Did someone say Killzone? Remember Killzone 2, with the amazing graphical content that left one at awe and managed to tap into the ‘potential’ of the PlayStation 3. It did however have some issues; the first thought that comes to mind with any FPS is the famed Call of Duty series. Killzone 2’s controls however, felt clunky compared to the CoD series, and although there was some ‘weight’ to the character, it felt slightly un-responsive.
Killzone 3 was promised utilise 100% of the PlayStation 3’s power and be rid of any issues that its predecessor had. Also with the inclusion of 3D and Move support will it break through as the best FPS game to be released on the console?
|Visari contemplating his evil plans.|
The player re-visits the ending events of Killzone 2 with the ISA charging the palace and killing their leader Visari. In turn they’ve managed to anger the entire Helghan planet who now wants them dead. As always there is a replacement for the bad guy however the Helghast may not be as united as everyone thinks. I personally found this type of narrative captivating although there could be a range of personality types as both leaders are slightly demented and want to destroy you through different methods. It was a good change of pace that managed to keep the game away from the simple good guy, bad guy formula which doesn’t give much of an impact but through this new narrative, the players can almost decide themselves who was in the right and wrong.
In terms of how the story is played out, it does jump about quite a bit showing the events that happened before and after the six month period since Visari’s death. This can make things a little confusing so someone new to the series may find things a little harder to understand.
The Helghan planet itself is an excellent excuse for developers to go crazy with the level design so you can expect to be taken through jungles, snow-lands and even space ports throughout the progression of the story and the cut-scenes are excellent although some transition very fast and seem to lack a little detail to the narrative in between.
|A part of the Jungle in Killzone 3.|
Graphically speaking, Killzone 2 was probably one of the best looking games on the PS3 and Killzone 3 just does it one better. The console definitely seems to be pushed due to the quality of the graphics presented and you can tell this by certain objects seeming normal from a distance but gain a much higher quality texture when you’re up close. This technique is called Mipmapping and it seems to work well for the game in terms of keeping a consistent speed and frame rate.
The controls are very good; they are well balanced and feel a lot more responsive than Killzone 2. They respond well to the pace of the game although there were moments where I would get momentarily stuck in cover when I needed to swiftly move from one concrete block to the other. The new ‘Brutal Melee’ is also well implemented and context sensitive to a degree, but it bides well with its name and you will find stabbing Helghasts in the eye hole very satisfying after being forced to hide behind a wall for 2 minutes.
Below is a portion of the Jungle in Killzone 3 and the stealth mission;
The AI in Killzone 3 also maintains the Intelligence found in Killzone 2. They will absolutely force you to play tactical, as running in guns-blazing is a sure fire way to get shot. They will run from grenades and take/maintain cover wherever possible. This fact coupled with the boss fights and the momentary gameplay sequences where you are not just a foot soldier but in charge of a machine; make the interactivity of the gameplay notable.
Other new gameplay additions come in the form of weapons such as the ever popular jetpack which was also used in Killzone: Liberation, however, these new jet packs will be used in a different manner and can help you get a big jump on your enemies. There was also a certain new weapon developed by the Helghast which cause your enemies to explode! Very gory but graphically beautiful.
Another feature that the developers have implemented, apart from 3D support, is the PlayStation Move integration. This however is down to the adjustment that is done beforehand, Deadzone, Calibration etc. Although these settings don’t take long, they have a huge impact in the quality of controls and if not set correctly (guilty) may cause you to go back to using the standard Dualshock/Sixaxis.
However if you do manage to calibrate it decently, the motion controls compliment the game really well. Motions are smooth as you move the gun from side to side, shoot or reload and all of this can be customized from the controls menu, so experiment to find one what settings suit you’re style of play.
The overall sound design also compliments the game, the world never seems empty and the player is always made to realize that they are a foot-soldier on an enemy planet. You are constantly showered with commentary from your team, who effectively follow you around and assist wherever possible. If you are in a group for a specific level (there are many), you will be assisted and there is a very low possibility of them ever slowing you down or being in your way as you attempt to ‘bust some heads’, on the contrary they will revive you whenever the need arrives.
Another factor of Killzone 3 is the integrated multi-player. Apart from the ‘Botzone’ where the player can instantly jump into a multi-player match with CPU controlled bots, you can also go head to head with other people around the world. The player has a choice of 6-7 fully customizable classes. They start off with a minimal amount of weapons and skills and from there you can progressively unlock items and skills as you advance through levels and spend level-up points on what they desire. There are also special skills for specific classes such as Technicians creating stationary bots that shoot at any enemies that pass, and Infiltrators that have the ability to disguise themselves as the other team. The class system works well without being un-balanced and this leads to a good multi-player experience.
|Killzone 3 Multiplayer room.|
Overall, Killzone 3 manages to build open Killzone 2, pressing out bugs from the previous iteration and improving upon it in all respects. The graphics and sound design coupled with the interface work very well together so no problems there. The narrative is simple, yet twisted allowing for a deep and immersive single-player experience. Killzone 3 has definitely set the bar for future games in its genre.
Story = 8/10
Graphics = 10/10
Gameplay = 9/10
Final We Know Gamers score = 9/10