LT Panel
RT Panel
Just Visiting
Wednesday | October 17, 2018
Popular Review Links:
Killzone 2 (Playstation 3)

Killzone 2 (Playstation 3)


Very few titles have received the hype of Killzone 2 over the last year and developer Guerilla Games has clearly attempted to pull out all the stops in making this game the showcase for the Playstation 3 hardware. The game is due for release at the end of next month but we managed to get our hands on the final version. We can safely say it has been worth the wait.

Killzone 2 is technically more like the third in the series, folllowing on after the original Playstation 2 shooter and Killzone: Liberation which was a third person shooter for the Playstation Portable. The new title is totally independent of the others, meaning you wont need to have played either to understand what is going on but followers of the franchise will see connections appearing from time to time and familiar characters making an entrance.

The story takes place after the events of Liberation which basically revolves around an ISA revolt after they were invaded and attacked on their world (Vekta). The ISA were successful in repelling the Helghast and have now moved to attack Emperor Visari. Believing that the Helghast moral has been ruined by the ISA defensive attacks they move against the world of Helghan in the effort to capture Visari and end the threat. Unfortunately this plan doesnt work as the ISA find out that the Helghast are just as fierce on their home world as ever before and that they have developed new and devastating weapons.

This time you arent taking control of Templar, the hero in the first two games who has now been promoted to become a commander of the fleet. You play as Sev, part of a four man team known as Alpha Squad. The team is led by Rico with members Garza and Natko making up the numbers as you battle across the various terrains. There are ten levels in total which will take between 9 and 11 hours to finish. Each of the missions has multiple checkpoints and objectives you need to complete which will encompass choke points, house to house fighting and even vehicle and turret sections. There is a great variety in the game play style and it held my attention for the full duration of the single player which is not something to take lightly.

The story to be fair is rather impressive in the framework of a futuristic sci fi computer game. There is an underlying level of military and political context throughout the game which adds a realistic edge to the plot and Rico is still just as big an ass as he was in previous games. Later on I was actually hoping that he would come to an untimely death as he is just so unlikeable. The bulk of the storyline is fascinating and it really feels as if you are in the middle of a chaotic and nightmarish battle for your people and your life.

The level of presentation throughout is just incredible and developer Guerilla have managed to create a title which will be the future reference point for all FPS games released on the Playstation 3. The in game set pieces are memorable and epic in nature and quite often make you feel as though death is just a second away if you arent really careful with your movements. Ships come crashing down, explosions erupt all around you and bullets go whizzing past your head.

Graphically the game is exceptionally impressive with cutting edge particle effects littered throughout the levels. When a rocket or ship hits the ground it kicks up a lot of dirt and debris, often in your direction. Cleverly, when dust and debris rains to the ground in your vicinity your vision becomes blurred until it settles, much like it would in real life. The environments are exceptionally detailed and extremely varied in content and destructible in design. There are destroyed pillars, rubble and corrugated wall panels which all lend well to further destruction.

Just as impressive are the lightning effects which affect the environment around them. You can even see reflections in some of the units armor which looks incredible. The rag doll effects are also top drawer, if a soldier falls to his death it will never look exactly the same twice. The 7:1 sound also deserves special mention because every single ambient noise and explosion is rendered perfectly though all the speakers. All these little touches add to already impressive environmental setting and draw the player further into the game. Unfortunately while Brian Cox does a great job with the voice of Emperor Visari the rest of the dialogue and voice acting is a little substandard, its not a major issue, but it could have been handled better.

Motion sensitivity is used very well throughout the game. Guerilla have clearly spent quite some time developing and creating uses for the Sony motion features. Lighting fuses on a charge for example before pulling out the remote detonator is a gripping sequence which is well executed, probably a first for the PS3. Even using the sniper rifle for instance requires you to hold the controller steady during the shot to increase the accuracy … other games have you hold a button to hold your breath which has never seemed very realistic or believable to me. Furthermore if you hold the pad perfectly still and an explosion happens nearby your aim will waver due to the shockwave impact. This exceptional attention to detail never ceased to amaze me when playing the game over the course of three to four days, especially when it happens as you least expect it.

So far it has been all exceptionally positive but there are one or two little niggling issues. There are some low resolution textures on certain environmental objects and character models which detract a little from the overall level of polish. There is also some texture popin specifically when a camera pans across the landscape, probably due to memory limitations. The same can be said of the aliasing issues which are quite apparent and give the impression that perhaps this is about as far as the nvidia hardware can be pushed inside the PS3 console. It wont be an issue for a pure console player, but for someone who has a high end modern day gaming PC you long for an option in the graphics settings to allow for 2 or 4 times Anti aliasing. Also I was quite appalled with the flame thrower as it ejects a stream of goo which is rather unsettling and bizarre.

Surprisingly the game does not install to hard drive which will perhaps appeal to many people who are running out of space, but the technicalities mean that every so often there are paging issues as the game loads data to keep the engine running smoothly. These dont last more than a few seconds at a time, but they are noticeable and distracting.

