Killstreaks: Tell Us How You Really Feel

Killstreaks: Tell Us How You Really Feel

Ah, the killstreak. A single idea that changed the face of multiplayer shooters. All these years later, has its time finally come? Is it time for the world to leave the killstreak behind?

The killstreak is a multiplayer game feature popularised by Call of Duty, but these days the concept turns up in other games as well. Basically, when a player manages to take out a certain number of enemies without dying, he or she is given a special ability that they can unleash at their discretion.

Maybe they get to fire up a drone that temporarily gives their team the ability to see enemies on the map, or maybe they build a powerful sentry gun to help fortify a position. Or unleash a pack of guard dogs, or even call in a tactical airstrike. The more kills, the better the reward... but if they die without using it, they have to start over.

Needless to say, killstreaks are controversial. Plenty of players don't like them, with common complaints being that they can upend a balanced match or unfairly reward the best players with even more power. Other players like them a lot, since hey, it's pretty fun to kill a bunch of your enemies and then drop a tactical airstrike on them.

Some new games are experimenting with new ways to approach killstreak-like ideas while getting away from the traditional way that killstreaks have been designed. (For example, Titanfall's burn cards seem like an interesting alternative.) Which brings us to today's query:

For the discussion below: What do you think of killstreaks? Is it time for a change? If you played the Titanfall beta, do you think something like the burn card approach works better? What are some other games that are doing interesting things with killstreak-like concepts?

Sound off below. I'm curious to see who comes down on which side, and why.


    It's good that developers are trying to reward good players, however, it gives players that aren't as good a major disadvantage, and as soon as someone starts winning, unless a system is implemented correctly, the game is one sided.

      Not to mention, even with the possibility of an advantage, it can add unnecessary pressure. For example; I was doing pretty well in a GTA Deathmatch last night, until I saw the words 'Kill Streak' and then my performance took a nosedive because I was trying too hard to keep the ball rolling.

      For someone that doesn't play much, competitively, it can throw you out of the fun a bit.

      Last edited 07/03/14 12:55 pm

    Back in my day, if you were on a killstreak, you just got a sultry ladyvoice or deep manvoice telling you so. Kids these days don't know how good they have it.

      The killstreak announcers were killstreaks done right - if you're doing well, you don't need a fancy schmancy reward - just let everybody know it. :)

      I'm glad that some modern games (DOTA2 in particular) have adopted this idea.

        Unreal Tournaments "MO MO MO MONSTERRRRR KIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! *echoes off into distance*" was my favourite.

        I don’t really play team based FPS (that’s all of them these days) anymore, but I can’t imagine you need any more reward than that.

          They have the exact same (I think? been so long since playing UT) monster kill announcer for Dota and Dota 2 :)

      Double kill, Triple kill, Killtacular, Kill Frenzy, Killtrocity, Killimanjaro!

      Running Riot!

    I dont like overly powerful killstreaks, dogs and choppers is COD suck

    Kill streaks are fine, as long as if doesn't tip the match balance the wrong way. Kill streaks always start out ok, but once you start over rewarding better players that balance gets skewed the wrong way.

    Each benefit must come with a downside, such as a big damage upgrade, but your position is revealed on the map etc

    They emphasise individual performance over team cohesion, if they must exist, they should be the exclusive domain of free for all game modes.

    Personally I think they should be penalties rather than bonuses "okay, you killed 5 people in a row without dying so I guess you think you're pretty good, lets see how good you are with [75% maximum speed]/[no health regeneration]/[no ammunition pickups]". If you can maintain a kill streak with increasing penalties then you're a legitimately skilled player who should have bragging rights.

    Killstreaks that reward good players with a method of killing even more players than they already have need to go away in my opinion. They were fun initially but I think they've outlived their welcome. Keeping killstreaks are fine but I believe there needs to be an emphasis on support rather than kill.

    Double Kill
    Muli Kill
    Ultra Kill
    MMMMMMMonser Killlllll

    Killing Spree
    God Like!

    That is all you need to know.

      Hooollllyyyy shiiiiiiittt.
      I think so too, all you really need is the game telling everyone how awesome you are ;)

      You don't need things to make your killing streak even more deadly, as others have said, that tends to unbalance the game, by giving the better players (who are generally already winning) even more ways to kill the others more, and winning even more.

      Last edited 07/03/14 2:09 pm

      That rush of blood to the head once you hear "quadrakill" and common sense goes out the window on the hunt for the penta, though.

    I love 'em. They've always motivated me to get better at a game so I can be the one with the kill streaks as opposed to being killed by them! I think CoD took it too far one way, but there should be some sort of reward to the player for chaining together 5/10/20+ kills or whatever!

    Kill streaks are loved by the players who can obtain them and hated by everyone else. I know this because I used to be 'everyone else'!

    Recently I've gotten decent enough at Black Ops II to be able to rack them up on a regular basis - my favourite is the Microwave dish that basically has the same effect as suppression on BF3

    Team fortress 2 has a good sytem of it. You have to get the part and if you dont have it you can just say " i dont really care". Optional is good.

      Plus, it's basically cosmetic - the more you kill, the more your weapon changes colour (or if you have the rarer one, the brighter the particles coming out of your eye gets).

    I think Titanfall handles this in a decent way (although I guess it'd be closer to a score streak rather than a killstreak). For those who didn't play the beta; within a certain amount of time, everyone will receive their Titan to drop in during play (I think the first drop was a counter for 3 minutes, and 2 minutes for each Titan afterwards). However, by working towards the objective by taking out opponents (either players, AI, or other Titans) and capturing points, the time it takes for the Titan to be available gets cut. This way, everyone gets to muck around in a Titan, but those who are playing better will get it a bit earlier.

    On top of that, Titan kills also cut the time required for your own Titan to drop, and while Titans are powerful, they have some weaknesses that players don't (due to their size, it can be hard to avoid taking hits from opposing players using the verticality of the levels, and Titans set to auto mode become much easier targets due to the AI not being comparable to a player in skill). This does a great job of balancing your Titan by making it also be another opportunity for opposing players to get their Titan out quicker. It's a clever way of giving better players a kind of scorestreak award without making it OP and without punishing other players at the same time.

      drop a titan infront of the enemy titan your climbing and sometimes it gives your titan enough time to fall on theirs when they get out to shoot you. Also that ark grenade is sneaky because you can blind them while you're climbing on and they don't notice the screen warning sometimes. Other clever but common thing is having buddy titans punch rodeo players off your hull, it has this small aim assist for the animation making it much easier than shooting them off.

    Killstreaks are a byproduct of survival. On all multiplayer i strive to push my KDR by surviving as long as i can while also trying to win match objectives. Kill two thirds of the enemy team and your team has enough headroom to complete objectives which puts you on the winning side. It also serves to frustrate the enemy which makes them sometimes clumsy and usually more relentless. You have consider your own life at every opportunity, it is okay to flee to save your life, giving you the same opportunity as a fresh spawn. Use that high ROF stuff with irons and get cheap. God forbid your mag isn't reloaded, walk backwards around a corner and drop a grenade at your feet as you do, that eager player that wanted to kill you is suddenly a free grenade kill. Some scopes in games have reduced movement opposed to irons, you can compensate with a DPI profile on your mouse. Also USB PEDALS ARE AMAZING you can bind them to melee/grenade/whatever and they're very inexpensive. Probably the most important thing is having friends on comms, you can tackle so much more with an organized squad and the experience is so much more enjoyable, for you anyway ;)

    imo burn cards are hella OP and will be the cause of huge frustration playing titanfall. ive always wanted a download only cod game with no perks, no killstreaks, no deathstreaks ect - just skill

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