Namco
Namco
Military Action
1
10.28.03

kill.switch


Before I even start this review, any fan of military action games should not miss this one. The story behind kill.switch is rather appealing, and it keeps your interest throughout the game. This third-person action title is packed with intensity, and gives you the adrenaline rush that you're always looking for.

Gameplay

The gameplay is filled with intense shooting. You are pretty much always being shot at, and in this game, you must take cover behind objects or you will die. At some points in the game, it will almost feel like Metal Gear Solid 2. You have to take cover, but there are no alarms to be raised, so you shoot everyone you see. The gameplay was designed rather uniquely. The command center/narrator will talk to your character, and he makes references that you are controlling him.

The whole idea behind the "blind fire" feature is quite a unique concept. When hiding behind any object you can always aim where you want to fire your weapon, but there is two ways to do it. The first way (standing or crouching) would be just to look at your enemy and fire at him. This was works well, but also opens you up to getting hit with flying bullets. This is where blindfire comes into play. When behind an object (still aiming), instead of looking at your enemy, you can just fire away. This way is less effective, and can quite often miss your target(s). Nonetheless, it's the safer way if you want to stay alive. Another drawback would be that it wastes more bullets. The overall aiming is easy enough and well adequate. Certain weapons have the ability to zoom in, but it is scarcely used because the action is so intense. There are quite a handful of guns to find and use. AK47s, M4s, and the M1 are just a few that you will be able to use.

Besides those ways of attack approaches, there is a few other ways. Sometimes you'll come across stationary weapons, like machine guns that you can get your hands on and take out hoards of enemies at once. Another way would be to throw a grenade or two. When you kill someone, their weapon supply will be available for you to pick up. This is good because sometimes you'll run out of ammo, especially if you're doing a lot of blindfire. The enemies can drop guns, ammo, and grenades, and flash grenades.

The L button is used to go up against walls, or other objects. The R trigger fires away. The four main face buttons are used for diving, throwing grenades, etc. The B button is used as a weapons bash. If you are close enough to an enemy you can bash his face in with any gun. For the most part, the button layout and control is presented flawlessly.

The enemy AI acts very realistic. They obviously also take cover, and are not always easy to kill. I shot a few baddies in a room, and I hid before anyone else walked in. Well, when an enemy soldier walked in, he didn't automatically start shooting. That's because I was hiding, and he also walked over to dead guy, and bent down to check on him. That was something I was not expecting. They will also yell out commands to each other, like "get down", or "take cover". This chatter really makes the game more action oriented. But the AI is not perfect. At other times they will yell "grenade" and act so idiotic by jumping right into it and killing themselves.

The best part of the gameplay is you can never just walk out in the open. Doing this will make you open season, and you'll be dead in a matter seconds. The gameplay is similar to the patience of Splinter Cell, but on a whole other level. The different level is, hide and shoot, but "you can be loud". Splinter Cell was more of hide and shoot, but "be quite" type.

One downside to this military-type game is that you are all alone in this adventure. It would have been cool to have other people with you on a team, but this game was meant for a one-vs-all experience.

Graphics

The graphics look like Namco quality graphics. Wonderful lighting effects of thunderstorms may remind you a little bit of MGS2. The overall graphics give you a sense that you are in a war zone. Beat up cars, burning barrels, all make up the environments in kill.switch. The up close graphics are nicely detailed, especially on the main character.

The graphics in the levels display great lighting effects, and detailed textures. Bullet shells will be all over the ground after unloading countless amounts of ammo on the foes. When you through a flash grenade and you are too close to it, you'll feel the effect. A loud hissing sound in conjunction with a bright white screen with a little bit of blur, will make you unable to focus.

The enemy animations when they get shot or die is very life-like. Depending on where you shoot them, it varies how they will react. Shooting them in the leg won't totally kill them on the first shot, but they will be reacting perfectly to wherever you aim. Debris flying off walls as you're under fire makes this game even better than what it is. Another nice aspect is that the enemies will limp when injured. The shadow effects are awesome too. When you die, or are about to die, the screen flashes like you are about to lose your connection. You'll be showing signs of interference, and it will eventually go out, meaning your dead.

Sound

The soundtrack in the later levels really gets heavy. The music suits the game well. The gunfire sound effects range from loud to somewhat silent shots. You'll hear enemies yelling at each other to get down, and many other types of orders.

Bottom Line:

You could say (slightly), that is Time Crisis in 3rd person. The reason I say this is because Namco's light gun game involves you constantly taking cover, and so does kill.switch. Most of the time you'll be sneaking along walls, because you can't just walk out in the open, and this is what makes this game stand out. I have nothing bad to say about this game other then the fact that there is no multiplayer. If you're looking for a good military single player game, then hook yourself up with kill.switch.

Related Links:

kill.switch Homepage

-Steve Melanson




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