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kill.switch - PS2 - Review


Posted by: jkdmedia

Review Rating 8.0 Great

If you're going to start a war, you'd better be prepared to take cover.  You should also be ready to take aim and take out the enemy.  When you're done doing that you might as well take over the place.  That's the premise of kill.switch – take cover, take aim, take over.  And that's just how the game plays, in a clever, exciting way.

kill.switch is like Metal Gear Solid on steroids; you'll spend more time killing than sneaking.  The controls feel a little odd at first, but give this game a few minutes of your time and it will give you more than a few hours of fun.  Being a game of dodge-and-shoot, kill.switch was designed with a combination of MGS and  first-person shooter controls.  The analog sticks control your camera and character movements.  R1 has been designated your fire weapon button.  One of the differences comes in how your character reacts to his enemies.  He generally stays pointed in their direction, regardless of where you're running.

Every level has either walls or objects to hide behind or lean up against.  That's what you'll spend the majority of the game doing; finding the best spot to hide from enemy gunfire.  But the best spot to take cover is not always the best spot to attack from.  Your enemies may be out of site, or standing at such an angle that your shield is also a weight that must be lifted from your shoulders.  You try desperately to get closer.  Enemies surround you, firing from all directions!  Soon enough you're lying on the ground, wondering what went wrong.  Deep down you know that you should've been a little less like Mace Griffin, and a lot more like Solid Snake and stayed hidden.  If you're in a safe spot but can't kill your enemies, remember that you're in a safe spot.  Leaving it won't make their situation any worse, but you'll become more vulnerable just for trying.

The firing mechanics are what make this game entertaining.  You've surely heard of kill.switch's blindfire feature.  Blindfire allows you to hide behind a wall or an object (ex: a small pile of tires) and fire your weapon without putting yourself in harm's way.  You won't have much control over the aim, only the direction that the bullets fly in.  It's not going to make you win the war, but when enemies are coming and the situation doesn't look good, blindfire can save your life.

kill.switch's offensive cover system is pretty much the whole game.  Any time you take cover behind a crate or an old, beat-up vehicle you're using the offensive cover system.  It's very cool and very effective.  See how many sneaky sniper shots you can pull off without getting caught.  The aim controls are very precise, so if you've got the skill, you can make the kill.

When life is starting to look a little brighter and you think you have a shot at winning this war, the enemy becomes stronger!  The AI is impressive, to say the least.  It enables to enemies to hide behind walls, peak over and fire just as you would.  They don't always have set patterns either, preventing observant players from getting an easy kill.  If additional weapons are available you can be certain that your enemies will use them.  Gun emplacements are powerful weapons that have a nice protective shield to block incoming bullets.  Imagine trying to take out an enemy soldier who has one of those.  Throw in a few additional soldiers, all of whom are cautiously firing and patiently waiting to take you out.  These are some of the things you'll have to contend with in this game.

That's okay.  I can stand that, and I really enjoy the fire-heavy gameplay.  What's bad about all this is that this is all you get.  It's a great game, but how many times can you experience the same thing?  Repetition is always so severe in games like this, where one style of gameplay is emphasized from start to finish.  Trying to add variety with silly mini-games or some other useless diversion would have been awful.  The development team deserves praise for sticking to their goals.  Repetition is a hard thing to overcome.  kill.switch has some replay value in it, but shooter fans, especially those who want Metal Gear Solid to be faster, are the ones who will really appreciate this game.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 8
Before you enter this war, stop by your local Bullets 'R' Us and pick up a few thousand of your favorite round.  Ready?  Good, because this is one journey you won't survive without lots of firepower.


kill.switch's gameplay is all action.  There's a sneaking element to it, especially if you'd like to pick off a few unsuspecting enemies and increase your chances of survival.  But you don't have to do that if you don't want to.  You can thrust yourself into battle and still make it out alive – if you're good enough.


The enemy AI is tough.  They're not the smartest enemies in the world, but they do know what they're doing.  They'll hide behind objects and wait for you to make a move before attacking.  Or they'll continually attack, hoping that you'll slip up enter their stream of bullets.


Very cool.  If not repetitive, this game would have scored a lot higher.

Graphics: 8.5
Pretty backgrounds, decent animation, and excellent object detail.

Sound: 8

Difficulty: Medium/Hard
Dodging fire is not as easy as it looks!  "You can run but you can't hide."  The opposite is true in this game.  You can shoot from a safe place (like a wall), but if you attempt to run and shoot, it doesn't matter where your enemies are because they will always outnumber you.  Multiple bullets toward you, only one bullet toward them.  See the advantage they have?  You've got to figure out their weaknesses and take advantage of them.  Hint: being sneaky when possible helps.

Concept: 8
If Metal Gear Solid was a third-person shooter (as opposed to a tactical espionage action game), it would probably play a lot like kill.switch.  For proof on this theory check out Konami's Cy Girls, an action-oriented version of MGS.

Overall: 8
It's guns gone wild in this action/shooter from Namco.  Aside from being repetitive, kill.switch is an awesome game.  At times the action gets really intense, with multiple enemy soldiers attacking from all angles.  Even more intense is when they're all hiding behind something and you are standing in the middle with nothing but a box to shield the forthcoming attacks.

Metal Gear Solid fans will dig this one, but don't forget that kill.switch is primarily a shooter.  It's all about the thrill of the kill, not the peak of the sneak.

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