Killzone 3

Killzone 2 was one of a few titles which maintained my unsteady relationship with my Playstation 3. From the moment I observed the demo of Killzone 3 at last year’s Eurogamer Expo ( I couldn’t actually get near enough to play it), it became one of my top anticipations for 2011 releases. So did it deliver to my expectations?

Storywise, you start off where Killzone 2 left off. The war between the ISA (American accented good guys) and the Helghast (British accented bad guys who all sound like Captain Price) wages on. The Helghast officials are crumbling behind the scenes since Visari, the Helghast leader was killed in the previous game. You return as Sev, a member of the ISA, who with Rico and Captain Narville, are trying to survive on a hostile world and find a way to warn Earth of an impending attack. Now this really is a game where you should at least play the previous game before you embark, or you may spend a good portion of it scratching your head. There isn’t much in the way of recapping, so if you don’t know the back story, you’ll be wondering who people are, why the ISA are scattered all over the place and why the Helghast are in possesion of an uber cool gun that can make people explode.

It must be said, that the graphics are amazing. A lot of work has gone into the game from facial expressions to the backdrops, and some of the later ‘boss battles’ feel truly epic. The close combat kills are rather brutal and graphic, and the first time I grabbed and enemy from behind and stabbed him in the eye, I must admit I winced a bit. The pacing of the game suffers, though, from the sheer amount of cutscenes in the game. Seriously, I don’t think I played more than 15 minutes at a time before yet another cutscene showing Sev doing something that would have looked really cool for me to play through. I don’t mind a cutscene heavy game, when there is actual need for it, but the stop-start pattern disengages you a little from the game, especially when you’re just starting to enjoy yourself. The game kind of goes: Shooting section – Cutscene – Tank Section – Cutscene – Jetpack section – What, another cutscene?! But that was a really cool bit! – Another shooting section. When you play a bit that isn’t the standard ‘get from A to B while gunning down a lot of Helghast’, it never feels quite fleshed out enough, and it’s a shame because these brief moments are the best in the game. Another pace related problem is the very abrupt ending. One minute you’re happily firing missiles from a spaceship thinking ‘this is gonna get good now!’ and the next it’s all over. You’re wondering what to to do with all of this pent up adrenaline while helplessly watching the credits roll.

The controls, if you are familiar with Killzone 2, are more of the same. You can use the six-axis controller to set charges and turn valves, like in the previous game. The controls can get slightly annoying, such as the cover system a being a little clunky and unresponsive.

A slight gripe I have is with the Co-op campaign. Fair enough to them, not many games seem to include split screen co-op anymore, so I was rather happy that it even had one. The thing is, if you are player 2, you play as Natko ( a character from Killzone 2). Natko is nowhere to be seen in Killzone 3 single player campaign, thus nowhere to be seen in any of the cutscenes. Nobody really acknowledges you unless you are downed and need healing, so you are increasingly feeling like a spare part.

The multiplayer has 3 modes: Guerrilla Warfare, in which you have to kill the opposite team until you reach a set score, Warzone, which includes randomised missions for the teams to do, changing the tone of gameplay from one match to the other, and Operations, which is objective based gameplay. You can choose to be a Field Medic, Engineer, Marksman, Tactician, or Infiltrator, and each class comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Matchmaking seemed to be quite smooth, probably helped by how you choose the region you are from; I seemed to find games to join fairly quickly. If you feel like you need a little practice before braving the online community, there’s a mode called Botzone, in which you play the multiplayer modes with AI Bots. The AI is quite impressive, and it’s quite fun, and useful for experimenting with different classes.







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