Killing Floor: Incursion brings zombie slaughter to VR

Killing Floor Incursion

Chop a zombie’s head off with an axe, grab the skull and chuck it at one of his ghoulish friends, all using your own, real-life hands. That’s the kind of thing you can do in Killing Floor: Incursion [official site], which is out now and brings combat based on the excellent Killing Floor games to virtual reality. It’s exclusive to the Rift right now and requires the Oculus Touch to play, so there’s a big barrier to entry, but if you’re already kitted out then it could be a go-er.

The combat looks intense, and you can shoot through the hordes on your own or with a friend in co-op. The Touch gameplay means you can slash your knives in whatever direction and angle you want, or chuck a shotgun to a friend so they can blow the head off a zombie that’s getting too close. Plus, it looks bloody terrifying: the Killing Floor games weren’t exactly scary but being in VR means there’s no escape. Gulp.

Like almost every time I see a VR trailer for a Touch game, I reckon the movement system is where it could trip up. In the trailer, below, you’ll notice that the characters remain stationary in every fight, which gives it the whiff of a shooting gallery, albeit it a fun, gory one. Developer Tripwire Interactive say that players will be able to “freely explore” to search for weapons and ammo but then hunker down in one spot to fight the next onslaught.

If I had a Rift and Touch, it’s one that I’d want to try out, though, just for that free-form combat. Whether my heart would be up to it is another thing.

It’s £29.99/$39.99 on the Oculus Store if you want to check it out.

Developers Tripwire Interactive say they expect to release Incursion for Vive headsets and on Steam “before the end of the year.”

17 Comments

  1. Stevostin says:

    Exchanging VR style item manipulation vs ability to walk doesn’t seem like a bargain. I wonder why they’re even trying.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Because the games are still fun, even if the walking is gimped?

      • Vandelay says:

        I do wonder why so many of these games do just do on rails shooting galleries though. Playing something like Compound, which just uses the touch pad as you would an analogue stick for movement, is perfectly natural after about 5-10 minutes of play and feels great. I’ve played that for well over an hour without any discomfort whatsoever too, so the claims that the method causes motion sickness aren’t accurate (although I did experience some motion sickness with Albino Lullaby, so it does require effort from the devs to get it right.)

        I expect the real reason for it is just that it is much simpler to do and you can knock out a game relatively quickly. As you say, the game is likely still fun enough, but they would definitely be much more fun and open up many more possibilities if you could move freely.

        • cafeoh says:

          “I’ve played that for well over an hour without any discomfort whatsoever too, so the claims that the method causes motion sickness aren’t accurate”

          I’ve tried my best to feel sick in VR, disable every accessibility option that hides part of the screen or fades in and out, play echo arena while wildly spinning on all 3 axes in continuous mode at fastest speed and have yet to feel even remotely sick. Yet I keep hearing about people being left miserable for a whole day after short VR sessions because they just can’t take it, and every VR game seems to implement tons of different comfort options. I’ve got to feel for some people, I remember being repeatedly sick after 20-30 minutes in the backseat as a child and how terrible I felt everytime I had to enter a car.

          I agree that at some point we’ll have to leave a part of the playerbase behind (or find even better techniques) to level the playing field, and won’t buy this title since I’m tired of teleportation and being anchored down, but claiming that “nobody can feel sick since I don’t” is a pretty wild statement.

          • Vandelay says:

            Oh, I don’t mean to say that because I haven’t experienced it means it doesn’t exist (to be fair, I did basically say that in the original post, so will retract that statement.) There just seems to be an assumption from many people that standard player control methods aren’t feasible in VR because the majority will be sick, which is nonsense.

            Sounds like this game isn’t an on-rails shooter though and it features normal player movement as well as teleportation.

            As an alternative to this, I noticed this pop up on Steam the other day, which is getting some good user reviews: link to store.steampowered.com

            Only Early Access at the moment, with a few levels, but a much better price than Killing Floor.

