can lead to very frustrating situations, as the game takes about a second to refresh your rotation. During this time, enemies can move freely, making escape and retreat not only difficult but often impossible. When in a large swarm, you often resort to using the shotgun. Manually pumping your shotgun gets tedious and the novelty wears off very quickly.
The player fights the Zeds by typical zombie staples such as shotguns, knives, and improvised explosives. Unlike most shooters or adventure games that have an inventory menu, Incursion forces you to carry weapons on your person and grab them as you would in reality. You can carry one pistol on each hip, a flashlight on your chest, a grenade on your belt, and shotguns, rifles, and/or large melee weapons like axes or swords on your back. This adds an extra layer of realism, but in practice, it can be a clunky aspect of the game. It is common to forget which weapons you have on your person, and if you do not put a weapon into a holster properly, you will simply drop it. The game does give you the option to choose whether or not you must hold down an analog grip button to actually hold the weapon, but this can get tiring. The alternative is to press the action button to do so, but in a hurry, you will often miss the hitbox for putting the weapon away. Like the shotgun pumping, this is more realistic, but it gets old very quickly. What’s more, it actually inhibits your ability to adequately play the game.
This realistic style of weapon switching also means that you must manually perform these actions in the heat of battle. It is vital to keep a constant watch on your ammo and situation so you can quickly reload, discard, or holster your weapon to switch to one when it no longer suits the situation.
Fans of Killing Floor or survival horror in general will likely enjoy the game, but it is a hard sell for most other gamers. The controls severely hampered an otherwise enjoyable, but short game. Boss fights and certain areas in the game become frustrating in a bad way – you die not because you made a mistake, but because the game can move faster and around you while you’re unable to do anything. It’s not difficult in a genuinely challenging way like Dark Souls is. It’s difficult because some of the game’s mechanics simply don’t work out, similar to Sonic The Hedgehog (2006). Unless you’re a fan of the Killing Floor series or a huge survival horror junkie, this game is best skipped.
Our Killing Floor Incursion review was conducted on PC via Steam using an Oculus Rift with a code provided by the publisher.
While Killing Floor Incursion can be fun, its clunky controls get in the way of actually enjoying the game.
- Crisp, Fluid Graphics
- Genuinely Shocking
- Ruinous Controls
- Fairly Short Length