Over the years, the Killzone name has come under fire for being an underachiever. It has been in the centre of many fanboy flame wars on numerous internet sites and forums. The original was branded a “Halo killer” before the first screen shots were released to the public; this made the anticipation sky rocket and overall expectations sensationally high. For the sequel, the expectations were once again high. But this time, Killzone 2 is worth every ounce of hype and sensational expectation it deserves.
So let’s start with the story, you play as Sgt. Tomas “Sev” Sevchenko, a new character with a fresh new background. You play through the entire game as Sev, unlike the original Killzone that had you controlling four different members of your team. You are part of Alpha team, a group of soldiers tasked with invading the Helgan capital and taking down Visari. Every cut scene is expertly created and really helps push the action and the story. Although Killzone’s story isn’t the hottest in town, it defiantly engages you and gives you something to fight for. The voice acting is pretty good; there are no overly intelligent sounding marines but a more realistic grunt that really bleeds into the story and makes it come alive.
Killzone has always been known as a pusher of the Playstation brands graphics, and it’s no different with Killzone 2 offering some of the greatest graphics and screen presence I have ever come across. Some would argue that Crysis for the pc is a much more worthy candidate for best graphics, and although this is true in some areas, Killzone 2 just oozes top notch build quality and amazing effects. Killzone utilizes some very cutting edge technology in a bid to make it the most visceral and entertaining battle experience to grace gamer’s hands. It’s a game that must be played to be fully understood; watching game play videos just doesn’t do the job of conveying a true war experience. Sound, especially if you have 7.1 surround, is a true treat for the ears as every snap, crackle and pop fleshes out the experience even more so. The weight of your character, the kick back from your gun, the rush to cover and the blinding grey scale of your bullet ridden corpse immerses you so much so you truly forget you’re playing a game.
For AI, this game is no idiot. On higher difficulties the Helgast act as a team, always thinking ahead it seems. It’s a real challenge at times to break through, but when you do it’s so very gratifying. I’m sure it isn’t normal to be tricked into thinking you are playing against human counterparts, especially in multiplayer when you realise after 20minuites of playing the enemy team are all bots. There is the odd, very rare time when the AI does something wrong, but perfection in this area can’t be expected.
The gameplay coupled with the grand presentation and production values sets this game apart from the rest. The controls for me are spot on, but do come with the chance to change them to suit particular styles of play. So far I have spoken very highly of Killzone 2, but there are some small things that could be improved on. The addition of Co-op would have been great, especially online co-op. Who knows what future updates could give us, maybe whole new singe player experiences. Some parts of the excellent multiplayer could be improved like party support, but overall, the multiplayer feature of Killzone 2 really shines through and is sure to be one of the most immersive online experiences this year. At first it is slow and seemingly hard to get into, but as you play through it the full flavour of the multiplayer starts to kick in as a bevy of options show up. The experience is extensive and easily customisable to suit your needs on the battlefield. Stats and an amazing replay option on the Killzone web site are real advancements in multiplayer, as is the way game modes change on the fly in matches. Killzone 2 can truly be seen as a new bench mark in multiplayer, although not a total evolution, it has plenty to it to define itself from the rest.
To sum up, Killzone 2 is the FPS the Playstation 3 has been waiting for. This game helps to push the console apart from the competition. If this is a taste of what’s to come this year from Playstation, we are in for a treat. This high quality gaming experience cannot be missed, so grab it now and join the battle!