Kill It With Fire is the latest flatsceen game to make the jump to virtual reality. Before its VR release I have enjoyed watching videos of people playing this, but noticed peoples frustrations with the controls and some general jank in the game. Now we have it virtual reality, have these been fixed?
Release Date: November 7th 2023
Developer: Casey Donnelan Games
Price: US $14.99 / CA $ / €14,99 / £11.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR 2
* Code Provided For Review *
KILL THAT SPIDER
In Kill It With Fire VR, the premise and gameplay loop carries straight over from the flatscreen version of the game – where you will enter a location and you need to rid it of spiders by any means necessary. With the standard version coming with clunky controls, I had the feeling this could have been resolved with virtual reality. Where in the main case it does remove that clunky feeling, it just doesn’t push the game forward as much as I thought it would.
As mentioned you will go into locations to find and kill all the spiders, that will come in eight different species, from standard spiders, jumping spiders to one that will hatch loads of little spiders on death. Once you walk around and find one it will try to run away, you just need to make sure it does not survive. In order to stop them you will get access to a large number of weapons from guns, explosives, flame throwers, frying pans to cheese puffs to attract them. However, you will need to find these weapons as you visit different locations to build up your arsenal – or you can just pick up items and throw them at the spiders.
But, picking things up to throw or drop on them introduces one massive issue. This is, everything in this world feels weightless. This means you might pick up a 50 inch TV and it feels no heavier than picking up a book does. Then even slamming it down on a spider might not kill it, this soon takes you out of the immersion that VR offers.
In order to clear a location to unlock the next, you will need to kill a set number of spiders – this will unlock the exit and along the way other rooms in the buildings. Where this plays as your main objective, you will be given a number of other objectives you will find around the levels. These could be smashing all the pots in the house or returning all the tools in the garage. As well as the aforementioned weapons, you will find upgrades around the locations. When you have completed all the bonus objectives it does unlock a Arachno-Gaultlet, where it will spawn many spiders for you to kill as you can in a set time. Where all of this adds a bit more to the bones of the gameplay, apart from the gauntlet they feel disconnected from the feeling of the game.
When first going into the game, I thought it all looked a little simplistic in design, considering the premise of the game, with a brightly coloured minimalistic design. Although, the reason for this became evident in very little time, these locations are so destructible and so much can be picked up and thrown. The levels are well designed for each different location, with them feeling unique to keep it feeling fresh on this front. But, it was the destructive nature of them that stood out the most to me in the game, especially as you start to get those explosives and a rocket launcher. Blowing up the petrol pumps at a convenience store to kill a spider, really make me think of the opening scene from the movie Team America – where they destroyed the Eiffel Tower to stop a terrorist from blowing it up.
The audio also is very simple in design, but does a job to keep the player on edge. Even though, I am not scared of spiders, hearing them scurrying around in Kill It With Fire VR made me itch a little. Then the increasing tempo of the music as more spiders and running around, adds to the tension and has you in a panic at times.
Kill It Fire’s jump to the virtual reality space has allowed them to remove the clunky controllers to an extent, and where it is fun at first it starts to lose its appeal quickly. The destruction and general craziness around the damage you do to places to kill the spiders stands out as the best thing about the game, but unfortunately that can’t save it. Even playing it in the hour long sessions I could manage, it’s very quickly over and I wont find myself going back to it. I think the best fun from it will be putting friends in who have fear of spiders, and seeing how they handle the situation.