Killzone 2


posted 2/5/2009 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PS3
Those looking for high tech weapons in the game will be disappointed in Killzone 2's armory as the weapons are decidedly old school. There are a few exceptions to this like the lightning gun and the bolt gun but the rest are you various varieties of shotguns, pistols, and shotguns. The weapons are also almost exclusively aimed with iron sights making them more old school than I would have expected. Honestly they wouldn't appear that far out of place in Call of Duty 4.

This does make the "special" weapons that much more important. The bolt gun is lot of fun as it fires an explosive bolt into an enemy, knocking them off their feet and stapling them to what ever is behind them. It's a bit like the stake gun from Painkiller but with an added explosive kick. There's nothing like hitting one guy and then having the explosion take out one or more of his friends. The flamethrower in the game is also worth talking about as it's easily the best flamethrower ever put into a game. Since the flamethrower is really ignited napalm it lets you arc fire over barriers to get at the troops behind them. The satisfaction of seeing them catch fire and run around is quite satisfying. There's a nice lightning gun but you only get to play with it for one of the levels in the game which is a shame for such a fun weapon.

Of course you couldn't talk about Killzone 2 without talking about the graphics in the game. While the game doesn't quite reach the infamous target render that Sony promised in 2005 the game does come scarily close. Levels feel real as the level of detail and particle effects is stunning. Firefights kick up dirt and debris forcing you to deal with the most realistic fog of war that I've ever seen in a game. One of the things that I couldn't talk about in my first impressions was that some of the later levels break away from the standard gray/brown pallete of most shooters with some nice outdoor levels. There aren't any lush jungles on Helghan but there are some very nice deserts and the view from the orbiting ships and you drop down onto the planet are quite well done.

The audio matches the visual as there are distinct weapons for each gun. As I got towards the end of the game I could tell which type of Helghan troops I was fighting by the sound of their weapons. From the rapid fire vipping of the heavy machine gun to the whooshing sound of an incoming rocket help bring the battlefield to life. Some of the voice over work is spotty but Brian Cox delivers a solid performance as Scolar Vissari . Some of the dialog in the game is a bit on the generic side but it's not as bad as the forced machismo of Gears of War 2. The soundtrack of the game is also strong and provides the right tone to the game. I'm not saying we're at the John Williams soundtrack level but the music does add a bit to the game.

With the game not being released until the end of the month it is a bit difficult to judge how the game will do when the public has free reign with the game. For that reason I'm limiting the review to the single player portion of the game. That said if the game is as good as what I saw in the multiplayer beta then I think people will be happy with their purchase.

Killzone 2 is a solid FPS game and while it doesn't exactly break a lot of new ground it's one of the best shooters on the market. I had a lot of fun with the game and never once did I wonder when the game was going to end or feel like the game was dragging. As someone who loves FPS games I can't recommend the game highly enough and I think people are really going to dig the game when it hits shelves later this month. Co-op would have been nice to have but it's hard to hold it against the game that was this much fun.

The PS3 finally gets a new signature title with a game that will have wide spread appeal. Killzone 2 sets new standards for graphics while providing a solid story with interesting characters. Co-op would have been nice addition but it's still the most fun I've had with a FPS game in a long time.

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