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- Killzone: Shadow Fall
Platforms: PS4 Exclusive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Killzone: Shadow Fall aims to double-down on the graphically splendorous promises Guerrilla Games has made throughout the franchise's development. When Sony debuted their "Halo-killer" FPS title on PS2, the incredibly dark and gritty look immediately caught the eyes of gamers everywhere, but now that the trend of brown and gray environments has run its course, Shadow Fall aims to infuse great splashes of color and vibrancy to the mix.
In the end, it makes for a stunning and totally engrossing vision of the future where once warring civilizations settle into an uneasy and unstable peace for 30 years. After destroying the Helghast home planet, Vektans invite their sworn enemies to planet Vekta, but the great disparity in quality of life perpetuates a tense undertone around the world.
Players will have to define their own role in the conflict as Guerrilla leads them through the height of Vektan life and the depths of Helghan refugee camps. The stark and horrifying contrast will immediately call to memory our own society and today's ongoing conflicts between classes, between nations, and between people.
All told, Killzone: Shadow Fall hopes to pin the dreams of Helghan and Vektan people living peacefully together on the player, but there's always an opportunity for a new world war. Can the powder keg of age-old conflict be defused in time for the reign of peace to continue?
We'll find out in Killzone: Shadow Fall which launches exclusively on and side by side with the PlayStation 4 on November 15th. (Some retailers like Gamestop have copies available for sale now.) The single player campaign is complimented by a full customizable multiplayer suite called Warzones, all of which will be made better by PlayStation 4's next-generation processing and enhanced PlayStation Network.
The Killzone series has always been about the conflict between Helghast and Vektan, but players have seen that war from many different angles throughout the series.
Killzone – In the first game, the Helghast attacked Vekta after the first Extrasolar War. Both planets had lived for generations after mankind first began to explore the stars, but when the Helghans attack, it's up to players in the role of Interplanetary Strategic Alliance Captain Jan Templar to fend off the hordes of invading soldiers.
As players progress through the story, Guerrilla wields a tale of shadow forces betraying the ISA every step of the way, leaving players to feel like they've won the battle, but not yet the war.
Killzone 2 – The second game in the franchise opens on an invasion force of ISA troops deploying on planet Helghan near the capital city, Pyrrhus, and this bloody campaign barely succeeds in establishing a foothold for Vektan forces in their assault on the Helghast. The theater of war is further complicated by an ISA nuclear weapon, stolen and used by the Helghast to destroy their own city and much of the ISA force.
After players fight through this chaos with ISA Alpha Team leaders Sev and Rico, they soon come face to face with Helghan leader Scolar Visari who taunts Rico into enacting vengeance for the Vektan lives lost earlier in the game. Visari's last words are "The madness… begins," and with that another fleet of Helghast ships comes to further punish the invading and crippled ISA. The war continues.
Killzone 3 – The third game in the series picks up with Sev and Rico once more and tasks players with making sense of the scattered ISA fleet, the politics going on between Helghan military and arms contractors, and just how to get out of this messy war alive. When a cease-fire is negotiated, Sev is captured and Rico must rescue his old partner and any remaining ISA forces.
Soon, the head of Helghan's biggest weapons manufacturer executes the planet's absolute ruler and turns his sights on Earth in a mad grab for power, but not before Sev and Rico interrupt his plans. In the chaos, a nuclear warhead is dropped on a cache of special Helghan weapons which consumes the planet in fire, ending countless Helghan lives and the war between the ISA and Helghast.
While Killzone: Shadow Fall's gorgeous graphics and smooth frame-rate can't be communicated in streaming videos like those you'll find below, each does a good job of giving players a look at the haunting and beautiful design, explosive action, and overall story in Shadow Fall.
Story Trailer – Here, Guerrilla Games sets up Shadow Fall's story, where warring civilizations have been forced to live together in uneasy peace. In the video above, you can see many of the different environments to explore and come face to face with the characters you'll meet throughout the campaign.
E3 Press Conference Gameplay – This video shows off some of the action in one particular level of Shadow Fall's campaign. Players can deploy shields, melee enemies with brutal animations, and generally attack objectives how they see fit throughout the game. Our hands-on time with the game showed how Guerrilla is making good on the promise shown here: that players have a lot more choice in how they get the job done.
Live-Action "Oaths and Promises" – Gamers will take on the role of Shadow Marshal, but what does it mean to be an elite Vektan soldier? A hotly anticipated next-gen launch game would be nothing without a stylized and enticing live-action trailer to set the mood.
gamescom Multiplayer trailer – Like any good first-person shooter, Shadow Fall has a heavy emphasis on multiplayer action and the multiplayer trailer debuted at Germany's gamescom gives an overview of what Guerrilla is trying to do with their competitive component, titled Warzones. Head to the next page for more details on Warzones.
Next Page: The Warzone>>
Despite Killzone's always intriguing and futuristic campaign, players will inevitably spend most of their time in Warzones which serve as the game's answer to other multiplayer suites full of weapons, modes, and challenges. That doesn't mean Warzones is without a lot of unique design choices that make it one of the more engaging and flexible online modes.
Warzones are fully customizable. The stock Warzones playlist will return Killzone players to a series of rotating objectives within a single match, but if you've got a specific itch, Warzones will give you what you need to scratch it.
If you want to create a rocket launchers-only mode for rampant and needless destruction, you can. If you want one team to be heavily outfitted with miniguns and shotguns, while another team has more armor and faster feet but nothing more than a knife, you can do that too. Warzones will flex to meet the player's desired multiplayer battleground, but try to keep it fair and balanced (and more importantly fun) and your custom Warzones mode might just get the spotlight from Guerrilla Games for the whole community to enjoy.
Further, Sony and Guerrilla Games have promised to make Killzone: Shadow Fall one of the most persistent and heavily supported launch games in history, with multiplayer updates rolling out on a tight schedule and two tiers of support for consumers.
You can pick up Shadow Fall's season pass to receive an added cooperative mode and more goodies down the line, but even without a hefty DLC purchase, new multiplayer maps will be added to the Warzone's rotation free of charge. If you want to continue the core customizable competitive experience without spending a dime beyond the base game, you'll be able to do so with the entire Killzone: Shadow Fall community. Guerrilla Games wants to ensure that by releasing new multiplayer maps for free that the launch-PS4 online community isn't segmented with every new DLC pack.
All told, if you can only afford one game with your shiny new PlayStation 4 console, Killzone: Shadow Fall will have hardcore first-person shooting action in spades and plenty of ongoing support.
Killzone: Shadow Fall will be out exclusively on PlayStation 4 at the system's launch on November 15th, its official release date, but is currently available for purchase at retailers.