The shooter genre has been a staple in the video game industry ever since technology allowed them to be made. Like the platforming genre before it, titles that go under the "shooter" moniker usually follow the same basic formula, but since the formula is so fun to begin with many people don’t care to change it.
When people do change things up a bit (Max Payne) the results can be stunning critically and commercially. Hoping for such results, Namco has released Kill.Switch, a pretty standard shooter with more emphasis than ever before on finding cover for your soldier.
Namco pulls this trick off by giving you a wide variety of ways to grab cover, and allowing you to shoot at your enemies accurately by leaning out slightly, exposing some of your body, or simply putting your gun up and firing chaotically and without direction, exposing none of your body.
The gimmick works well within the game’s gameplay, breaking up the standard 3rd person run-and-gun gameplay nicely, and while the emphasis on hopping behind cars and stacks of tires aplenty gets a tad bit old near the end of the game, it still holds out pretty well throughout.
When you’re not laying waste to enemies you’ll engage in the game’s narrative. Though, like many other 3rd Person shooter titles, Kill.Switch’s story isn’t anything especially original, Kill.Switch does show that its story is a little better than the norm, unleashing a few twists that are sure to at least jog minor interest in your character’s efforts to pump lead in every terrorist on the planet.
To round out the game is the excellent audio and graphics. The game’s environments are well designed and detailed. Animations are fluid and the character models they are moving are flushed out. The music playing behind everything keeps the tension and is very fitting, and the only time it’s outdone is when the game’s excellent sounding sound effects blast over.
In the end, Kill.Switch is a solid entry into the shooter genre. Though the game only breaks a little new ground, anybody who enjoys a good action title or just likes feeling their pulse quicken could make far worse buying decisions than Kill.Switch.
Developers: Namco Bandai
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox