Here I am again, GR, back with another super duper cool review!
This one's not as old as my last, but I'm a bit behind the times since I only recently got a PS3 and just beat this awesome exclusive shooter.Note:
This is a review based solely on the offline component of this game. I have not yet connected to the internet to play online, and will not be doing so until later. When I have more experience of the online multiplayer I will go back and edit this, removing this note and adding an extra box for the multiplayer section.
, the third game in the Killzone franchise, following Killzone
for the PlayStation 2, and Killzone: Liberation
for the PSP, is the first game in the storyline to actually deliver what it promises. The original was marked as a "Halo killer" and the PSP iteration simply promised more than it gave. Not saying that's a bad thing since they still were immensely popular with the people who bought and played them, but I also feel the reviews speak for themselves.
Anyway, on to the review!The Story
The story in Killzone 2 picks up directly where Liberation leaves off. After being forced off of planet Vekta, the war is brought to the Hellghan's homefront on planet Hellghast. It's a grueling planet with constant lightning storms and clouds that almost always block out the sun. It's literally astonsihing that the Hellghast have managed to survive here. You play a new character in the franchise, named Sev, as go on your mission to capture the Hellghast leader, Scolar Visari. If you haven't played the first two games, there is no need to worry too much about recurring characters, you can figure out who is who pretty quickly.
Of course, capturing Visari is easier said than done, because his right hand man, Radec, gets in the way of almost any chance you get to get closer to him. Not wanting to give away too much of the story, I believe I'll stop here and let the rest play out for you.The Gameplay
This game handles a little differently than most first person shooters you are used to today. The first thing you will notice is that the control scheme is not the same as many peoples' beloved Call of Duty series, but I'm not saying it isn't similar. You still click L3 to spring, square is still reload, and R1 is still fire. The changes are that L2 is now crouch, R2 is throw a grenade, L1 is melee, and R3 is ironsight for your weapon. The second thing you will notice is that there is a bit of a delay in your characters' movement compared to your controller. This was inserted into the game intentionally to give the feeling of the added weight your character is carrying and to emphasize the gravitational pull that the planet has. There is also a new cover system in the game, that will allow you to take cover behind almost anything in the world, then pop out and shoot or blindly fire over it, ala Gears of War. The difference is that while in cover you remain in first person.
I should also mention here that when playing this game on hard or expert the AI is actually very good. On both sides. The Hellghast will almost always try to flank you, sometimes successfully, and your men will constantly cover you and even get some kills! The bottom line is that this game is smart.
In addition to running around and killing stuff, there are a few different vehicles you can drive in this game. Their controls are pretty solid, and of course they all have turrets to shoot from. To avoid later game spoilers I will not tell you what you can drive, just know that one of them is really, really cool.
Throughout this game the developers have also hidden things like Hellghan symbols and pieces of intelligence to pick up, so that in addition to killing stuff you're also looking for things. They sometimes feel as though they were thrown in at the last minute to add to the replay value because in a shooter most people don't go looking for things they can't see directly in front of them. Especially if they're getting shot at.
There is also a component for offline multiplayer with bot support, but I would not really recommend this because you only have access to one of six classes, and you cannot level up unless playing online. It is still fun to try for a minute though.The Graphics
This game is beautiful. All the animations are solid, and the game runs smoothly at 60 frames per second. The framerate will drop rarely when there are too many explosions going off or something along those lines, but I believe in the entire nine hours of the campaign I played this only hapened once.
My one complaint with the overall appearance of the game is that both the flamethrower and the auto healer you can use to revive downed team mates look almost last-generation. Once the fire starts it's pretty again but I found myself opting to not use the flamethrower because in terms of graphics it detracted from all the gorgeous chaos that was happening everywhere else. This issue is not enough for someone to not buy the game though, since really the problem only arrises if you pick up one of the large arsenal of weapons.The Verdict
With ridiculously chaotic action, a beautifully dark world, actually intelligent team mates, and solid controls, I would say Killzone 2 is the game to buy if you're a shooter fan. The controls at first will seem a little wonky but by the time you get a half hour of gameplay in there they will feel natural and fun. Offline multiplayer with bot support can be fun but hard and frustrating since you can't level up, and of course online multiplayer where you can level and unlock other classes will keep you coming back for a while.
+ Action packed until the very end
+ Good AI
+ Offline multiplayer with bot support!
- That doesn't let you level up
+ An arsenal of weapons
- Some of which look bad when shooting
- You die a LOT