Killer Klowns from Outer Space [hands-on preview]

Killer Klowns from Outer Space [hands-on preview]

A kompletely ingenious take on the Klowns franchise

Last year I got an email telling me that the Killer Klowns from Outer Space were making their way into the world of video games and I popped. Then I heard that they will be showing off the game at PAX East 2024 and I knew that it was the most important thing for me to see at the show — and I succeeded in my mission. Despite being a tentpole cult classic horror movie of the 80s and beloved by so many, Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a one and done sci-fi horror comedy that was never quite able to get a sequel up off the ground despite multiple efforts by the Chiodo Brothers. But now we have Illfonic/Teravision Games (Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed and Captain Toonhead respectively) out there making a 3v7 asymmetric shooter set in the universe of the film, and they have jammed it to the brim with everything Klowns fans would want to see.

This genre usually has one major issue and that is that it’s way more fun to play as the “Killer” than it is to play as the “survivors.” Instead, Illfonic have decided to really lean into the fact that the humans have a fighting chance. You may be at a disadvantage almost all the time since the Klowns have so much at their disposal (or disposer, if you’re Dali — edit from Dali: “LOOK IT UP.”) but you’re never defenseless. You are scavenging for weapons and items to save you, yourself, and your town.

Meanwhile, they’ve given the Klowns everything you’d expect them to have. You got the popcorn gun, you’ve got murder creampies, and you’ve got the infamous cotton candy gun. Much like Dead by Daylight, they wanna cocoon you up and hang you from a hook as your life slowly drains from your body. It’s a slow clunky process, but as a human it’s the last thing you want to have happen to you. One very interesting gimmick they’ve added on the human side is that if you die while you’re waiting to be rejuvenated (if that’s an option for you) you can play a series of minigames that will let you win items that you can keep for yourself in the event you’re brought back or to give to a surviving player. Sometimes, a mystery baseball is all it will take to turn the tide. Killer Klowns isn’t doing all THAT much different from what Illfonic had been doing in the past, but the IP, the creativity, and solid gameplay make this one of the stronger entries I’ve seen in this genre yet. There is no release date announced for the game, but it will be arriving on Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam.

~~ Killer Klowns from Outer Space won a SideQuesting Team Choice Award at PAX East 2024 ~~