Enter the Zone, the Killzone

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2009 at 4:30 am

page7videogame When the Playstation 3 hit shelves in November of 2006 frenzied consumers ran out to get the newest and most powerful home gaming system ever.  Unfortunately the truth of the matter is Sony’s big black box came out with a huge price tag and an under achieving set of games.  At the 2006 E3 expo Sony needed to show what the PS3 could do if they were going to be able to put a dent in the sales of the mighty and tenured Xbox 360.  A midst a wave a controversy, Sony showed off Killzone 2, the sequel to the lukewarm Playstation 2 title Killzone.   The short video showed no actual gameplay but from the rendered footage consumers got to see some of if not the most impressive graphics to ever hit a game console.  Developer Guerilla Games was pelted by the public due to the games already lofty bar of excellence, three years and a horde of dropped- jaws later Killzone 2 finally hit the PS3.

Before the release of Killzone 2 Sony gave gamers a taste of the PS3’s power with games like Uncharted, Heavenly Sword, and Resistance 2.  Each game had those certain “Wow” moments, Killzone 2, on the other hand, is a game chock full of them.   The stunning opening cut scene shows off facial movements and lighting effects that are hands down (and I mean hands down) the best in a home console game up to this point.  The opening scene is rendered and even in its early stages at E3 gamers knew the cut scenes would pack a punch, which makes the actual gameplay graphics that much more outrageous.

Set in an alternate world the campaign of Killzone 2 takes the gamer through the second conflict between the ISA forces and the Nazi like Helghast.  The fighting takes place on the Helghast home planet of Helghan a dark, grim, industrial world.  Guerilla Games did everything possible to make the lighting, shadows, and colors as close to perfect as they could.  For example, in one scene a group of Helghast ambush Sev, the game’s main character.  The ambush takes place in a dark warehouse, when the Helghast suddenly break through a wall the light comes rushing in glaring and reflecting off of everything it would in normal everyday life.  The character models are also amazing; when a bullet hits an enemy in the leg or the shoulder the enemy twitches and falls like a human being.  Killzone 2 pushes the PS3 further than any game thus far, but even the mind blowing graphics can’t mask a lacking single player.  The game is overly difficult and somewhat short.  The single player does offer one new and interesting idea being one of the only first person shooters to implement a cover system.  The system works by ducking behind cover and then using the left stick to peek over and around the object of cover.  The design is great but with the games fast pace and skirmish type fire fights, it takes a bit to master.

Stepping out of the single player campaign the true gem of the Killzone 2 universe comes to fruition.  The game features one of the most deep and chaotic multi-player experiences on a console.  Taking parts of Halo and Call of Duty, Killzone 2 may be the exclusive title Sony needs to take the lead in the console war (excluding the Wii of course).   The game takes the speed of Halo and attempts to meld it with the precision of Call of Duty. The result is a game with a tough learning curve but a rewarding online experience.  Guerilla took a lot of time working on an interesting system of customization by making classes with perks and in game achievements called ribbons and badges.  Each class has certain abilities; a medic for example can revive downed allies and drop health packs to help damaged ones.  After the player completes certain challenges with a class they are given the ability to combine them for instance an engineer who can drop health packs.  This gives the player numerous ways to play.  Another plus is how smoothly the online works.  Most people complain about the weakness of the Playstation Network as compared to Xbox Live, but Killzone 2 runs without a hitch plus the ability to play each game mode in succession makes sessions seem shorter than they really are.

Killzone 2 is a work of art.  The game looks like nothing else out there and yet feels like a legitimate first person shooter.   Most importantly it gives gamers a real reason to step out and get a Playstation 3.  The black box is looked down on for its price tag, but with a killer exclusive title and the ability to play Blu-Ray the PS3 makes total sense.   Some are calling it the “Halo killer”, the game casual enough for the every now and then gamer and hardcore enough for the most devoted. Killzone 2 has its very polished sights set on topping the futuristic shooter genre.  With tons of downloadable content on the way Killzone 2 is looking to stick around for a while.  Lock, load, and get ready to be blown away.


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