The single player takes a nice approach, in that you are almost always partnered with another soldier in the various levels to complete the objectives. These guys dont just run aimlessly beside you getting in the way either, they lift you to unreachable areas from time to time and supply much needed cover when the action heats up. This is one of my favourite game aspects because they act like real living entities rather than just some idiotic shambling computer controlled AI character. When you fall back for example, they dont run forward on their own, they follow you and find cover to support a tactical retreat.

Enemy AI is just as impressive which, for me is a rare thing to be saying in a game review. All the Helghast soldiers use different tactics to suit their skill sets and some of them can be really devious in their attempt to obliterate you from the face of the planet. Shock troopers for instance throw smoke and frag grenades frequently to distract you, then they quickly switch to machine guns for closer attacks and will even use knives up close to try and slit your throat. Assault troopers use cover and weapons to take you out from a distance and heavy infantry will attempt to pound you into the ground with their superior firepower. It is an amazing experience to meet groups of mixed enemy infantry and to watch them moving around in teams to take you out. It is still not quite like gaming online against real human players but it certainly is one of the most realistic computer based single player experiences I can remember in a very long time.

For the less skilled gamers amongst you who are already worried about not making much progress against difficult AI, the developers have included two lower level difficulty settings (recruit and trooper) which means that the AI is significantly reduced. On the other hand, trying Elite difficulty means that the PS3 is throwing several more CPU cores to the computer AI and trust me when I say its extremely difficult. Their group tactics are complex and they will use every ability they have to destroy you and your party. Veteran is a great setting as the AI is challenging but possible to deal with!

Your key to success on the harder levels is to get a good grasp of the cover system which is paramount to your success, much like it is in Gears of War. Killzone 2 isnt a game you can play by simply running into the open, guns blazing because the enemy will throw everything they have at you – from rockets to grenades. You use cover by pressing L2 and this allows you to attach your torso to any suitable surface in your vicinity such as pillars and barricades. Cooking a grenade in cover, and throwing at an enemy is a great tactic for quickly taking out small groups of foes as they dont have time to jump to safety. Equally so, you need to be careful because if you are spotted, the enemy will throw grenades in the attempt to flush you out and destroy the cover you are using.

Weapons are varied and although you can only carry one primary weapon at a time you are allowed a secondary pistol with unlimited ammunition. There are sniper rifles, submachine guns and rocket launchers in the mix and Sev will also carry a knife and two different kinds of grenades in the attempt to deal with all possibilities.

Once single player is completed there is also an extensive multiplayer option to get your teeth into and this is quite honestly absolutely awesome. There are a plethora of options both for novices and experts which will ensure that people are hooked on the multiplayer component for many many months. The multiplayer aspect is split into two sections: Skirmish and Warzone. Skirmish is the offline part of multiplayer and is effectively a practice arena where you can take on up to 15 bots in matches. You get to choose all your options and pit your wits against the bots, who will react to you based on the difficulty level you selected beforehand – these all work in the same manner as single player and should cater for any skill level. Modes include Capture and Hold (zone based mode), Body Count (Team Deatchmatch) and Search and Retrieve (Capture the flag),

Assassination is a fun mode as it tags one player for death and to score points he has to avoid being killed by the others. Search and Destroy puts one team in a position of trying to blow up a location with two explosives before time runs out while the other side have to defend the target and defuse any active explosives.

Warzone is my favourite as the objectives constantly change to keep the player hooked. You start out as a soldier who can equip a limited number of weapons with very little else at hand. Everything you do, from placing a bomb to helping hold a checkpoint earns you points. The more you play the more points you earn and if your side wins a round you get a 1.5x multiplier for your points. These all go into a pool to earn you ranks, out of 12. You can progress from private to General, once you get to 2,800 points of online gaming. As well as these main ranks you can unlock more player classes, each of which has its own special abilities and bonuses. I really dont want to detail everything as a lot of the enjoyment from this comes from actually playing it and learning the additional classes.

There are 8 maps selected for multiplayer and they are designed to create as much chaos and frenetic combat as possible online. If you couple this with the fact that you can have 32 players in one round (bots can make up the numbers) then you begin to get the idea! Helping out a little is the squad feature which allows a single player to be a leader for his particular squad. This means that all members get a dedicated communication channel for tactics. It also means that players in a group respawn back on the Squad Leaders position providing instant reinforcements to a particular position such as when playing Capture and Hold. Its a great concept I am surprised never to have seen before.

With only a month to go until release the game is going to set Playstation 3 gamers alight with excitement. It is the game they have been waiting for and will easily rival Gears Of War on the Xbox 360. The graphics are beautiful and the AI is in a league of its own for adaptive and challenging game play – perhaps we are beginning to see the advantages of the Cell processor in the Playstation 3 when compared with the Microsoft rival. Single player is strong and good value for money and the deal is sweetened by substantial and diverse online multiplayer. If you own a Playstation 3 then you simply need to make sure you get this game in 2009.



The AI makes for an amazing experience, and multiplayer has been extremely well executed.
It only loses a few points for the fact that it pages sometimes from the disc which causes hitches. Apart from a few lower resolution textures, they are the best I can remember on the PS3.
Full 7:1 sound and diverse and detailed ambient sounds make this a fantastic experience.
Single player is a good 10 hour experience and multiplayer will easily last for months.

A classic which will go down in the history books as one of the greatest Playstation 3 games of all time.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster