There’s Something About Killzone

At my house, there are only two residents: myself and my fiancé. How things work in my house regarding games is like this: I start work early, and get home a good hour to two before my partner. This works out rather well for both of us, and best of all, it gives me a decent portion of uninterrupted quality gaming time.

What has been taking up that time of late is the rather excellent Killzone 2, which I have been playing almost exclusively online during these stolen hours. This surprises me, for a slightly odd reason. I play a lot of first person shooters, so a FPS like Killzone 2 was bound to be right up my alley. There’s a lot to like; console wars and fanboys aside, it’s undeniable that Killzone 2 has amazing graphics, tremendous DTS sound, and loads and loads of action. So of course I’d like it, right?

Yes. And no. The thing is, lots and lots of games have intense shooting action, great graphics and sound, etc. etc. etc. The market is flooded with games like it, and I certainly haven’t got hooked on most of them like I have with Killzone 2.

So what exactly is it that I like about the game? And this is a puzzler for me. I don’t genuinely know. Why did I get hooked on Killzone 2 but not Halo 3?

Moments from now, this guy won’t have a head.

As a game, Killzone 2 is not without its problems either. Ready Up’s own Emily has pointed out a number of times how irritating your team-mates can be in the single player mode, and the multiplayer modes can often be frustrating. Frequently the tactical game that I’m sure the developers had in mind when they came up with all the character classes goes straight out the window, as two spawn points get placed in the same target room, and the game turns into a battle of attrition. It becomes a frag-fest where who wins can come down to who can throw grenades into said room fastest. Being sniped repeatedly by invisible (cloaked) snipers on Pyrrhus Rise drives me spare. Yet, these niggles just don’t put me off playing.

I think it comes down to the magically elusive “X factor” that the marketing people are always trying to bottle up and sell to us, the baying hounds of the public. It’s that indefinable spark of genius that shows through in everything from absolute masterpieces to even the ropiest of products.

The Dynasty Warriors games on PS2 had it, even though they were fairly simple button-bashing games to play and didn’t exactly set the world on fire with their (frankly urine poor) graphics. On paper, I can’t think of a single good reason to play a DW game but whenever I have I’ve always had fun and would recommend it to others.

It’s easy to get bogged down in looking at a game by its facts and figures on paper. Oh, look, it has 32 players, seventeen levels, 720 Ps, 6 channels of sound and more polygons than you could shake a point-ed stick at. You can learn a huge amount from a review, but that’s never the full story. Sometimes you’ve just got to play the demo or game for yourself, forget the hype, forget the facts and figures and listen to your heart.

I did, and I Killzone 2.







6 responses to “There’s Something About Killzone”

  1. MrCuddleswick avatar

    It’s Earth Defence Force for me. It shouldn’t be as much fun as it is.

  2. Del Torro El Sorrow avatar

    I LOVE Dynasty Warriors man. Every single one of them.

    But you know MY thoughts on Killzone 2…

  3. Kapzer avatar

    Amen. Now….about my withdrawal from KZ2. You better be on standby to play with me when I get my hands back on it Tony 😛

  4. Emily avatar

    The friendly AI is about as handy in battle as a water pistol. With no water. And when you pull the trigger it swears at you.

  5. James avatar

    James <3 Dynasty Warriors muchly
    James doesnt <3 however Warriors Orochi 2 and its dammned unlocking system for getting Orochi X as playable. grrrr.

  6. Lorna avatar

    Sometimes it can be just one of those things…against all odds you actually enjoy it and have no idea why…other times I expect this and get let down..perhaps that is why i haven’t disgraced myself with opening up SKi Park manager yet for my PC…something tells me that it won’t be one of these diamond in the rough games…

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