Preview: Zero Killed – A Tactical Shooter That Means Business

There are several military style shooters available for virtual reality (VR) fans, with the likes of Onward already seeing inclusion in esports leagues. Polish indie studio Ignibit is looking to break into this market with its realistic first-person shooter (FPS), Zero Killed. Offering a wealth of loadout options, there’s reasonable variety in the gameplay, yet there’s still work to be done to make it a polished experience.

Zero Killed is a purely online multiplayer experience, and while that can have its own issues as a fledgling title looking for players, the lack of a single-player option just means you’re thrown into the thick of it right from the start.

The videogame revolves around 4 vs 4 team gameplay, with any combination such as 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, or 2 vs 4 if you like a challenge. Unlike mech multiplayer Vox Machinae, Zero Killed doesn’t add bots to make up numbers so finding other players is crucial. This can be the make or break for any VR multiplayer, with many goods ones falling foul to the lack of players.

For the Early Access Zero Killed will feature four game modes: Data Steal, Domination, Hunt and Tournament, each offering the usual options like deathmatch and capture the flag. These take place across three locations: Nuclear, Suburbs and Sewers. While each of them may offer different strategies depending on the mode, they all feature that drab, utilitarian design, akin to Soviet era designs with endless browns and greys to enjoy.

The overall layouts may not look particularly amazing, but the loadouts do help to make up for it. Before a round starts you get to choose from one of 10 characters, each one with their own specific deployment of weapons and accessories. These range from your standard sniper class, to a heavy with a machine gun, and different assault classes. It can be a bit bewildering to begin with as each characters loadout can be further customised with three primary gun options, secondary pistol, various grenades and so one. This really does allow you to tailor and fine tune your character precisely.

Another area Ignibit has obviously spent time on is the movement system. There’s no teleportation here folks, pure direct locomotion. Movement is finely intertwined with the left controller used for gripping the gun – there didn’t seem to be a left-handed option at this stage. Using Oculus Touch, pushing forward on the stick won’t necessarily move you in that direction, as the controller also needs to be facing the correct way. This encourages the use of gripping the weapon, improving accuracy whilst making walking through the areas much easier (this does mean there’s no dual wielding).

Ignibit has wisely chosen to enter Early Access ahead of full launch to iron out the experience, as there were a number of bugs VRFocus came across. These ranged from glitches on level starts to accuracy issues with certain guns. Nothing too over the top and something that the studio can easily fix. It’s important that it does, anything less than a perfect rollout and players can quickly lose interest.

Currently, Zero Killed offers a gritty, option laden experience. The videogame may not be overly original – when are military shooters – but it doesn’t necessarily need to be, it just needs to provide solid FPS gameplay. In that regards it’s on the right path, and VRFocus will be interested to see how it progresses.