Killing Time starts out with a lot of promise. It's got a great mystery storyline set up like The 7th Guest lots of zany, crazy and just plain freaky enemies to blast and some pretty darn good visuals. But as you start to progress in the game, it all just kind of falls apart into a sea of mediocrity.
First, the negatives. For one thing, the game engine is pretty bad. Controlling your Egyptologist around is at times frustratingly difficult. You get caught up on pillars, posts and bookshelves way to frequently. This doesn't help when you're being bombarded with constant enemy fire. The control is also a bit too touchy. Just the slightest jerk of the mouse will send you walking in the wrong direction and you'll often times miss the doors and hallways you were aiming to go in. This game is also very difficult, and the poor control doesn't help any. The game developers really poured tons of enemies into the mansion and you'll constantly find yourself taking on 15 baddies at a time. Because a lot of them throw projectiles at you or seemingly come out of nowhere, you'll often get disoriented and lose focus while firing away. Some of the weapons are pretty hard to use (even though the arsenal you're provided with is a good one). Weapons like the flamethrower and Molotov cocktails take an extreme amount of aim to be used effectively. Last, but not least, the lack of a multiplayer option severely hampers the longevity of this game. Almost ALL games of this genre (3D corridor shooters) feature some kind of deathmatch support yet the feature is oddly missing from this one.
And now, the positives. Killing Time does have a few good things for it. First of all is the level design. Most of it is pretty inspired and the game has got some pretty nice visuals. The developers paid a lot of attention to the small details and intricacies of the mansion. Second, as stated earlier, this game has got a pretty good story. The ghost style of how you unlock the mystery is pretty good, if not a rip-off of The 7th Guest. There's also some pretty inspired enemies waiting to be killed. You've got renegade zombie cooks, hellhounds, redneck hunters and ducks that you can stomp on. The gore level is also exceedingly high which is a definite plus.
All in all, Killing Time is just a mediocre product. There are not enough strengths to outweigh the weaknesses and vise versa. You'd be better off playing The 7th Guest and a game like Quake rather than Killing Time, which tries to give you the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, it isn't too successful.
Graphics: The graphics look rich and detailed and the enemies are often downright crazy looking. There's also some good lighting effects and some decent FMV sequences.
Sound: The soundtrack consists of decent 1920s styled ballroom jazzy numbers. The sound effects are pretty good as well -- gunshots sound as they should.
Enjoyment: When it comes right down to it, Killing Time just isn't that much fun. The engine is bad and the controls are frustrating. I found myself wanting to play Quake rather than wasting my time with this game.
Replay Value: There's really not much reason to play it again once you finish it.
Killing Time is a fun FPS that deserves much more attention than it received in the market. This interesting DOOM clone puts you on a journey in search for answers as to what happened one summer evening in 1932 to an Egyptology professor Dr. Hardrove who disappeared in Northern Africa during his search for a mystical water clock from the dynasty of the Pharaoh Ramses. Hardrove's trail has led you to a mysterious, deserted Tess Conway's Island Estate.
The game plays similar to the classic Alone in the Dark games, but with more emphasis on action. In addition to weapons (including a .45 Caliber Nickel-Plated Colt "Peacemaker" Revolver you start out with, as well as a Remington 12 Gauge Pump shotgun, a Thompson .45 Caliber sub-machine gun, and a Kleinschmidt flamethrower), there are many objects to be found throughout the Estate, which you automatically pick up by walking over them. The Estate has many locked doors, and finding the required keys is important -- much like the color-coded keycards in DOOM. One of the objects you can picked up is "the Winged Vessel," which will provide you with special abilities that are required for reaching specific areas in the game. Once they run dry, you will be able to rejuvenate them by picking up a special white rejuvenation vessel. The ability to refill the vessels makes them similar to spells in RPGs, and a very handy thing to have.
There are sixteen different types of enemies in the game, including ducks (yes, ducks), hunters, flying heads, evil cooks, crazy clowns, ugly rats, smoking skeletons, and many others. The Estate is huge, and with hundreds rooms of monsters, it would take even the most experienced player quite some time to finish. A map is available while playing the game to get a bird's eye view of your immediate surroundings. By pressing P on the control pad, you'll see your score, the name of the area you are in and what percentage of that area you have explored, along with any walls, doors, objects and columns on the map.
The fully textured 3D graphics in Killing Time are more than adequate, although they of course can't compare to newer 3D-accelerated games. You can move left and right, look up and down (even while walking), and make 180 degree turns via an intuitive user interface. Overall, I found Killing Time a nice diversion from more "hard core" first-person shooters. With a unique setting in a horror genre, some interesting plot twists, and a newbie-friendly gameplay that isn't too overwhemingly difficult, Killing Time is well worth a look for FPS fans, especially anyone who likes Alone in the Dark or more recent Cliff Barker's Undying.
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