Killing Floor: Incursion (Oculus Rift Review)
Incursion’s story is a strange one, even for its own zombie-filled bizarre timeline. You play the role of an unnamed Lieutenant in the paramilitary wing for Horzine Biotech who took a blow to the head while defending a point against some zombies (called “zeds” in the Killing Floor world). You are put up for surgery, but while you’re under, Horzine has some simple Virtual Reality drills for you to run through to keep your mind sharp and to help your brain process the surgery better. However, as you start running through the simulation, you start getting an outside influence attempting to break into your virtual world and change things around. Without going into too much plot, you end up going on quite the virtual, zed-killing adventure.
And that’s an important distinction: Incursion is a single player or cooperative campaign mode. If you’ve ever played Killing Floor or Killing Floor 2, you understand those games are based on multiplayer survival mode, killing wave after wave of “zeds”, spending money to buy new gear and weapons and defeating boss creatures. Incursion is not that, which feels odd. Incursion should have been the VR version of Killing Floor 2: four (or six :P) player co-operative survival.
But we can’t mourn what isn’t, we have look at what we’ve got here in Incursion. You can replay through sections of the game: there are four areas in the game, each with an early, middle and boss fight section to it. The final clock time came in shy of four hours with no real replayability options in place: no time attack, no branching paths, no endless mode, no extreme difficulty.
That said, I had some extremely great moments in Incursion. I specifically put myself in a corner with an assault rifle in one hand and a shotfun (I accidentally typed shotfun, but let’s leave it in there, it WAS fun) in the other, glancing the two different directions the different species of zeds were descending on me from. I felt extremely powerful, and Incursion does have the Killing Floor “slow time” mechanic that when someone scores a sick kill or series of headshots, the world slows down around you, giving you more time to put down zeds. I remember wiping out a wave like this, then resting both Oculus Touch controllers on my hips, taunting the zombies that were stalking towards me, laughing. It felt really, really, good.
And I’ll tell you what, the character design of the zeds is a bit disturbing. I’m not one to usually notice or care about graphic design in games, but when you have an infected zed who looks like it spent entirely too much time in the gym angrily pounding towards you, it can be quite unnerving. I’m accustomed to having a screen and a few feet of distance away from the action, but that’s part of the magic of VR: they’re looking at you and coming to smash your brains in.
The inventory system, while clever, had a tendency to be a bit of an issue. I appreciated the “cool” factor of having two pistols holstered on your chest rig with two items on your back, whether it’s a fireman’s axe or assault rifle. The problem was, each level you would get access to a new weapon, so you would try to toss out your old weapon or item you had on your back, and several times, I would not remember which item I had on my back draped across which side. I felt like a very ineffective Swiss Army Knife, pulling out knives and wine corkscrews, trying to get to the shotgun I had across my back. I got better with the inventory by the end, but the number of times I reached for a weapon I had holstered and grabbed something else instead was a touch annoying.
Incursion does have some pretty smart environments you have to get through and its use of tricks within VR are fun. There is an entire section where you have to use sniper rifles to be effective, and manually charging the bolt action rifle while looking through a virtual reality sniper scope (you’ve got a pair of VR glasses on looking through another set of optics; it’s a really neat effect). They don’t overuse a single mechanic too much, although the “turn on your special vision to shoot parts of the environment” got a mite old after awhile.
Overall, Incursion is a hell of an enjoyable ride, it’s just a shame there’s nothing really to bring you back to it after you get through the campaign. The need for an endless co-op mode in Incursion…you can almost feel it screaming out from the code itself. It’s not impossible that this may be something they add in for the future, but for the sticker price of $40, it falls into that category of “They want HOW much for this four-hour game?” that almost every single piece of VR content is running into right now. But as far as zombie killing fun on your Oculus Rift goes, you owe it to yourself to give Killing Floor: Incursion a go.