It's a given that for a fighting game (at least one that's not part of a franchise) to gain any attention these days, it has to offer something a little different from the norm. Well, Virgin's Thrill Kill, easily the most abnormal fighting game ever, won't have any problems turning heads--mainly because its 11 oddball characters are darn good at lopping 'em off.
This game is so amazingly ultra-violent and its roster--a mix of S&M freaks, cannibals and psychos--so dangerously bizarre you almost feel guilty for playing it. But all that's obvious from the screenshots. Odder still are the play mechanics. Instead of a life meter, each character has a Kill Bar that fills as he or she inflicts damage on opponents (kinda like MK's Aggressor Meter). Once the bar's maxed out, the fighter earns a kill power and can decapitate the next character he or she touches. If there's only one opponent left in the arena, the player earns a special "Thrill Kill" power and is treated to an even more visceral finishing move.
And that leads to Thrill Kill's most novel feature: It supports four-player combat. With a Multitap in place, four combatants can either abuse each other in Team Mode or simply cut loose in every-psycho-for-himself combat. Most moves are of the tap-tap-tap variety, with throws and counters available as well. Each fighter will also have five unique Thrill Kill finishers, as well as an FMV ending.
- MANUFACTURER - Paradox Development
- THEME - Fighting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
Download Thrill Kill
Thrill Kill drew huge crowds to the Virgin booth, but there's more than mass appeal to the game origi nally titled S&M (Slaughter and Mutilation). Here s the lowdown on a promising fighter that skillfully blends intense multiplayer action and gore galore.
Gates of Hell
Developed by Paradox for Virgin, Thrill Kill could be the bloodiest fighting game in PlayStation history. Playing as one of eleven hell-bound characters, you have a chance to return to purgatory on earth--but only by winning a grisly tournament where anything goes. Want blood and gore? Thrill Kill delivers by the bucket: Heads are kicked off. limbs torn out. skulls crushed...you get the idea. Nothing in any other fighting game comes close to Thrill Kill's carnage, neither Bloody Roar nor Mortal Kombat 4.
Controls for Carnage
Thrill Kill's controls add some unique features to its melee. Like Tekken, there are two punches and two kicks, while special moves are performed by using control-pad motions and rapid-button taps. You can even execute high-hitting combos. Each character has 50 special moves and distinctive techniques: For instance. Oddball is restrained in a strait-jacket and fights with headbutts, bites, and kicks; and Violet, a contortionist, excels with in-close moves by bending opponents into bonecracking pretzel holds. Instead of a life bar. you have a kill meter that builds up power each time you strike an opponent. When the meter's maxed out, you can destroy any player with one hit regardless ot the energy they might have left.
Mutilate in Multiplayer
One of the game's strongest assets is something the PlayStation could really use: multiplayer mayhem. Up to four people can play free-for-all. two-on-two. or three-on-one matches. One especially cool feature during multiplayer matches is the "gang up" move: One player grabs an opponent while another player bashes away at him. For practice, you can spend time in Hell perfecting your kills with a training dummy who looks uncannily like "The Gimp" from the movie Pulp Fiction.
The Cory Goods
Thrill Kill's bleak visuals fit the game's theme like a bloody glove. The 10 different arenas include the aptly named Hellevue, Slaughterhouse of Flesh, and Crematorium. The characters also sport strong and disturbing visual details, like Belladonna's sparking cattle prod and the Imp's blood-stained stilts.
Will Thrill Kill be king of the violent fighting-game hill? Parents beware--the thrills and kills in this game could create a new ESRB rating!
What you nearly played:
The sickening crunch of breaking bone. Sprays of [yawn] gore. Decapitations and disembowelings. Ho hum. That stuff was all well and good back in '94, but it had become pretty boring after fatality-based fighting games achieved total market saturation. Thankfully, Virgin Interactive decided to try to breathe new life into the tired old tropes of the genre. Mortal Kombat was for dabblers; Thrill Kill was for the true connoisseurs. What characters! Choose between a straight-jacketed psychopath, a homicidal postal worker, a cannibal hillbilly, a psychotic dwarf, a dominatrix and a mad scientist with a bear trap where his mouth should be. What fighting arenas! The Sewer of Styx, the Crematorium, the Slaughterhouse of Flesh, the Chamber of Anguish, the Lavatory...ahhhhhh, the smell of it. This game promised a frantic, no-holds-barred four-player free-for-all that transcended every fighting game that came before it. Instead of the tried-and-true "energy bar" that gradually depletes as you absorb blows, Thrill Kill featured a "kill meter" that gradually filled as you inflicted pain and misery on your opponents. When the Kill Meter was full, you were able to commit a spectacularly disgusting fatality move on one of your hapless opponents. Even the Practice Mode was perversely disgusting. Instead of just letting you play non-responsive versions of your normal opponents, the practice mode had a special character who existed only to serve as your tackling dummy--namely the leather-clad Gimp, a squealing masochist who found your repeated thrashings delightful.
Why you'll never play it:
Duh. See above. Virgin Interactive was sold to EA, and as Aaron Cohen (PR Director for EA subsidiary Westwood Studios) tells us, "Thrill Kill is not the kind of product EA is interested in publishing." It's impossible to fault EA for the decision to not release the game--what company in their right mind would?--but they've caught a lot of heat for not releasing rights to the game to some other company willing to risk the media firestorm that would inevitably greet its release. Julian Rignall, a former vice president of design at Virgin Interactive, is still ticked about EA's reticence. "There is a group empowered to keep games like this from falling into the wrong hands, and it's ESRB, [Entertainment Software Rating Board ] not EA," he says. Rignall compares Thrill Kill to the darkly satirical film Robocop--an apotheosis of media violence that's also a tongue-in-cheek commentary on media violence. Rignall says that the pre-release version of the game (widely available in illegal CD burning and emulation circles) presents the game as it stood at "about 90% complete," and still in need of a little tweaking in the area of control responsiveness. In a poetic twist, the fighting engine was resurrected for Wu Tang: Shaolin Style--the cheerfully gruesome rap/kung fu outfit was a perfect match for the spirit of the original game. But the "kill meter" was replaced by an old-fashioned "energy bar," and the game was (of course) equipped with a friggin' child safety code.
Lock your doors--Thrill Kill is on its way! Fighting fans, this is the game your parents warned you about.
Does It Hurt?
Thrill Kill promises to shake up the PlayStation with some of the most controversial and graphic battles we've ever seen. In addition to the buckets of blood they splash across the various stages, each character can choose to finish off an opponent at the end of a match with a Thrill Kill. These moves range from humorous (like Cain's handshake) to outright disturbing (like Tormentor's chain dismemberment). Parents, beware--Thrill Kill has some pretty strong stuff, so take the warning screen at the start of the game seriously!
Since our last preview of Thrill Kill (see "Sneak Previews," September), three new characters have been added to the lineup: Cain, a fireman and burn victim; Judas, Siamese twins joined at the torso; and Marukka, a winged demon who serves as the game's final boss. Other play modes have also been implemented, including a Practice and a Team mode. Hidden character outfits, like Violet's alien and Belladonna's cowgirl getups, are also new. The only missing elements at this stage are the rendered cinema cut scenes--and we can only imagine what shocking surprises they'll contain.
All in Good Fun
For a four-player fighting game, Thrill Kill has excellent controls. Taking on several players at once rarely becomes confusing, and a block button has been added to the control scheme; the neutral blocking feature, however, has been retained. In addition to the 30-plus moves per fighter, more Thrill Kill finishing attacks have been included. Unlike those in Mortal Kombat, these moves are easy-to-perform simultaneous button presses. For combo fanatics, Thrill Kill has several multi-hit linking moves and even air juggles. Not being able to jump is awkward at first, but the free 3D movement soon becomes second nature.
Thrill Kill serves up gore galore and four-player multiplayer pandemonium. Anything goes in this over-the-top fighting game that's sure to get a lot of attention.
Murderous Multiplayer Mayhem
The control layout is simple: two punches, two kicks, and crouch. While the "neutral blocking" defense is awkward at first, it quickly becomes second nature (to block, simply stand still). Instead of plane-based fighting (with characters always facing each other on a single axis), combatants can move in full 3D--it's like playing Cardinal Syn without a jump button. The control scheme works well, especially in free-for-all multiplayer games where four people can play against each other using the multitap. One of the game's strongest assets is the multiplayer mode, which will keep you beating your friends to a pulp for hours.
Thrill Kill is a strong candidate for the bloodiest fighting game ever--even the Worst Mortal Kombat fatali-ties'pale in comparison. Whether Cleetus is ripping off an opponent's leg and using it as a weapon. Violet is breaking an adversary in half with a contortionist pretzel hold, or Mammoth is spinning an unfortunate,victim around by the legs until their torso flies off. Thrill Kill very violent game that's sure to raise eyebrows.
Thrill Kill features a lineup of 11 "fighters" from the most sordid walks of life, such as a librarian-turned-dominatrix and a scalpel-wielding doctor with a bear trap grafted to his jaw. Each fighter has their own distinctive attack methods, four different costumes, and five Thrill Kills^ finishing moves that can be done only at the end of a fight, instead of draining, an-opponent's lifebarfvo.ir gradually increa^yoinfi own Kill Meter each time you strike an enemy. Once your meter is maxed out,: you can kill any opponent by getting in close and pressing any Punch or Kick button.