Review posted on behalf of Barnsy
As action shootem up's go, the genre has taken a little bit of an overhaul in the last few years, the success of Metal Gear, Syphon Filter and Splinter Cell has pushed away from the kill it if it moves and given players a more challenging stealth style game, which will need careful planning, strategic manouvers and complex and rewarding gameplay.
Something its also given us is great storytelling, the plot to a game is now as pivotal as in feature films, it can make or break it and no matter how good the gameplay if the story doesn't complement the missions, it can all get a little repetitive, boring and dull.
Kill.Switch is a slightly refreshing look a t the action genre, whilst stealth is not at all vital, it helps, the game is more akin to the put a bullet in it if it moves ethos, rather than hunt it down quietly method, however it still requires planning just in a much faster quicker paced environment.
So Kill.Switches story is a very intriguing one to talk about, i'll try not to give away the main twist (found about 3 missions in) but needless to say, i found it a refreshing change to the traditional WAR IS BAD! type story that all recent titles have had, you soon find out that your man in the field is a bio-enhanced soldier, very akin to Universal soldier type ethics, two voices are heard during all cut scenes, these are the base and the controller, the foot soldier is nameless and voiceless, the controller has full control of his movement, its a cheezy cliche that you are the controller with such cut scenes as BASE: "how did it feel?" CONTROLLER: "like playing a computer game" Oh how we laughed!!!!!
however the controller does keep suffering from flashbacks to the foot soldiers previous life, hinting that he maybe wasn't as keen to take up his faceless mindless mercenaries life as it appears.
Kill.Switch takes place over many various levels, the middle east, an oil rig, sub pen, etc etc.. standard army venues and some very well sculpted levels, the oil rig is very similar in ways to the tanker from Metal Gear 2 (at night, in a storm) however the levels feel nice, are fairly well detailed and interesting to explore, the main emphasis with Kill.Switch is to advance upon your enemies, pop off a few shots and take cover behind crates, pipes, walls or doorways by using one of the shoulder buttons, from here you have 3 or 4 avenues of attack open to you, the A.I of the computer controlled opponents is very good, when hearing gunfire they will all immediately target your position, sniper's, foot troops and gun emplacement will lock on and await your move, some will try to outflank you, some lay down suppressing fire and some throw grenades, you really have to think on your feet in a firefight, it gets very hot very quickly in this game and its very easy to get caught out.
But this brings us to possibly my favourite element of Kill.Switch "Blind Fire". Its a great little tool for keeping enemies down while you get to better cover, while crouching behind a crate, wall, window etc you can hit the blindfire button and lay down suppressing fire while remaining totally covered and safe, you rarely hit anything but it makes all the bots hit the floor and gives you a few seconds to move. Or you can simply pop out from partial cover and open fire accurately. it works very well and makes Kill.Switch more entertaining. In this respect Blindfire can be considered the "Bullet time" of the game.
the weaponry is fairly decent, there's a sniper rifle, a few assault rifles, underslung grenade launcher, shotgun, high explosive grenades and flashbangs. They all work well in different situations, the shotgun has a fairly decent range but is more lethal close up, the grenades can be dispatched over walls in the same way as using a gun with blindfire and this is an effective way to advance, the reactions to flashbangs are good, enemies will scream, rub there eyes and fire wildly in all directions giving you chance to run up and shoot or pistol whip them with your gun. All very nice and effective!
The animations are limited for your characters movement, he's not got a great variety of moves only run, crouch, commando roll, sneak along walls and crates when under fire and also pop around corners to attack. Its enough but it does limit the game experience because your tasks are normally very samey, nothing complicated, just get from A to B kill C and collect D.
The music and sound are good, the music isn't too distracting and the gunfire sounds are varied for different weapons and can stop a monotony of sound, it also becomes useful as after a while you can begin to distinguish which enemies have which guns and as some cause more damage than others it helps to identify who needs to be dealt with first.
If i had to evaluate its lifespan i feel Kill.Switch has become for me a casual game, i can pick it up for half an hour when there's nothing on TV or while i'm cooking and just come back to it, there's not a desperate urge to play it through to completion but there isn't a frustrating difficult level that makes me storm off angrily. I'll be honest, i really like Kill.Switch its an entertaining non-committal game, i can pick it up and put it down for five minutes at a time, its a joy to play, but i feel if i tried to do it all in one go, it may bore me after a while, this is possibly its only downfall, if you're after Metal Gear 3, this may get old quickly. So be warned!