More Reviews
REVIEWS Firefall Review
Repetitive gameplay makes this fall a little boring.

The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Mortal Kombat X Preview
Huh, does that mean Mortal Kombat XXX would be a possible game title in the future?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Madden NFL 15
Release date: Out Now

Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14

FIFA 15
Release date: 09/23/14

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14


LATEST FEATURES A Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Controversy in the Video Game Industry
Need help wading through the latest misogyny/homophobia/racism/corruption debate in the gaming industry? Paul Tamburro’s here to help!

inFamous: First Light Battle Arena Hints, Strategies, Tips [Stream Over]
Watch as I build out our feature of useful tactics for players in Sucker Punch's wave-based and arcade-awesome arena mode.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

Killzone: Liberation Review

Joe_Dodson By:
Joe_Dodson
11/09/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 6 
PUBLISHER Sony 
DEVELOPER Guerilla 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Blood, Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Freedom isn't free.

For a game that was supposed to be a Halo-killer, the original Killzone ironically missed its mark. It aimed for the head but didn’t blow our minds, or even do enough damage to make us blow fifty bucks. Rather than dare an equally dubious shot by releasing yet another first-person shooter on the mono-nubbed PSP, Sony took a wiser approach with Killzone: Liberation, working within the system’s limitations and crafting a top-down tactical shooter that puts more emphasis on planning than pwning.

In Liberation, the Helghast (red-eyed mutant soldiers) are on the run, and you’re what they’re running from. With the help of the occasional comrade, you’ll march through war zones dealing death, dying a lot yourself, and breaking plenty of crates before quickly winning the game. It’s a little frustrating and a little fun, but not a lot of anything.
 
click to enlargeBefore each mission starts you pick a gun, and then you run around shooting things. What separates Liberation from a million other games is its perspective; the isometric view is very reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid. Obviously, you can’t really aim on your own, so you automatically lock onto enemies if you’re pointing in their general direction, then fire away.
 
Most of the time the auto-lock works. You can also duck behind cover, then pop out and fire. It isn’t rocket science, just stupid fun. Especially satisfying is the way you can run up to enemies, smack them down with your gun stock, and empty a clip into them. There are times, though, when you’ll encounter an enemy only to shoot five feet to his right, or become locked-on to a foe twenty feet behind him, while he fills you full of holes. This is when the Helghast stop running and start laughing.
 
That’s because they never have any trouble shooting you from any distance, yet you can only see thirty feet in front of you. Now, the levels are usually designed for close encounters, negating your nearsightedness. It’s when the game sticks a big open area between you and a guy with a heat seeking missile launcher that things get really frustrating. Then there are the dogs. Oh, the dogs are bitches. For some reason, they’re nearly impossible to lock onto, and fighting them is a matter of timing a button press to counter their lightning-quick lunges. Where’s some mace when you need it?
 
Liberation shows flashes of brilliance – sometimes you’ll fling a grenade at a sniper in the middle of beating his comrade to death, and blow him from his nest, screaming. Other times your aim will be off, and you’ll be the one to die screaming as the sniper and his friend knock you into a landmine you didn’t even know was there.
 
click to enlargeLandmines are just one of many things that will kill your little super soldier. Spider-bombs, rockets, snipers, dogs, tanks – the enemy can kill you in a million ways, but you usually feel limited to crouching and shooting, pretty slim options for a game billed as tactical. You don’t have any sneaky moves and your gadgets are limited to various explosives. Things get a little tactical when you fight alongside allies, as you can slow down time and issue simple commands, but your strategy is still the same – crouch and shoot.
 
That’s because Liberation isn’t really a tactical game, but one of trial and error. For every section you run and gun through, there will be others where success seems to hinge on the lucky bounce of a quickly thrown hand grenade. Sometimes, this game will piss you off so badly you’ll literally want to kill something, so you’ll have to kick ass in another game just to make yourself feel better.
 
That’s more the exception than the rule, though; much is blissful catharsis. Most of the weapons are pretty cool, and you can find new ones in lockers throughout the stages, or unlock them by finding scattered suitcases, which give you thousands of dollars each. You use the money to upgrade guns you have, or buy new ones. Either way, the game gets better and better the stronger your weapons become. 
 
The separate Challenge mode allows you to unlock things like greater grenade capacity and stronger health-ups for your campaign. Challenges have you fending off enemies and running through areas within certain time limits, and they’re a fun way to get a small dose of action. The problem is that sometimes you’ll get a gold medal on a challenge and receive nothing for it, other than the pride of knowing you’re an awesome spider mine herder.  
 
click to enlargeHunting for briefcases and completing challenges adds an important chunk of playtime, because you can blow through the campaign’s four stages (each with four levels) in about six hours. In other words, soon after you really start to have fun, the game ends. You can play all the missions cooperatively with a friend via ad-hoc, which is cool, and you can also play ad-hoc versus matches. Sony claims infrastructure play will be downloadable in the future, but at the time of this review, your multiplayer options are limited to your number of friends with copies of the game.
 
Regardless, Liberation looks good. Units animate well and are subject to the throes of rag doll physics, and the environments are clear and crisp. Explosions fling fire, dirt and bodies with equal violence, and the tanks emit cool-looking steam, and even cooler looking rockets. It sounds fine, with decent gunfire sounds, voice work, and unobtrusive music.
 
Killzone: Liberation is a fun but frustrating action romp with some good unlockable content and a really short single player campaign. Sometimes it seems worth a full forty dollar commission, other times it’s worth a quarter and a dirty look, going from hero to zero and back again. The reality is somewhere in the middle, like a crazy soldier or a brave hobo, worth its weight in change, if not dollars.
C+ Revolution report card
  • Duck and shoot, fun!
  • Good weapons
  • Lots to unlock
  • Trial and error, argh!
  • Short
  • No infrastructure

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Killzone: Liberation


More On GameRevolution