When you see the word “KISS” in the title and four different retail box designs each spotlighting one of the members of KISS, you might reasonably expect that KISS: Psycho Circus – The Nightmare Child would feature wall-to-wall KISS – kind of like this sentence. But oddly enough, KISS: Psycho Circus contains very little of the legendary rockers – some coy song references, snippets from a few hits, and a portrait of Paul Stanley are about as KISS as it gets. As such, faithful members of the KISS Army hoping for the ultimate rock shooter will be particularly disappointed with Psycho Circus, the first game by Third Law Interactive, a development house founded by ex-Ion Storm employees. For everyone else, Third Law’s attempt to re-create the frantic action of classic first-person shooters such as Doom is fairly good but ultimately too formulaic.
KISS: Psycho Circus is actually based on the Todd McFarlane comic book of the same name. Unlike the band, the game makes absolutely no attempt to rock – instead, it has a generic techno soundtrack. What’s worse, it’s a techno version of a KISS song! And if the story in the game is any indication of the quality of storytelling in the comic book, then Third Law might have been better off spending its Todd MacFarlane money on a tanker truck full of Blatz. Let’s just say the plot involves a witch speaking – at great length – about some indecipherable mumbo jumbo.