KILL KNIGHT’s flowing twin stick carnage hides layers of thoughtful complexity

KILL KNIGHT, the silly-named twin stick action game you may have caught at similarly silly-named event The Triple-I Initiative in April, is joining this year’s Steam next fest with a demo ahead of its expected release date later this year. I’ve played it, and I feel must apologise, Mr. Knight. I still think it’s a silly name, but with frantic flowing action this immediately gratifying, you can call yourself whatever your killy little heart so desires. For this knight is not like other knights: this is a knight who kills. Wait, they all do that? Oh. Well, this one has four guns. Suck it, literally every other knight.

Imagine I’ve got a whiteboard pointer, because I’d first like to highlight Kill Knight’s spread of individual tutorials, each adding another trick to your arsenal. You start with the basics – twin automatic pistols with a Gears Of War-style active reload that makes them deadlier, and a highly reactive dodge with i-frames for phasing through projectiles. You’ve also got a screen-clearing shotgun, great for much-needed crowd control, since Kill Knight overwhelms you with foes from second one. The shotgun has limited ammunition, but you’ll gain more by slaying foes with your sword. Oh, right. Yeah. You’ve got a sword!

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You’ve also got a fourth gun (Four guns and a sword!) but this one is special. Kills made with this gun are the only way to spawn health orbs, and you can only fill up its shoot-o-meter by absorbing the red orbs that fallen foes drop. But! These orbs are also how you power up your character, increasing your speed, damage, and possibly some other bits. It’s a lot to balance! Also you can parry. Also the parrying slows down time. I tell thee what, this knight has truly put a lot of thought into the myriad ways in which kills may be achieved.

It all comes together to blend the twitchy with the cerebral, the pressure of making smart calls to safeguard the next ten seconds while murder-dodging your way through the current ten seconds. I’ve not quite mastered the balance myself, but it’s already got its hooks in me to the point where I’d be well up for getting even mildly proficient at it. I’m writing this in the past, but I assume there’ll be some sort of tag where you can keep up with all our picks from this year’s Steam Next Fest. That’s my promise to you as a Word Writer.

Steam Next Fest 2024 doesn’t kick off properly until the 10th of June, but we’ve already got some lovely demos trickling in. You can keep up with all our coverage here.

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