Killing Floor Double Feature

Killing Floor Double Feature

There's both good and bad at play in these games, and it's not just the Zeds.

The Killing Floor Double Feature is a twin pack of games exclusively for the PS4 that contains Killing Floor 2 and Killing Floor Incursion.  Given there’s a chance that both of these may have passed players by since their releases in 2016 and 2018, respectively, and even though one was given away as a PS+ title, Tripwire Interactive are making it as easy as possible to get hold of their most recent works.  I’ve got to put myself in the camp of those who missed both these games originally, and that’s after Killing Floor 2 was highly recommended by one of my colleagues on this site.  Now they’re both available as a single budget purchase does that make it more enticing a prospect?  Let’s dismember them one game at a time…

Killing Floor Incursion

Starting with the PSVR game, Killing Floor Incursion is an FPS entry in the series that ties a more focused story to the action.  You’re put in the virtual shoes of a trainee recruit for Horzine who gets trapped in a combat simulation when virus code gets injected and turns the program against you…  though all is not as it seems.  Tasked with saving the DNA data that’s been collected by the company, you need to fight your way from area to area, clearing out Zeds and solving a few fetch quest puzzles.  It’s a free-roaming adventure with the core focus being on shooting and surviving each encounter that manages to throw in some nice touches and design choices to pull you into the world.  Unfortunately, all the choices that have been made aren’t the best and it loses some of the impact as you work your way through the story.

Initially you’re thrown into a tutorial room that lets you get to grips with the controls and mechanisms that you’ll have at your disposal when you start taking out monsters for real.  Shooting and movement are key, but there’s also throwing, health management, a flying companion and a flashlight that doubles as a puzzle solving device to get to grips with.  It’s a nice clean VR style area that serves its purpose and takes a little bit longer to get through than maybe most would like, at least you’ll get to practice with twin pistols and chucking knives around, as well as working out how to holster them when you need empty hands.  Locomotion is dealt with through teleportation and is tied into a regenerating bar that doesn’t allow you to move too quickly or too often.  Wherever you end up moving to, the direction you face is retained and button presses are needed to rotate the view.  This detail is important because it’s arguably the one thing that really lets the game down later on.  Finish the tutorial and it’s time to head out into the nightmare that is Killing Floor Double Feature’s VR showcase.

There’s one thing that really strikes you with Incursion and that’s how good it looks and how well the Move controllers are mapped to the action on screen.  With the assets from the main game being reused, the look and feel has the synergy you’d expect and visually it’s one of the best titles out there.  Gun tracking is excellent, and there’s a fantastic touch where long weapons are lifted to look down the sights and they lock into your virtual shoulder making aiming so much easier than in other VR shooters.  With two hands free there’s the option of wielding a melee item and a single firearm for maximum effectiveness against the swarming Zeds.  Just don’t try it with the shotgun because you need your second hand to pump it and chamber the next round.  Grenades crop up on occasion to and can be stored in the webbing around the virtual character, as can any other item as long as you get it in the right place.  Pulling an axe from your back and the torch from the front feels epic and builds the immersion brilliantly.

Sadly, the intricacies of the combat are also some of the elements that let it down too.  You’re prepped for virtually everything in the tutorial, but not the fact that enemies come from all directions at once and the button press turn system is slow (there’s no option for DualShock controls to counteract this).  Teleporting away gives some space, though against bosses it’s only a matter of seconds and by the time you’ve turned to face them it’s time to jump out of the way again which makes the big encounters a bit of a chore rather than a test of skill.  Grabbing the aforementioned stored grenades is more like trying to pluck one of the characters testicles out, and because the webbing is mapped so close to the virtual body, getting other items in and out of holsters is fiddly.  The biggest issue though is areas that have to be cleared before the path forward opens up and Zeds randomly spawn to come at you.  It becomes unplayable when they spawn within walls and you can’t see them or take them down.

