kill.switch - PS2

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Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Sony (GB)
Released: 20 Feb 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Features: Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Accessories: Memory Card


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This latest title from Namco could probably best be described as Metal Gear but without all the faffing about. It's as if the developer has casually assessed the current military-based offerings, decided that things were getting a little too complex, and thus delivered something a little more akin to your old-school arcade shooter. Commando for the current generation, if you will.

As the more astute of you will have therefore deduced, kill.switch is a third-person action/adventure/shooter in which you take control of a Rambo-like one-man army and blast your way through an assortment of missions that generally involve shooting baddies. Lots of them. However, although simple with regards to the overall concept, at the game's core lies a rather novel gameplay system that lends a fair amount of stealth to the proceedings. Entitled the Offensive Cover System, this sees you make use of more or less everything within the game's environments in order to take cover. Pressing the left shoulder button next to a wall/door/car/post/whatever has our Johnny Ten-Men jump or duck into a safe position from which you can then assess the situation, before stealthily taking out the opposition by popping out in between the hails of gunfire. Alternatively, if things are a little too hectic then you can also make use of the game's Blindfire feature, which allows you to stick just your gun out and fire randomly in a given direction, hoping for the best - not amazingly accurate, but a handy option at times.

The AI throughout kill.switch is pretty darn sophisticated, with enemies working together in teams, seeking you out, communicating with each other and generally moving like a believable military unit. Consequently, you must implement full-on warfare tactics, strategically plan your moves and respond with both stealth and foresight. Or you can also just run out like a mad man, finger firmly on the trigger, firing wildly in all directions, but that's not guaranteed to be a useful tactic a lot of the time.

There are six war-themed missions in total, spread out across 18 different levels that take you to hotspots around the world from the Middle Eastern deserts to the Caspian Sea. As you would expect, a healthy roster of weaponry is available, from the trusty AK47 to everyone's favourite, the long-range sniper rifle.

If you found the likes of MGS2 a little tedious and lust after something a little more instant and action-packed then you'll love kill.switch. It offers plenty of fast and furious fun, combined with a number of novel gameplay features and a bit of sophistication to keep you coming back.