Killer Frequency, developed and published by Team 17 Digital, brings a style of game I’ve never played before. You play a radio host in a small mid western town in the USA and things aren’t plain sailing on the night shift!
Don’t touch that dial!
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As soon as I saw the trailers for Killer Frequency, I immediately knew that it was going to be a game for me. Playing as Forrest Nash, a radio host on 189.16, The Scream, you will single-handedly save or completely ruin the night.
It is going to be quite hard to cover this game without giving away any spoilers on the story, but here goes. Set in the 1980s you are at the KFAM Radio Station in a small town called Gallows Creek. When you first start the game you get introduced to the main protagonist pretty early on. Later you discover they are called The Whistling Man. Once through the brief tutorial, teaching you how to pick up items and move around. You then reach your station for the night. The DJ Booth. Peggy your producer gets involved along the way to help you out with things you might have forgotten to do. Like turning off the music when a caller comes through.
Your first call of the night is a bit of a rough one. The Whistling Man is back on the loose, yes back, and they are causing havoc throughout the little town. It is your job to help save as many of the residents in trouble as possible. At the end of the game there is a nice display showing how many you saved and how many you didn’t. This gives great feedback as to how successful you are. After your first call, you are now the emergency services for the night.
Even though this is a horror game, it’s not going to make you jump from scary moments. Horror is the emotive connection that you will build up with your character. Getting phone calls from scared characters asking for your help, you are tasked with a number of puzzles. From starting a car, to leading someone out of a maze. There is something to challenge you at every turn throughout Killer Frequency.
Some of the puzzles are also time sensitive, go too soon and dead, too late and dead. The game does a great way of introducing you to new parts of the radio station as well. Peggy seemingly is the keeper of the keys, and periodically will give you a key under her door to access a previously inaccessible section.
Become the DJ
The best bit about Killer Frequency is the DJ booth itself. Having a working cassette deck and record player, there is a lot to get a hold of. Peggy however, gives you a nice little tutorial when it’s your first time at the decks. Some of the items are just for show, like the sound effects, feel free to use them or not. It doesn’t affect the gameplay from what I experienced. Then there is the selection of music, a whole host of 80’s inspired tracks that you could quite frankly get lost in. I’m hoping that we get a Spotify playlist when the game is released that I can leisurely listen to.
Once you have mastered the volume levels, the sound effects, and even starting and stopping the records, you will be a fully fledged DJ. You don’t receive a diploma, or a certificate, but you know that if you were suddenly transported back to the 80s you would be able to get a job at any radio station.
I was fortunate enough to get to try Killer Frequency on the Quest 2 as well as this PC review. Wow, having played through the whole game on flatscreen and then going through again in VR was a blast. The controls in VR are perfect, being able to grab records and then raise the volume slider all while being fully immersed in the game was perfect.
Graphics & Audio
Killer Frequency looks incredible. The 80s aesthetic is really brought to life throughout the KFAM Radio Station. From the decorative elements such as walls and floors, to the bright neon lights at the front desk. Everything just feels accurate. The graphic style throughout Killer Frequency is a cell-shaded style. Not to the extent of something like Borderlands, but nice thick black lines around items give a nice sense of depth. Especially in VR this game looks incredible. Arguably the graphics have been toned down slightly to run perfectly well at the 72fps on the Quest 2, but when you are fully immersed in the game you don’t really notice anything like that.
The audio throughout Killer Frequency is perfect. With the inspired tunes to hold through the game, you could quite easily just play the game and play each available track start to finish. However, the game has amazing voice acting. With each character individually voiced you are in for a treat with some of the phone calls.
A single playthrough taking around 6 hours, depending on how fast you move through sections. Giving Killer Frequency a seemingly short longevity. However, being able to go through the game and save all the characters is difficult and if you manage to do it on your first try then you are a better DJ than I. If you want to save everyone it might take you a while. Also killing off everyone might be an option.
If you pick up one game through the first half of the year, this one has to be right up at the top of the list. Killer Frequency tries something I have never experienced, and hits every single ball out the park. I haven’t been this excited for gamers to get their hands on a game in a long time! Especially with this one being such a fun game to play through.
Killer Frequency gets a Thumb Culture Platinum Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.