Having recently reviewed the hilarious ‘Not Suitable For Broadcast,’ where you spend the game in a TV studio, I was eager to try my hand in the world of Radio and see what Killer Frequency had to offer. Thankfully Killer Frequency doesn’t confirm you to your desk but opens up a whole studio to explore, the only downside is that there is a killer on the loose.
Small Town Mentality
In Killer Frequency, you step into the shoes of Forrest Nash, a once-renowned radio DJ now hosting the late-night show on KFAM 189.16 in the small town of Gallows Creek. The game takes a unique twist as you receive a call from the police, informing you of the Sheriff’s murder and the need for you to take over the dispatch line. It soon becomes clear that The Whistling Man, a notorious serial killer, is back on the prowl. Can your radio show help the townsfolk avoid becoming the next victim?
The game kicks off with a cleverly disguised tutorial, presented as a sound test before going live. Here, you learn to use all the equipment at the DJ booth and build rapport with your co-host throughout the night. Taking calls, playing records, and managing advertisements become crucial aspects of the gameplay.
First Time Caller, Long Time Listener
Answering the police call on-air introduces the core gameplay mechanic: taking calls and guiding the terrified residents of Gallows Creek over the phone to escape the killer. Additionally, you’ll encounter slight puzzle elements, such as finding important items like magazines, maps, or even blueprints of the buildings. These items play a vital role in helping the callers survive. However, it’s worth noting that these puzzles aren’t time-restricted, which detracted from the urgency of the situation at times.
While waiting for the next call, you’ll have the opportunity to play records and advertisements to pass the time and add some humor to the game. This lightens the mood when needed and pays homage to the tropes of 80s slasher movies, where cheesy punchlines are always welcome.
One visual style that I particularly appreciate in VR is cell-shaded graphics, and Killer Frequency nails it. The game looks fantastic inside the headset, with neon lights casting an atmospheric glow around the radio station. The cell-shaded design perfectly captures the 80s setting and immerses you in the created environment.
Moreover, Team17 excels in audio design. Despite taking place solely inside the radio station, the game creates an eerie atmosphere that builds tension as The Whistling Man draws closer. The voice acting for each call is impeccable, immersing you further into the narrative. The game’s 80s-inspired soundtrack, tailored specifically for the game, enhances the immersion, making you feel like you’re truly in a radio station from that era.
Move More, Control Less
While I’m unsure if Killer Frequency can be played seated, the lack of a crouch button and the constant crouching height when seated can be slightly discomforting. Regarding movement, snap-turning is the only option available, which may disappoint some players. However, with the tetherless design of the Meta Quest 2, physically turning became my preferred method, mitigating any issues with snap-turning.
Having played through the game once, it took me approximately five hours to complete. However, Killer Frequency offers three different endings, depending on the survival rate and your actions in the interview with The Whistling Man. If you’re inclined to replay and witness all the endings, it’s worth investing the time.
Overall, Killer Frequency is a fun and freaky experience that is more like an interactive movie than a game. It oozes 80’s nostalgia and balances DJ humour with tense situations. The cell-shaded graphics are fantastic and the custom 80’s music and radical voice acting make this game a killer app for the Meta Quest 2.