        • Donkeyfumbler says:

          I’ve not had the oculus rift long but I count myself lucky that I only occasionally felt nauseous while playing, even stuff like Alien Isolation which uses smooth locomotion and is in no way optimised for vr properly.

          However while I don’t feel sick, it’s still not a very comfortable feeling and I certainly can’t play for as long as I could in a normal FPS. I do think that some of that is also to do with the fact that I have a large piece of plastic strapped to my forehead and the field of view is somewhat restricted though. I also feel that smooth locomotion breaks the sense of Immersion which of course is vr’s main selling point.

          Regardless, movement in Vr is and will remain an issue without an obvious solution (at least until we all have wireless headsets and massive empty warehouses to play in).

        • antszy says:

          “I’ve played that for well over an hour without any discomfort whatsoever too, so the claims that the method causes motion sickness aren’t accurate”

          Oh, yes, a sample size of one person definitely gives you ample reason to draw that conclusion.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Speaking as a recent Occulus owner, I highly applaud any game developer who knows to either handle movement via teleportation or have no movement at all. Wherever the world appears to be moving about you while you are holding still IRL, this is where nausea is spawned.

      Robo Recall has firmly established that it’s awesome to be able to teleport about while functionally inside a 360 degree (on every axis) shooter with touch controllers that are severalfold more accurate than any lightgun you’ve ever used. It’s a game where you’re perpetually grabbing, pulling, throwing, shooting and it’s an absolute blast.

      If all this Killing Floor VR iteration did was replicate Robo Recall with zombies, there would be few complaints. But has it?

  2. Sakkura says:

    There are two movement methods in the game, either smooth movement like in traditional games, or teleportation (which has a cooldown system to keep it balanced).

    BTW this is, in my opinion, one of the less impressive major VR titles launched this year. Lone Echo deserves way more attention than it has gotten, and Echo Arena for that matter.

    • mrentropy5 says:

      I decided to get a new game this weekend and spent a few minutes deciding between Killing Floor and Lone Echo. I eventually went with Lone Echo and… Wow. Amazing.

  3. Clavus says:

    Games always made fighting while moving seem easy. VR just brought our own bodily limitations into the mix. Fighting while stationary is simply much more manageable.

  4. Catweasel says:

    Woof, that’s pricier than the real KF2.

    • Stromko says:

      Indeed, the ‘VR tax’ hits in Killing Floor Incursion pretty hard, not only in the price but in the amount of content. I’ve heard that a full playthrough, tutorial and all, weighs in at about 3 hours. Replayability? Hard to say how much is on offer.

      The combat in Robo Recall for example seems a bit more diverse, while the scoring and upgrade system there encourages experimentation and replaying.

      Apparently the devs of KF Incursion have said they’ll consider other modes (perhaps the Horde mode that Killing Floor is known for) if there is enough interest, which presumably means they’ll want a lot of people to buy this short experience at a relatively high price (and they’re making no specific promises even then).

      So far the software side of things has been a big problem with VR, and I assume part of the problem is developers / publishers are needing to make back their money on a pretty small group of consumers.

      • cafeoh says:

        The sad thing is that if they were to just add a VR mode to KF2 with simple stick movement, and rebalanced VR exclusive lobbies, the game would sell like hot pancakes to a bunch of HMD owners…

        I believe that this would be almost trivial considering how well the unreal engine supports VR.

        • Stromko says:

          I’ve watched a few people play Incursion on Youtube, and I’ve never seen more than a handful of active enemies at a time, some of whom have the annoying tendency to teleport in right behind you in order to make it challenging. Co-op is also limited to only two players total.

          Compare that to regular KF2, with actual hordes of enemies and something like 8 players. Perhaps the developers couldn’t promise a comfortable 90 FPS in regular play so they had to pare things back significantly, and found a horde mode with no actual hordes just wasn’t satisfying enough.

  5. Xzi says:

    “It’s exclusive to the Rift right now”

    Nothing is exclusive to Rift since Revive. I don’t know why they even keep trying.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      You have to buy it from their store, so they control pricing entirely. That’s why they keep doing it.