Ever wanted to feel like a radio talk-show host in the late eighties? Team 17 have you covered. Killer Frequency is a first-person story-driven horror title developed and published by Team 17. You play as Forrest Nash, who along with his producer, Peggy, is tasked with helping people over the airwaves when a mysterious killer starts bumping off residents of their small town. I’m playing the PS5 version, but it’s also available on PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch and Meta Quest 2.
Admittedly, I’ve never played a game quite like this. While talking to your callers, every response, every choice you make can literally be the difference between life and death as they tackle the gruesome killer on air. As the protagonist DJ, all you can do is listen as it plays out while offering advice and solving puzzles. I wasn’t sure how it would play out but a combination of interesting scenarios and a fantastic voice-cast actually made the whole thing quite engaging.
Killer Frequency – All Talk And No Action?
Killer Frequency has you answering calls from various citizen with the aim to make it through the night. This premise has you manning a DJ booth for the most part, though there is the ability to leave the booth for some limited exploration, even throwing in collectible records which you can then play on the show. Forrest’s decisions weigh heavily as you make choices throughout the night that help (or hinder) victims and uncover the mystery of the killer; The Whistling Man.
Being entirely in first person, does feel a little awkward at first until you get used to it. After an initial prologue that finds you as a victim in an alley meeting The Whistling Man in what I found to be quite an unnerving sequence, you are taken into the KFAM radio building. It’s here that Peggy will run you through a short tutorial to get the basics of running the show.
Unleash Your Braincells
Puzzles in the game will often require Forrest to explore outside the studio though to start with, they’ll be as simple as advising the next course of action. For example, the very first call has someone being chased while assisting the town’s Deputy. She can carry one weapon. I chose the taser. Apparently this was a good choice. As the puzzles get more complex, you’ll explore the building for clues which will involve paying attention to your surroundings. Solving these puzzles will be essential in ensuring the survival of your callers.
Setting The Scene
Given the nature of the game, Killer Frequency is a dialogue heavy title. The voice-actors are one of the strongest aspects of the game and make the exchanges fun to listen to more often than not. Conversations with callers mostly appear as a multiple choice text box, the D-Pad is used to cycle through options and X to select. Not all of your conversations directly involve the killer, however. Some listeners just want to call in and these exchanges often provide some comedy between the serious calls with Forrests snarky responses.
Killer Frequency takes place in the late eighties and it wears it’s inspiriations like a badge of honour. The art-style complements the setting with a cel-shaded 3D style adding to the retro atmosphere along with some 80’s inspired record tracks to play.
Killer Frequency is a fantastically cheesy tongue-in-cheek love-letter to the 80s slasher genre. While most puzzles are incredibly clever, some can be a little vague and cause deaths where they could’ve been avoided. Overall, though, a very enjoyable homage to one of my favourite movie genre’s with an element of replayability to see different outcomes.
Review copy provided by Team17 Digital. Game reviewed on PlayStation 5.