The main story can be played fully in co-op if you can find another player, and there’s a more classic survival mode to go at as well.  Adding these to the multiple difficulty levels means there’s some replayability, but it’ll mean persevering through the issues inherent in the design of the game, and quitting and reloading gets tedious when it’s the only fix for the enemy spawn issues.  It’s disappointing given how enjoyable it can be when it all works.

Killing Floor 2

What you might call the meat of the Killing Floor Double Feature, Killing Floor 2 is now 3 years old though isn’t showing its age.  It’s a slick and stable co-op survival shooter that’s best played online with 5 others, though still works in single player if you can’t find anyone in a game.  Not that it’s an issue, even this amount of time after release the servers are still fairly well populated with those looking to blow apart monsters.

The premise is simple, load into a map (of which there are a lot) and defend yourself against 7 increasingly difficult waves of onslaught before the final boss makes an appearance.  In between each wave there’s an opportunity to resupply and buy or upgrade weapons with a vendor, and the location is changed each round so you’re forced to move around and see the entire map.  That’s no bad thing though because there’s a lot of detail and multiple routes through the areas and it helps figure out where the choke points are, and where you can find space to stop being overwhelmed.  Of course, the best way to work is as a team and have each others backs, something that the gameplay subtly promotes through forcing you to bunch up to grab ammo, and circling you all with Zeds.  They might have the numbers but they’re not the most hardy of creatures and it’s not long before heads are popping and limbs are getting lopped off in great visceral detail.

This being an online survival shooter there are plenty of classes to pick from and upgrade, and each one has specific perks that support your playstyle.  Each 5 levels gained opens up a couple of perks to pick from, through you can only select one in each level meaning that there are tactical choices to make.  However, as more levels open up it might force you to reevaluate your current setup to make you a more effective hunter.  Firepower is also upgradable, though it will only remain active for the round you’re in, as will buying new weapons.  There’s a surprising amount of depth to the changes that can be made mid-game, and even if you’re in a specific class, it doesn’t lock out picking their weapons for use as long as you’ve got the cash to spare and the storage available to take the weight – something that’s in place to stop you just having all the guns in the world strapped to your back.  A nice touch is that you can share cash and ammo with other players at the press of a button meaning that no one really needs to go short and get stuck mid-fight.

As you’d expect there’s a lot of customisation for each character so that you’re well distinguished from the others, and this is unlocked via the vault section of the main menu.  A word of warning, the first time entering the vault starts to load up all your dosh in set increments, so if you’ve a lot of cash it’ll take a while to get through… it’s not actually broken.  Then opening all the crates can take an age or feel like its not working, but it will end up alright.  This isn’t the place really where you want to spend your time though, that’s in the arenas going for headshots that will slow down time and give you some respite from the onslaught.  When it gets manic it really is crazy and you feel like you are fighting for your life in a world going to hell.  The way Killing Floor 2 gets that frantic nature right and drip feeds the background story through the environmental details makes it a compelling experience even though there’s no story path to follow.

The Killing Floor Double Feature is a decent enough concept that combines two interesting games set in the same universe.  Killing Floor 2 is the standout amongst them both and will be the one that you spend more time in.  It’s fast paced action and pay off makes it something that you’re happy to keep ploughing through on an evening.  Incursion is a bit different because the concept is superb, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired, to the point where I’d find it hard to recommend it given the quality of some of the other PSVR shooters out there.  With it bundled in this pack then it’s worth trying it out, but monster hunting is best left to the instalment that has the most longevity to it and lets you play without having scratch your virtual balls to get them to explode.

A review copy of Killing Floor Double Feature was provided by Tripwire Interactive’s PR team, and the game is available now on PS4/PSVR for around £30.

The Verdict

8Great

The Good: Presentation | Online performance | Depth

The Bad: Incursion glitches | VR implementation

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Matt

Co-founder & Editor at Codec Moments

Gamer, F1 fanatic, amateur DJ (out of practice), MGS obsessed, tech geek.

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