Killzone 2

13 07 2009

Killzone 2 CoverDeveloper: Guerilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
HD Resolution: 720p, 1080i
HDD Space: 77MB install, ±1MB saves
Genre: First Person Shooter
Mode: Single player. Multiplayer online only.
Rating: ESRB: M. PEGI: 18+. BBFC: 18
Released: February 27, 2009

Killzone 2 is the name of one of the PlayStation 3’s many exclusive for 2009. It’s a sequel (obviously) to Killzone on the PS2 and Killzone: Liberation on the PSP, and sets you right down in the middle of a huge interstellar war between the essentially human Vektans and the mutated, evil Helghans.

You play the entire game as Seargent Tomas “Sev” Sevchenko, a member of the elite Alpha Squad, and you begin the game on the flagship of the invading Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA). After the events of Killzone, the ISA have orchestrated a massive invasion of the Helghan homeworld, in an effort to break the morale of their enemy and end the war. The primary objective of the invading force, Alpha Team, and you is to capture the Helghan leader.

Graphically, Killzone 2 is amazing. I think it would be fair to say that there is no better looking game on the console; or at least that it is one of the best looking games. Everything is realistic looking and will probably blow your mind. You really feel like you are part of the ongoing war, as bullets fly over your head, RPGs explode right next to your cover and your comrades die all around you.

Killzone2 ScreenThe environment of the planet Helghan is that of a smoky, lightning filled rock, and the graphics convey that sense of doom. Everything is dull and metallica to survive the harsh climate, or perhaps because of it, and this is reflected in the textures and lighting. Don’t expect all the colours of the rainbow on this game, because you are going to be disappointed.

Gameplay wise, Killzone 2 is a fairly straightfoward FPS: kill enemies using a variety of different weapons, advance to next area, repeat. However, Killzone 2 introduces a cover system, that allows you to hide behind nearby objects and evade enemy fire. While not perfect (I sometimes found myself just wanted to crouch next to an object, not stick to it in cover), this works well most of the tim, and is a nice touch.

Let’s talk about A.I. The Helghast you are fighting against feature brilliant A.I. and you probably won’t find them doing the same thing on subsequent play-throughs. They will flank you if you stay in cover for too long, and they surprised me a number of time with something really sneaky, for example when they flushed me out of my comfortable cover with a grenade and then shot me dead when I ran out. Unfortunately, the amazing A.I. does not extend to your squadmates, who will sometimes stand right in front you as you’re firing, block your path as you’re trying to run and just generally not aid you as much as you would like. I think I can count the number of times my partner killed a Helghast on one hand…

The character development is a little weak, and the character you play: “Sev”, is little more than an ISA grunt with a bad haircut. That being said, I actually found myself getting into the characters in subsequent playthroughs, which shows that it’s not all bad. Storyline … well aside from the grand “invade the enemy homeworld and end the war” there is none to speak of. You and your team go to various places, finish various objectives and carry on. It’s a little weak.Killzone 2 Screenshot

Multiplayer wise, I can’t comment accurately as I haven’t had any first hand experience with it. I’ve heard good things, however, and the availability of two (with a third in the works) DLC map-packs must mean that something is right about it.

Your playtime of this game will vary, depending on how much you want to beat it. While multiplayer ensures a theoretically unlimited amount of gaming, the single player is not so fortunate. If you just finish it once on the medium difficulty, you are probably looking at maybe six hours of gaming. If you comb each level looking for all the collectibles and getting most of the (offline) trophies, you are probably looking at about a good 20 hours. For all the (offline) trophies, you are looking at may 40 – 50 hours, as the “Complete all mission on Elite difficulty” and “Complete all missions on any difficulty level without dying” will rack up that playtime. Here’s a nice overview from my trophies: first trophy: 17 June 2009. Final trophy: 10 July 2009. So lots of value for money.

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed playing Killzone 2, and aside from a few minor annoyances (like why is Sev so short?? He comes up to the chest of other Alpha squad members and struggles to see over low walls), Killzone 2 is highly recommended. I give it a solid 9/10. If you have a PlayStation 3, at least rent this game, to see what all the fuss is about.

Buy Killzone 2 (Platinum)

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