“Mercs vs. mercs vs. mutants,” Kill Strain‘s gameplay trailer so proudly proclaims. The environments, character models, and the combat itself all bear a striking resemblance to another PlayStation 4 exclusive, April’s Alienation. But while the latter game told its story completely straight, even as it began to move into Starship Troopers territory, Kill Strain‘s voice acting and presentation suggest that it’s leaning into the silliness.
Its asymmetric multiplayer also provides something we haven’t seen in Housemarque’s games. With two teams of humans and one team of mutants, you’ll have to decide whether to turn your attention to the monstrous threat or focus on blasting your fellow man. Sony promises that although the title will be free-to-play, it will not fall into the “pay to win” trap that has plagued other free competitive games this generation.
Kill Strain will be available a full week early for PlayStation Plus members, but if you want to get your hands on it even sooner, Sony is currently sending out invitations for the Limited Access beta that runs from June 29 until July 3. Anyone who participates and reaches level 20 during this time will receive the “Vanguard Vincent” item when the game officially launches.
The San Diego Studio is perhaps best known for its work on the MLB: The Show series, delivering the best (and sometimes only) baseball simulator each year, but Kill Strain is looking surprisingly sharp for a game so far removed from sports. It launches for PlayStation Plus members on July 12, with a full release following on July 19.