In ‘No Pay 2 Play’, we review free video games (whether they’re riddled with microtransactions and season passes or not) and then answer the golden question: is it worth adding to your game library?
Is it really free?
Not entirely. There’s an optional VIP kit that offers boosters, clothes, a big bundle of cash and early access to certain weapons only on the Steam version. There’s no pressure to buy it, and microtransactions are nowhere to be found.
What’s it all about?
What we’ve got here is the antithesis of an overly-ambitious, multiplayer-centric title. KillStreak.tv is a bite-sized third-person shooter that turns deathmatches into condensed, five minute spars that you can leap in and out of within seconds. It’s a real dark horse with plenty of updates and new content on its way in the coming months.
Sure, it looks like a budget Wii title from 2009 with its stiff animations and toon-like avatars, but it runs with no issues, and the controls are very easy to get the hang of. The weapon sound effects are apt, though you’ll want to mute the soundtrack after a few games; it’s just a generic electronic tune looping and humming away in the background. It’s like listening to your neighbours’ house music being blasted through the walls, only not nearly as irritating.
KillStreak.tv is a quick-paced, run-and-gun free-for-all. Plugging other players (or bots, whom are as threatening as a sack of kittens) refills your health bar and rewards you with score points in order to reach first place. Additionally, you’ll get coins and XP for the weapons and outfits you’re equipped with. Coins can buy you new guns and clothes to wear when you respawn, while XP can unlock things like paint jobs and upgrades for your weapons. Gun mods vary from minor tweaks (bullet speed, aim recovery, and so on) to somewhat useful changes (extended clips, reload speed, etc.). Oddly, you can only customize your character in-game. It feels a bit of a time-waster, and should’ve been made an option during the main menu as well.
The arsenal on offer may be standard-fare, though they’re no doubt satisfying to use. The pistol and revolver are paired with a damage-absorbing shield, while the shotgun and sawn-off deliver heavy damage up-close. Plus, there’s a full-auto AK47, a burst-fire M16, and a rapid-fire uzi that sprays bullets very quickly. Finally, there’s the sniper rifle, which is an excellent choice when picking enemies from afar while stationary. Using someone else’s weapons won’t help level up your own, which feels a bit silly.
Each of the three levels on offer has a maze-like layout to them. They get the job done, and don’t really have any other gimmicks to make them stand out, but they’re still well-designed and fun to traverse through. What they could do with are some power-ups. Things like doors, traps, teleporters and the like would be a nice inclusion for future updates, too.
Playing KillStreak.tv is a bit like choosing a sandwich over a cooked meal. It’s a good choice if you’re after something small and light, even if it may not feel as satisfying and gratifying. Its lack of a learning curve makes it a very approachable title for anyone after a casual but speedy-ish multiplayer experience, and the ability to boot up and join a server within mere seconds is nothing short of fantastic. Plenty of customizable threads and weapons are on offer, too, providing you’re keen on grinding a fair bit to get ‘em. In short, KillStreak.tv is a dark horse that’s certainly worth a ride.