Kill It With Fire VR Kills Us With Nausea
Kill It With Fire is a first person comedy game that was released back in 2020 for all platforms. In it, you are part of the Kill It With Fire exterminators, tasked with killing an infestation in a house, only to find it worse than you can have ever possibly imagined. Using a plethora of silly and outlandish weapons, you can destroy hordes and hordes of spiders, but now in 2023 we get this experience in VR! Now you can be fully immersed in arachnophobic nightmare or revenge fantasy. Unfortunately for me, it’s the former.
I am not deathly afraid of spiders, but on average am not a huge fan of their presence so hearing the skittering sounds in the background doesn't play well to me. Which speaks a lot to what VR can add to a game like this. As per the original version, you get access to a plethora of hilariously inappropriate weapons while exploring varied environments to assassinate multiple different types of spiders. The weapons can be as simple as a shoe, or a rocket launcher. They really do escalate in a hilarious way.
Each level has multiple parts, gated off by spider kills, so you have to kill more and more to progress. To assist in that is your trusty spider detector, which has a radar and beeps when spiders are nearby. You aren't just limited to weapons either, as anything in the environment can also act as a certified spider smasher. There’s a level of freestyle to the killing mechanics and the levels provide enough varied spaces to compliment your full armory. From gas stations to office buildings, your adventure in spider murder takes you all over that small town. Each level feeds into the next, in a way that makes sense for the story.
Did I say story? Yes, there is a throughline to Kill It With Fire’s levels that tells a cohesive and hilarious narrative and the nature of the spider infestation. While I wouldn’t want to ruin all the wacky places the story takes you, I will say, it’s consistent with the tone of the game overall and that’s all you can ask for. The gating feels fair and easily doable, so the levels flow easy. The art design is a simplified cell shading look that really limits the details to the need to know objects, which isn’t a negative but this game isn’t winning any awards for graphical texture detail. Upgrades and battery packs can be found throughout the environment, which provide perks for the level as well as modifiers later on.
As far as VR is concerned, Kill It With Fire adapts so-so. On your right wrist is the spider tracker, and on your left is where you deposit items you find like ammo or upgrades. Grabbing and using items feels relatively seamless with a few hitches but nothing game breaking. Grip is with one trigger, while the second trigger can magnetize items to you directly. Dual wielding weapons feels like an amazing fever dream. Aiming your shots is gladly forgiving, though throwing grenades has a lot to be desired.
The real pain point is in the movement. You move with your left stick, while the right stick is snap movement. Both work fluidly but do not work with the motion functions of your brain. Free movement also works but all movement induced a heavy seasickness in me. I could only play two levels at a time before stopping due to the overwhelming queasy feeling. While this is a single knock against the game, it fully hindered my ability to play. I eventually finished the game, but it took a lot of time and patience. Also make sure you have a wide area of play, as I was taking large swings of my arms, frantically trying to kill spiders that I definitely punched a few walls.
Kill It With Fire VR is a fantastic idea for a VR mode… on paper. A first person shooter with a creepy crawler spider theme? Fantastic! A shooter that provides a ridiculously large inventory of weapons? Perfect! The problem lies in the movement. We haven’t gotten a firm grasp of full movement with VR games and Kill It With Fire VR is no different. It’s as nausea inducing as it is hilarious as the concept, which honestly runs short a few levels before the end. Kill It With Fire into VR well mechanically, but maybe pop a dramamine before plugging in that headset.