If the arcade classic “Time Crisis” had a third-person shooter
for a sister, Namco’s “kill.switch” would be it. Utilizing a unique
“offensive cover system” that allows players to use many of the
in-game objects, such as crates, wall partitions and window ledges
as shelter from a continuous onslaught of bullets and shrapnel,
“kill.switch” is able to keep its rather blase premise alive and
kicking.

Kate Green
Courtesy of Namco
Just hold still for a moment …

Gamers control a skilled military operative on a variety of
missions that span the globe. A loose storyline based solely around
a pair of voices present at the beginning of each mission and a
fragmented video clip that progressively gets more and more
comprehensible as the game progresses are all that hold the
narrative together. However, Namco opts to dumb down the storyline
in order to focus more on the quick-fingered, duck-and-cover
gameplay.

In many ways, “kill.switch” is a solid game. The levels are
designed with the “offensive cover system” in mind, which means
there are a lot of cat-and-mouse type shootouts between the player
and the compute- controlled opponents. The action moves at a
breathtaking pace and the AI is fairly solid; opponents will often
work in teams to flush the player out into the open.

“Kill.switch,” however, is not without its faults. The graphics
and sound are merely mediocre; textures seem too blocky at times
and the sound becomes repetitive. Being a third-person shooter,
“kill.switch” suffers from camera-angle issues that many others of
its kind have as well.

Level design is also an issue as some scenarios are a great
degree harder than others and, without checkpoints around the
halfway mark, dying in the final stretch means playing the entire
level over again … and again … and again. This tends to get
frustrating after a while, especially when deaths often come by
fluke grenade blasts or cheap sniper shots. In addition, replaying
levels reveals a more predictable AI; computer-controlled opponents
move in the same patterns and follow the same orders as they did
the last time around.

Despite its faults, “kill.switch” is a fun ride … while it
lasts. In the end, it feels as though Namco released a game with
good, strong intentions that could be the basis for a great
third-person shooter down the road.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *