It would be difficult to find anyone who’s come into contact with videogames that hasn’t played the odd first-person shooter (FPS) or two. Even with virtual reality’s (VR) brief time as a consumer product headsets like PlayStation VR have been inundated with zombie and military style shooters that lack innovation. So when another comes along it gets heavily put under the microscope to see what sets the experience apart from the rest. With the appearance of Kill X by Vivagames at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018 this week, not a lot by the looks of it.
Kill X goes for the classic, military combat simulator experience, pitting you against a bunch of dudes hiding behind walls. If there’s a story arc its difficult to tell at present as the only in-game information is in Chinese on various posters and pieces of paper.
The current build being demoed for Kill X is a basic tutorial of the videogames’ mechanics, which are a little stiff yet reasonably acceptable when considering the PlayStation Move controllers. You walk by pressing the ‘move’ button and looking in the direction you want to head. Press the same buttons down on both Moves and you get a little jog on. All simple so far, however movement becomes trickier when you want to turn and walk.
With a roomscale system you could just physically turn, or with DualShock4 use the analogue stick. Instead, on PlayStation Move it’s a case of pressing the triangle or square buttons, resulting in a tank like system similar to the original Resident Evil videogames. While that was fine back in the day (some do still prefer it), nowadays it feels cumbersome and inorganic, especially in VR. It’s easier to stand in the open and take a few hits whilst shooting enemies than trying to make any use of cover.
Also fundamental for any FPS is a decent shooting mechanic, one that feels like you’re not just holding the gun but that each shot does generally go where you intend. Yet Kill X features some giant arms that jiggle and wave around erratically. They’ so big you’d have thought they were dangerous weapons just by themselves but alas not, no melee here, its all guns.
Of which there are a reasonable selection, pistols, machine guns, grenades, all the usual, with each hand able to hold three weapons at a time that can be cycled through. As mentioned however, shooting the bad guys is neither fun nor exciting, more a necessary chore and for those that like headsets best of luck.
Kill X has all the charm, grace and originality of a modern Steven Seagal film, you know what’s going to happen before its occurred and getting to the end just seems like it’ll take way too much will power. With certain aspects that can, and cannot be lived with Vivagames still has some way to go until Kill X should be taken seriously be FPS fans.