Game Review: Killzone 2

killzonePerhaps one of the most talked about games since footage was unveiled at E3 2005.  Now that the finished product is on shelves for consumers, was it worth the wait? How does it live up to the hype? Head to the other side and let’s take a look at Killzone 2….

I don’t know what seemed to take longer, the years of waiting since  ’05 or the last two hours leading up to  midnight to finally get my hands on my copy of this title. Probably the latter, only because I have learned from past experiences (Halo 2, Halo 3 & GOW 2) not to get my hopes up until I actually play the game. Having played the demo with my reservation, I was pleasantly surprised and eagerly anticipated it’s launch.

This time the ISA takes the fight to the Helghast home world of Helghan in hopes of capturing Emperor Vasari and ending the war.  While engaging the Helghast, the ISA quickly realizes that they may have underestimated their defenses and has to quickly change their strategy. That is the story in a nut shell, I don’t want to ruin anything until we discuss it in detail during a session of  DMT Hangover.

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately, Killzone 2 is perhaps the most visually stunning game I have played to date. If anything negative could be said about the visuals is that there could be a little more variety of color, but that wouldn’t really fit into the story or world of Helghan, so it is acceptable. Like the original title in the series, Killzone 2 has a very gritty look and feel to it.

Being a first person shooter, the movement and controls are pretty standard, but  the game does allow some customization if you need to make some adjustments to the button layout. I personally changed my layout to “Alternate 2” and disabled  the “Zoom Toggle”, simply because I have grown used to the Call of Duty series and like the control scheme.  My biggest gripe of the original was the lack of a jump button and I was happy that this was not omitted this time around. Jumping does feel a bit more sluggish or stuck in the mud feeling but after a while you realize that it is probably more realistic and less exaggerated than other shooters. Killzone 2 also utilizes a cover system that is helpful but not absolutely necessary for survival.  I believe my only serious complaints about the game would be the use of the motion controls to turn valves, I really felt this was a distraction and kind of took you away from game play as opposed to adding immersion.

The AI in the game deserves a mention, it is one of the better reacting AI that I have encountered in a while. They utilize cover and vary where they pop up to shoot at you. Self preservation seems to be high on their part, there was point when I ran up on a enemy with a rocket launcher and he ran instead of trying to shoot me. Whether this was because he was out of ammo or knew it was suicide to shoot me point blank remains to be seen but it was cool.  The boss fights were fun but some of them felt a bit easy to me.

There are a  variety of weapons in Killzone 2, each with it’s own characteristics and all lacking a Alt fire option. Probably my favorite would have to be the bolt gun. Shooting an enemy with it will impale him pinning him to nearby objects and also gives off a little explosion, shooting walls behind where Helghast soldiers are taking cover is a good option for flushing them out as well as killing multiple targets with a single shot. There are also parts of the game where you do get the opportunity to drive tanks, mechs and man some AA guns on a ship. These instances are a nice break from the normal levels and are very fun.

Sound in the game is incredible and begs to be played on a 5.1 system. The sound of war is as chaotic as I imagined it to be between explosions and teammates either barking out orders or crying for help. My favorite part is the constant taunting of the Helghast soldiers as well as the propaganda being broadcast by Visari and Radec. The musical score was done by Joris de Man and really fits the mood and atmosphere of the game.

Multiplayer is up to 32 players and takes the class method similar to recent entries of the Call of Duty series. All the standard game modes are there and are very fun and challenging. Downloadable content has been mentioned and I couldn’t be happier.

As you have probably guessed, I strongly suggest you BUY this title. For me, there really hasn’t been a decent science fiction FPS in a long time and I think that this game came as close to living up to the hype as possible.

Links:

Buy Killzone 2
Buy Killzone 2 Strategy Guide

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2 Comments

  1. Nice review although can I point out that the sound begs even harder to be played on a 7.1 system! 🙂

  2. @Stagga I bet! I am so jealous, a 7.1 system has to be one of my top items to aquire this year


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