kill.switch Impressions

We check out Namco's unique third-person action title for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

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Kill.switch is a third-person action game from Namco that drops you into the middle of a war zone and asks you to make your way out using a combination of brains and brawn. The game features a mission-based structure that requires you to accomplish certain tasks on every level. One of the game's key features is its "offensive cover" system, which provides you with some unique options for returning fire when hiding behind objects.

The level we played started us out pinned down by enemy fire in a desert town and served as an excellent showcase for the offensive cover system. Basically, the system lets you use just about anything around you for cover. When you're using cover, you'll have two options for retaliation: quickly popping out from your safe spot and firing on your foes, or using "blind fire." While moving from behind your cover and firing on your foes is an expected, although not always very smart, option, the blind fire technique is fairly unique. When using blind fire, your character sticks his weapon out from behind his cover and literally fires blindly in the direction of enemies. In best case scenarios, you'll be lucky enough to take out a few foes, but you're more likely to merely buy yourself a few seconds of breathing room to help plan your next move. The system works surprisingly well, and it looks very cool during a firefight, thanks to the game's tight control.

The game's graphics are impressive but inconsistent on both consoles. The main character model looks good, but his animation could use some improvement. The areas are large and detailed and feature some nice touches, such as dust being kicked up by gunfire and destructible structures. However, the textures were inconsistent on the structures and the environment. The two console versions differed in terms of overall visual quality, with the Xbox offering a cleaner look, but they ran roughly the same.

kill.switch is slated to ship for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox this fall.

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