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KING of the HILL is an all action online game where the object, at least when playing solo, is to stay alive as long as you possibly can, mainly by hiding then popping out and killing anyone who is moving; it's definitely kill or be killed and nobody out there is your friend. First off you choose a character and then you wait for a game to present itself, waiting time is generally not long, dying time can be equally not long. On my first excursion out I lasted about 30 seconds. I parachuted into an area where several other players had landed and I was dead almost the moment my feet hit the ground. I sat and waited to regenerate at a "start space" like most of the games in this genre but my wait was in vain, there is no resurrection.

Having learned my lesson on my next foray I aimed my parachute towards some buildings that looked like they may have been an old deserted scout camp. Unfortunately another player who was more experienced than I had chosen the same site and like before I was killed without even seeing my attacker. Before I died though I did see a Police car drive down a nearby road. Guessing that the game doesn't actually have Police in it I figured that it would be possible to get into and drive cars just like in Grand Theft Auto; and indeed it is.


Before you can get into the game proper you need to complete 10 matches. This isn't quite as tough as it sounds because if you can find a way to hide out and keep out of the Green Gas that slowly encroaches across the world as we know it (in the game that is) the other players will kill each other. Eventually either one of them or the Gas will get you but you can get down to being one of the last survivors and thus gain Victory Points for basically doing nothing.

Of course this isn't a fun way to play, but by parachuting into areas outside of the central zone you at least have a good chance of picking up some weapons, armour and other equipment as there is a lot of it lying around, guns and rifles even have the correct type of ammunition laying next to them, usually two full boxes of. Unfortunately there is no "run over" auto-collect (or if there is I haven't found out how to activate it) when it comes to collecting anything, you have to position yourself close to it so that the "Press F" text pops up and then you have to Press F. Having done this you need to Press I (inventory) to actually Loot and/or equip the items you have collected. There must be a better way of doing this but it isn't particularly clear in the Options Menu.


If you Press M the map will appear, taking up around two-thirds of the screen. It shows an overhead view of the local terrain and also the incoming Gas cloud, but it doesn't show where you are, even if you continue to move when you Press M, and despite roaming around taking notice of the street and park signs none of these appear on the map either, thus I could never tell where I was. Therefore having regular announcements telling me to quickly move out of the Danger Zone I couldn't tell from the map which way to actually head.

Online games in this genre a ten-a-penny and many of them are as visually good as KotK but very few of them are as adrenaline infusing. Whether you are seeking out the opposition, driving around in a vehicle (Cop cars are almost always available whereas most other cars are burnt-out heaps of rusting metal) or stealthily going from house to house searching and equipping KotK will have you gripping your seat. This is as fine an example of a hunt-kill game you will currently find being channeled through the STEAM system. It is a series of nightmare situations made worse by not knowing who you are fighting or what they have by way of weaponry. You trust that some will be equipped the same as you thus giving you a fighting chance, and indeed if the opposition you meet is inexperienced (in the first few games you should meet some on the same level as you) then you may have a fair opportunity  of surviving, or at least winning a few battles.                                        


This is probably the only game of this ilk where you are thrown into the thick of battle with only your basic strength, your survival skills and your will to stay alive at the beginning of the first mission. Finding equipment is never a problem, picking it up can be, and remembering to load the guns you collect definitely can be - I am so used to games where you always pick up loaded weapons that I was thrown the first time I went to fire a new gun only to find it was empty even though I had dozens of bullets for it.


It is referered to as a MMOAS Massively Multiplayer Online Arena Shooter. I would simply it an everyone for themselves beat down. The area effect gas is a neat addition as is the empty town and considerably generous outlying houses but it is the on-edge-all-the-time reality that gives KING of the KILL the true edge over almost all others in the same deadly classification genus.

Normally I would say that this isn't the type or style of game I like. Cooperative or solo sandbox/arena combat fighting games really do nothing for me unless there is a solid story behind what is happening that I can tune into, that I can be a part of. I gave up running around shooting everyone (ie "playing Cowboys & Indians") when I was about 8 years old, but there is something, a Je Ne Sais Quoiabout KING of the KILL  that keeps drawing me back to it even though I haven't got very far and have only survived within the last 15 by not fighting and eventually driving off into the Green Gas to die.

I probably wouldn't recommend it to my close friends though I could see my son enjoying it if it was produced in Virtual Reality for his PS3 VR System, in fact it has all the qualities that a VR game requires, so it's a real shame that at the moment it isn't available in VR, perhaps one day ? For players who like the Hunter-Kill Deathmatch Survival style of games this will bring huge smiles to their faces because it really is an excellent example of that type of game.







© Chris Baylis 2011-2021