"Killzone 2": Another Look at PS3’s Killer Game

1/08/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Chris Cook

When "Halo" first came out for the original Xbox, it became an instant hit, a classic and the perfect First-Person Shooter (FPS). Meanwhile, Sony’s library was lacking an FPS they could call their own. But never fear, said Sony, "Killzone" will do just what PS2 owners wanted--offer an FPS actually worth looking forward to. When the game was  released, it was met with mixed feelings--it was good, but "Halo" was on another level. Years later, PS3 in hand, I once again had in "Killzone 2" an FPS I really could look forward to (although both "Resistance" games made the wait more bearable). This time around, however, Sony decided to tease us with that damn E3 trailer that promised something we next-gen gamers could only dream of--true next gen’iness. More waiting and another "Resistance" game later, we finally got to see if the game was really worth the hype. Could we really believe all that hype?

"Killzone 2" takes place after the events of the first game and "Killzone: Liberation" (PSP). Luckily, those gamers who haven’t played the first games won’t be completely lost as the storyline works well as a stand-alone title (not to mention the first games weren’t particularly good). Basically, the story goes like this--sometime in the distant future, mankind has expanded far beyond our solar system and eventually, it has split into two factions: the ISA and the Helghast. The Helghast decide to attack the ISA, they fail, and that pretty much brings you right to the beginning of this game. The ISA decide to launch an all-out attack on the Helghast home planet, expecting little resistance and naturally, things go down the crapper--quick.

From the very beginning, this game grabs players with its vivid presentation--even before you get to the main menu, the Helghast fuhrer delivers a commanding speech that conveys the power and determination of the Helghast war machine. At the game starts, players are dropped immediately into the shoes of ISA soldier Sev, who, along with a couple of comrades in arms, fight to take the Helghan planet, effectively ending the intergalactic war. Everything about this game says epic, from the first scene, where players dropped into battle via flying vehicles of absolute insanity to the later levels, where players traverse the dark, sprawling capital of Helghan to fight the intrepid Helghan army on their own turf. Being that this is their last refuge, the Halghast fight furiously and it shows during combat.

The AI is much improved over the previous iterations of the game--they're tougher, quite a bit smarter, especially on the later difficulty levels, and they're more diverse. The AI effectively utilizes cover, rushes players at defensive positions, are deathly accurate from across the map and really go all out to get the kill. The problem is that the AI is only intelligent enough do so at the two hardest difficulty levels, whereas at the two easier levels, players will be met with a dumbed down version of the Helghast soldiers, who seem almost hesitant to actually hit the player with their erroneous gunfire. Players looking for the true "Killzone 2" experience with have to turn the difficulty up a notch if they expect to enjoy the game fully. As for the allies Sev has by his side, they are smart enough to kill the enemy and for the most part, to stay out of the way. One small issue I had with the ISA soldiers was the dialog during gameplay and during the cut scenes. Now, I’m no saint, but those soldiers cuss so much and drop the F-bomb so frequently, that I found myself thinking that these soldiers must be 8-year-olds who just watched the Terence and Philip movie.

The weapons of the game are relatively numerous and effective. However, I found that the weapons also were unbalanced and uninteresting. Sev starts most levels with the standard ISA-issue rifle, which is cool but, again, just wasn’t all that fun to use. As the game progresses more weapons become available to the player, but because Sev can only hold a pistol and one other weapon, I found myself using the Helghast assault rifle for much of the game due to its balance of fire rate and for its accuracy. I also found that some parts of the game proved to be repetitious and, at times, even tedious due solely to the fact that players can only hold virtually one rifle at a time.

A militaristic, orchestrated soundtrack perfectly fits with the themes and action of the game. The pace is quick, well-balanced and exciting while the graphics paint a stunning picture of the Helghast home world. This game was created as a showcase for the PS3’s power and it shows.  From rusted corridors to crashed vehicles in various states of disrepair, from the massive, open arenas of battle to the sprawling city of the Helghast capital, this game can take your breath away with its visuals. Aside from some frame rate hiccups here and there, this game looks even better than the now infamous E3 trailer.

Guerilla included a multiplayer element into the game that consists of two categories--Warzone and Skirmish. Warzone is the main multiplayer element.  It throws players into intense, objective-based battles with up to 32 players while Skirmish is basically a practice arena that pits players against AI bots. The multiplayer is deep and very fun, though not that memorable. While playing through, I found that I lost interest in it. For most players, however, the multiplayer offers an experience that surely will extend the life of the title.

After all is said and done, is the game really up to par with the massive hype that once surrounded it? Did it become the PS3’s much-needed system seller? Well, it most certainly is the best FPS that is currently on the system and the graphics most definitely show off the PS3’s potential power. For those of us who own a PS3, "Killzone 2" is a must buy--it's an excellent addition to PS3’s library and overall, it's just a great game. Does that mean you should go out and buy a PS3 just to play this game? No. If Sony really wants to sell PS3s, they are going to have to up their library, much like they did with the PS2. Imagine the PS3 with a library just half as good as the PS2’s.

A man can dream.

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  1. ALICIA said...

    chris unable to reweet..error statement too long

  2. Hugo said...

    This game is hust really awesome. Everyone who has a ps3 should buy it, great campaign and epic multiplayer.