Killzone 2 Review

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Killzone 2

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Dictionary Definition, 'Epic': Heroic and impressive in quality; surpassing the usual or ordinary; majestic; impressively great; Killzone 2.

We like

  • The flowing and aggressive gameplay
  • The look and feel of the weapons
  • The amazing visuals and outstanding audio

We dislike

  • The weak storyline

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

‘Epic’ is a word that is loosely banded around the videogame industry. In practically every press release pimping the latest game that comes fluttering into our inbox, we find that very noun used nonchalantly by publishers trying to convince us that its game will be the next big thing. There are very few games that I’d personally describe as epic, only a handful in fact; Oblivion, Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid, God of War and Grand Theft Auto spring to mind. As for first person shooters? Well, not really. Perhaps I could add Call of Duty 4 and Resistance 2 to the list if I was feeling particularly generous, but after a week of playing Killzone 2, I have a new understanding of the word epic, and those two games, as great as they are, don’t quite fit into that category. Killzone 2, however, is as epic a game as I’ve ever played; it's a chaotic, intense, and cinematic experience that blows every other shooter right out of the water. Shout it from the rooftops folks, “Killzone 2 has arrived!” And if it isn’t the system seller that the Sony bigwigs are hoping for, they might as well pack their bags and shut down HQ, because Killzone 2 will simply blow you away!

When you’re sitting in front of your television screen with Killzone 2 blaring in all its HD glory, it’s a sight to truly behold. Guerrilla Games has harnessed the power of the PS3 to produce a magnificent looking game, better than anything ever seen on a console before. The smog of war expands and rises as fights build in ferocity, smoke trails from the tips of steaming shotguns drift dreamily away in the breeze, gusts of wind toss around loose debris as muzzles flash and grenades light up the night sky, and blood trickles down walls where Helghast lay slain as thunder and lightning roar over the bleak landscape. Amidst the chaos, drop-ships busily fly overhead laying down reinforcements as bullets ricochet and spark off metal and concrete surfaces. There’s so much cool stuff to see within every nook and cranny of Killzone 2, and it’s all set against a backdrop of magnificent post-apocalyptic scenery. Every current-gen graphical technique, from motion blur to depth-based color grading, has been used to full effect here, and it has paid off spectacularly.


Killzone 2 is an intensely atmospheric and cinematic experience that grabs you by the throat from the first moment you descend on the Helghan capital, and never slows down as it drags you through intensive battles across its turbulent universe. It’s made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and a tingle rise up and down my spine, and there aren’t many games that have done that. In one scene, where you fight furiously against a squad of RPG-armed Helghast that is nested in a building across the street, you jump on a mounted chain gun and can literally bring the building gradually to its knees as you chip away at the brickwork and then watch it crash to the ground in a cloud of smoke. Visually, it’s just one of the many amazing things that you’ll witness while tackling the hordes of aggressive, intelligent Helghast.

Guns look remarkably realistic as well, with shotguns that shed cartridges each time you shoot, assault rifles that recoil and spark with each trigger press, and flamethrowers that blast out impressive-looking fire and cause equally dramatic damage to any object or person that crosses your path. It doesn’t stop there, either; character animations are equally outstanding. Each time you kill an enemy you can expect to see a unique animation, as they react realistically depending on which part of the anatomy you hit. They also interact with objects in the area, falling off balconies, slumping over cover, or flying in the air and then landing at your feet when you’ve set off a grenade or shot an exploding barrel. Hit a Helghast in the stomach and he’ll buckle over and stagger backwards before slowly dropping to the ground. Aim for his head and you’ll see his helmet get knocked clean off as he staggers from side to side trying to regain his balance. Power up the flamethrower and watch ... (continued on next page) ----

A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again. Follow @steven_gamer
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  • Related game: Killzone 2

    Release date (US):
    February 27th, 2009
    Guerilla Games
    Shooter - First Person
    1 of 2,667 Games
    Up 0 places (in last 7 days)

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