KISS: Psycho Circus Review

KISS: Psycho Circus Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 16


  • Gathering of Developers


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now


  • PC


KISS your butt goodbye.

Ah, the franchise, gift of capitalism and vortex of allowances. Franchises

play off the theory that if an idea is good in one place, it must be good in

another. Just take a look at the Jar-Jar Binks merchandise that no doubt litters

your house from seemingly innocent visits to fast food restaurants.

Many icons have attempted to extend their respective franchises into the gaming

world, but where all have tried, most have failed. In the past, such greats

as the Simpsons, Aerosmith, and The Crow have all tried to “branch out” into

the gaming world only to fail in almost every way possible. Now KISS, eternal

rock & roll icons, have decided to go digital.

But thankfully, KISS: Psycho Circus – The Nightmare Child succeeds

where most other franchise games have failed. Not a complete success, mind you,

but not an unqualified disaster either.

Third Law Interactive, the new game developer responsible for KPC,

is playing it safe financially by deciding to place KISS within the First Person

Shooter genre, a category that has always had a steady following and strong

financial success. Top that off with the fact the game is based on a comic book

by Todd Mcfarlane and you can see why KPC was a great game to start a

company with.

The game places you in the role of one of four band members (oddly, not

KISS) who find themselves caught in the web of a fortune teller by the name

of Madame Raven. She must find four mortals to champion the cause of Earth and

defeat a growing evil. Like any responsible evil entity, the menace did not

simply accept its fate but instead left an offspring gestating in space in order

to once again ruin everyone’s good time. And now it is up to you to battle your

way through the elemental realms to collect the Armor of the Avatars (the KISS

costumes) and defeat the Nightmare Child.

There are four realms to start with: earth, air, fire, water, and a fifth that is opened after the main levels have been defeated. Each level has a different twist, usually of an elemental theme, but overall the levels feel very similar.

The setup of level progress is old school…and a bit boring. You don’t really

get the chance to advance through one giant complex like in Half-Life;

rather, KPC relies on more traditional design with each level existing

independent of the others connected only by “magic mirrors” that teleport you

to the next stage. Very Doom.


matter which level you choose to play first (they are supposed to go in order,

but don’t have to) you can be sure of one thing – gratuitous amounts of monsters.

Think of what might happen if you mixed the hoards of nasties from Starship

with Todd Mcfarlane’s unhealthy obsession with clowns, and you’ll

begin to understand what you’re up against.

Because of the sheer number of monsters, (sometimes up to 20 at a time) KPC

excels well as a melee based FPS but offers very little in terms of strategic

battles. Most of the time you’ll find yourself up against the insect-like “Headless”

and the fire spitting, dog-like “stumps”, which are easily taken out with a

simple hand-to-hand weapon. The more destructive guns are reserved for the larger

and less frequent enemies.

While the swarms of enemies are fun to hack through for a while, the whole

process begins to grow old as just about every battle feels the same and we’ve

all played “hide and go shoot” games before. Ohhh, another monster behind another

corner! Big surprise.

The technical elements of the game are impressive and hold their own against

most other FPS games. The controls are tight (if a little simplistic), the graphics

are sharp and the animations are fluid. So even if the game is fairly formulaic,

it’s still nice to look at.

One aspect does stand out from the rest however, the sound. The sound is simply amazing; if you have the opportunity I recommend hooking your computer up to a large stereo. The intros are theater quality and the in-game sound effects

are disturbingly clear. While most of this game offers nothing new, the sound rocks.

Serious fans of KISS will probably want to pick this title up (though you

may be disappointed with how much the KISS element is downplayed), but the rest

of us have seen this game before. Call it what you will, but DOOM is

still DOOM, even in KISS makeup.


Amazing Sound
Clean Graphics
occasional KISS songs
Uninspired gameplay
It's like
Dull multiplayer