Flatscreen ports have become a staple part of the VR release schedule. From major titles like Resident Evil 4 to smaller indie offerings, there are some excellent games coming across. However, there are those that do not fare as well, with janky controls and a lack of interactivity that VR players are used to. Sat in between these two extremes is Kill It With Fire VR, adapting the arachnophobia-inducing gameplay into an eight-legged escapade of fun and frustration.
Having already played the original Kill It With Fire I was well-versed going in as to what to expect. Spiders are everywhere, from the standard black ones that like to hide on dark furniture to the jumpers that literally spring towards your face. Even if you’re just a little bit squeamish about spiders this will have you ‘noping’ out in no time. And that’s just the flatscreen version.
The cleansing power of fire
As you can imagine, VR takes this simple idea and ramps it to the max. On Meta Quest 2 those spiders are now running past your feet, or next to your hand as you pick up a book. Don’t let the low-poly, cartoony visuals fool you either. When you’re rummaging through kitchen draws or pulling items out of the fridge, suddenly having a big ol’ spider in your face will make anyone jump. And it does, time and time again even when you know they’re hidden away.
Things get even more fun/erratic/tense (you choose) once there is a floor full of debris. Kill it With Fire VR encourages you to trash each level like you’re a kid in a play park. But that gives the little critters even more places to scurry under. I was soon waving a frying pan around frantically trying to bash each and everyone before pulling out a Molotov to finish the job. You’ll get a reasonable workout whilst doing so.
There are plenty of options when it comes to dispatching spiders, and as the title highlights, fire is one of the best weapons available. As the levels progress, ’ll be able to unlock a wider arsenal, from lighting a spray can and throwing TNT to revolvers, shotguns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers and so much more. There’s a weapon to suit every taste, but like I say, setting an entire room on fire and watching them run around can’t be beaten.
This being a VR port there are plenty of new interactive elements. You can physically open most draws and cupboards, there are big buttons to unlock secrets once challenges have been completed and you can grab your next weapon straight out of your inventory. Items like batteries and ammo can be quickly stored via the back of your hand, a great feature. The developers have tried to ensure Kill It With Fire VR is as VR-friendly as possible.
Unfortunately, it’s not all plain sailing. I found that grabbing items especially draws and cupboards was inconsistent. My hand would get caught or disappear entirely. There’s a remote grab function where a little antenna pops out the back of your hand to highlight distant objects to pull in closer. This fared even worse, and I gave up trying to use the damn thing.
Another clumsy feature is weapon selection. Opening up the inventory to grab another should be easy. Alas, when full spider mayhem is in full swing and you want something quick, it is certainly not. I’d grab a gun that was out of ammo or simply trying to highlight one just wasn’t 100% precise.
Apart from the new VR elements, it’s also worth noting that Kill It With Fire VR is a direct port. There are no additional levels or new content to speak of. So if you’ve played the original to death then you’ll know how to complete the VR version in no time.
There are points in Kill It With Fire VR that make me love its ludicrous gameplay. Blowing stuff up and basically unleashing all hell on an ever-increasing swarm of spiders is silly, mindless fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Even if you’re a spider lover there will be points where you’ll jump with surprise. And that is the game’s greatest hook. Therefore, it’s disappointing that Kill It With Fire VR isn’t a pain-free experience. Making some of the core gameplay elements a frustration. Only worth it if you want to kill many, many spiders.