Two jobs that sound stressful and never should be combined a 911 operator and radio DJ. That’s what happens in Team 17’s first-person black comedy Killer Frequency!
In Killer Frequency, players take on the role of Forest Nash, a late-night radio DJ who was given the task of also acting as a 911 operator after all the phones in the town that the station is in can’t make outside calls as the local serial killer long thought dead has returned, and Forest and his producer have to help callers from becoming the killer’s next victims.
Now onto the game itself! Killer Frequency‘s controls are a bit over-complicated on console controls as it’s quickly apparent that this game is more meant for VR gameplay as you need to use too many buttons in certain sequences to do things, not fun for a game where at certain moments you have to be quick.
Since the game’s story is mainly told through sound, the voice acting in Killer Frequency is amazing! The sound design also helps add to the story as it unfolds. The soundtrack is OK if you like synth 80’s tunes, which you can unlock more records to play on the air by finding them around the radio station when you have to leave the booth from time to time.
Killer Frequency‘s art is quite vibrant and suits the aesthetic of the story which looks great for the 80s feel the game is going for, which brings me to an issue I have with the story. I can’t get a handle on when the game’s story takes place as there seems to be ambiguous. It’s going for a nostalgic 80s feel but some things don’t add up (If you grew up in the 80s) like how some of the callers are clearly (and logically) calling from cell phones, which yes were around in the late 80s BUT not everyone had them, so the likelihood that multiple people in this fictional small town have cell phones tells me there are a lot of Narcos living in that town.
When it comes to gameplay, in Killer Frequency you take calls and pick how you respond to the caller, and if the caller is in danger, you may have to use something in the studio to help, such as a magazine with instructions on how to hotwire a car or a map, etc, and the decisions you make, along with the directions you give, will either help the caller survive their encounter with the killer…or meet a tragic end live on air. Let’s just say, I did not do too well.
Overall, Killer Frequency is a game meant for players who really like details to help them solve puzzles or find solutions. A casual gamer may find this game a bit too challenging as even though you made rightfully logical decisions, it’s not what the game’s script wanted, and you fail, adding to some frustration. The complicated controls right off the bat make the game feel awkward to play, even after playing it for a while I still can’t seem to get a handle on it.
The art, voice acting, story, and premise rank high on my score but the controls, and lack of wiggle room for success hurts the experience quite a bit. On my scale of 1-10, Killer Frequency is a 7.5!
Killer Frequency is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and Meta Quest 2.