With the third-person-shooter being probably the most popular genre of game out there, it's always great to find one you haven't heard about. Namco, the arcade guru of the older days, brings us Kill.Switch, which is one such game that was pleasantly surprising. We tested the PS2 version, it’s also available for Xbox and the PC.
Kill.Switch blends some Matrix ideas in with what would otherwise be just another shoot-em-up, so there are data streams and so on to jack you into each level, as well as that resounding interference rather than blood when you die. I’ll tell you what though - it’s pretty damn cool. You play a somewhat hardcore commando-type and there is some sort of storyline that fits in with this - end of the world, elite soldier - you know the sort of thing.
The real strong point here is control. Someone has used a degree of thought for the normal controls - dual analogue sticks for movement and aiming, the R and L buttons to fire, change weapons, duck or use cover. This has also been well thought. Metal Gear Solid utilized leaning, back to the walls to get better angles and so on. In Kill.Switch, you can put your back against the wall, and fire round the corner - something you can also do whilst crouching behind cover - blind firing into the hordes of enemy. It’s slick, easy and works well. In fact, its almost essential to use cover or you die. Simple!
This is complemented with quite striking graphics and great sound. I’d almost go so far as to say that the graphics were some of the most pleasing I’d seen in a long time. As if in some feat of greatness the AI has quite a bit of I. Ok, there is still a bit of numbskull-ness going on here, but the enemy does seem fairly aware and will duck behind cover and take pot shots when you least expect it. The enemy is no pushover either, a welcome relief from some all-too-easy combat games out there. In Kill.Switch you should take it slow, think about it, and then destroy.
In summary, this is a great combat action game, a decent package and well presented. There is only one criticism here - it’s all the same. That’s okay if you want action all the way, but if you don’t, there is little else. My advice? Get it anyway, its really good fun!