There’s been no shortage of great PlayStation VR shooters since Sony launched its fledgling piece of tech some 18 months ago. Some highlights include Farpoint, DOOM VFR, Superhot, Raw Data, Apex Construct, and the superb Arizona Sunshine. There have been some duds along the way – Bravo Team was frustratingly abysmal – but now that the genre is starting to fill out, a winning template is slowly materialising. It’s a template that Killing Floor: Incursion mostly abides to, as it makes the leap from Vive and Oculus to PSVR.
The immediate appeal of any virtual reality experience is being transported to a world unlike our own. Incursion confidently ticks that box with its mish mash of levels, from catacombs and laboratories to spooky swamps and the abandoned streets of a post-apocalyptic Paris. The denizens that inhabit these simulations are also quite varied with a handful of boss creatures thrown in for good measure.
The most important part of that aforementioned winning formula is how the game feels. Absolute immersion demands a sense of physicality as well as game design details that make the action feel almost tangible. For a VR shooter, this translates into the heft and feedback of its weapons. This is something Incursion excels in once you’ve graduated from wielding its default pair of pistols. While the shotgun can be fire with one hand, you’ll need two to continuously pump it. Other two-handed weapons include a fireman’s axe, as well as assault and sniper rifles, each with their own immersive twist. Even the combat knives have a degree of dynamism to them, with the reload button used to toggle between melee/projectile modes on-the-fly.
Killing Floor has been around for almost a decade now, though you don’t need to have played previous games in the series in order to find your bearings. It follows a fairly basic plot that has you, a test subject, flashing between various simulations with a sinister overarching plot slowly forming.
Incursion is more of shooting gallery than a enriched, narrative-driven shooter, however. Unless you’re paying close attention, most of the dialogue and trance-like cutscenes will come and go with little fanfare before you’re up to you knees in zombie gore and viscera.
The game plays out in traditional fashion as you blast and hack your way from stage to stage. Each one is fairly linear, prodding you down corridors and into the occasional open space overrun with Zeds. There’s a smattering of fun yet brief first person puzzles, and each level is capped with a boss encounter.
In typical Killing Floor fashion, enemies love to get up in your face; with no ranged weapons of their own, they simply rush you from all directions in a barrage of fangs and claws. At first, you’ll try to keep them at bay before realising it’s easier just to grab an axe (or two) and create a vortex of death around you. With enemy AI being very limited in its behaviour, Incursion gets predictable real fast.
Playing with a partner in online co-op helps to stave off the repetitiveness, adding some extra firepower while encouraging you to goof around. Playing cricket with severed limbs was one of several non-prescribed activities I often goaded my online partner into joining.
Looping back to the beginning of this review, we already have a solid stable of go-to VR shooters. Killing Floor: Incursion definitely makes it onto this list though, trails towards the bottom half. It’s a great adaptation of the series but lacks longevity, mainly thanks to its reliance on using the same swarms of braindead cannon fodder instead of adding more diversity to its firefights.
Version tested: PlayStation VR – Also available for HTC Vive & Oculus Rift