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Review: Killzone 2

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Killzone 2 hype began during E3 2005 when Sony first unveiled their infamous teaser trailer. Everyone believed it was CG and rightfully so. A week later former SCEA vice-president Phil Harrison stated that in fact, all the games shown at E3 2005 were done to PS3 specs. Since then the hype machine started growing bigger and bigger and many believed it would be Sony’s answer to Microsoft franchises Halo and Gears Of War. Has KZ2 delivered on all promises?

Killzone 2 starts where Killzone: Liberation ends, but thankfully you don’t need to know the back story to figure out what is going on. You’re placed in the shoes of  Tomas “Sev” Sevchenko. Sev is a battle hardened sergeant first class who fought in 7 campaigns alongside his best friend Corporal Dante Garza. Sev and Dante are picked to serve alongside Sergeant Rico Valasquez and Corporal Shawn Natko in Alpha squad. Alpha squad is given the job to spearhead the Helgan invasion by Colonel Jan Templar from Killzone. The invasion doesn’t go as planned and a mysterious weapon takes out half of the ISA’s ship before they even land. From there the story continues along the lines of trying to capture the Helgan leader scholar Visari, so the war between the Helgan and the ISA would end. There are some interesting plot twists along the path to Visari. These twists add to a story which without them would of ended up just an ok story with little emotion. Overall the story is solid and the ending strongly hints of a Killzone 3 , but don’t expect that “can’t put the controller down” feeling you get with a Half-Life or a BioShock

There is no doubt that this is the best looking game ever made on a console to date, if anyone disagrees they obviously haven’t played. The engine that Guerilla developed seems to handle everything amazingly. The character models, weather effects, lighting effects, shooting effects, basically every effect you can think of, no game can do it better. There are some places where the textures are sub par to the standard Killzone set, but you have to be looking for them to notice.

The controls were the topic of much controversy and I made sure to play the game with and without the patch to see if there was any difference. Without the patch the controls were sluggish, but some people enjoyed this and said it added realism. The people who didn’t like the controls made it very clear, clear enough that Guerilla made a patch. Aside from the sluggish or smooth movement the cover system is a flaw I don’t hear anyone talk about. The cover system just doesn’t work, with the buttons you can choose to set as cover. If L1 was an option the system would work well, anyone who has played Rainbow Six Vegas can attest to that. Sixaxis controls feel forced in, there is absolutely no need for them, how come you can’t turn a valve with your analog stick or place D-charges? Apart from my gripes the rest of the gameplay is well executed.

The multiplayer is what will be bringing you back to Killzone. Imagine if Call of Duty and Team Fortress 2 had a baby and it came out in the middle of the road of both. What I mean by that is the ranking system doesn’t have the depth of Call of Duty 4 and the class system doesn’t have the depth of Team Fortress 2, but it ends up giving you the same gratification.  The maps in any multiplayer game either make it or break it, Killzone 2 definitely makes it. The 8 multiplayer maps you will experience will blow you away. The level design is just brilliant, there’s just enough horizontal and vertical to make many different points of attack. Killzone’s online is made of MLG material and as soon they wake up and put PS3’s in there circuits this will be the game to play.

This game is definitely Playstation’s new flagship FPS  (Resistance? who?) and is a must buy for every FPS fan who has a PS3. If you have a 360 this might very well be the game to push you to get a PS3.  Killzone 2 has the formula to make a great FPS but its shortcomings (story, controls) keeps it from getting an SS and makes it an S.

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