Part Blade Runner, part Helldivers, Kill to Collect is much more than just another self-indulgent homage to the era of David Hasselhoff and Bruce Lee.
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Release Date: April 6, 2016
1980’s retro-futurism has been experiencing something of a small screen renaissance of late. From Far Cry 3’s testosterone-fuelled expansion pack, Blood Dragon, to the ridiculously over the top Netflix short, Kung Fury, this very particular genre and aesthetic style is finding new appeal as a throwback to a bygone era.
The danger of this proliferation, of course, is over-saturation, which immediately works against the favour of Kill to Collect; a game which makes no qualms about its cyberpunk influences. Luckily, Pieces Interactive have created a game that justifies its existence far beyond the surface level appearance, with a fast-paced co-operative experience that offers a lot for players to chew on.
Kill to Collect is a rogue-like isometric shooter combined with a few light RPG systems and procedurally generated levels. Pieces Interactive have placed a strong focus on co-operative play, as the game allows you and up to three other friends to enter missions together. Each of the four playable characters comes with their own unique weapons and abilities, and the diversity of roles they provide in combat provides something for everyone.
My favourite of the four to play as was Riot Ray, and not just because his name was Riot Ray. Looking like a cross between Samus and a water buffalo, Ray has a talent for close-quarters combat, with a hard-hitting riot gun and the ability to charge towards his foes. It’s a shame, then, that these characters don’t have any new combat moves to purchase or upgrade, as the opportunity to explore Ray’s abilities would have made me more invested in his character progression.
That said, Kill to Collect’s diversity extends beyond the character’s play-styles too, as every new room you enter is procedurally generated with enemies and weapons, and the sense of challenge ramps up significantly as you progress. As a rogue-like, Kill to Collect also spares you the luxury of familiarising yourself with your surroundings, as the rooms will be reset and re-generated even after a mid-mission death.
The criminal gangs of the future apparently come in all shapes and sizes, and Kill to Collect encourages players to think with their statistical upgrades, loadouts and point expenditures so as to be best equipped to deal with future encounters. Kill to Collect also delivers on the promise of its title, as you frequently come across chests throughout each level, with a number of powerful weapons available that can potentially turn the tide of battle should you be lucky enough to find one. This, in addition to the fact that the game offers three separate game modes, gives Kill to Collect a lot of quality replay value; whether you’re hopping into a quick solo run, or planning to embark on a marathon session with friends.
The context surrounding all of this carnage, where bounty hunters are hired to wipe out the criminal underworld of future earth’s last city, primarily services the “rinse and repeat” mission structure rather than absorb with you an engaging narrative. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as you are then able to jump into the action immediately without any distractions.
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It goes without saying that the aforementioned cyberpunk aesthetic of Kill to Collect is a joy to behold. The neon colour palettes and jazzy character animations look great, though – even with procedural generation – the drab corridor environments quickly lose any visual appeal. In addition, Kill to Collect has a fantastic original soundtrack, full of pulsating synthwave soundscapes which makes for great listening as you play through the game.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.