Killzone 3 Review
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Killzone 3 is one of the best PS3 exclusives. With local co-op, brutal melee combat, and an enormously deep multiplayer mode, it's clear that Guerrilla Games really appreciates its fans. Buy this game as soon as you can.
- One of the most polished, well executed first-person shooters
- A great narrative and even better multiplayer experience
- Local co-op
- Some graphic and audio bugs
- One glitch forced several checkpoint restarts
PlayStation 3 owners rejoice. The long-awaited sequel to Killzone 2 is coming soon, and first-person shooter fans are in for quite a treat. Killzone 2 is one of the PS3’s most celebrated titles to date, with fans and critics heaping praise on its stunning visuals, compelling single-player campaign, and the enormously satisfying multiplayer. As such, it’s clear that Killzone 3 has an awful lot to live up to. Still, despite its success, the 2009 behemoth was far from perfect, and developer Guerrilla Games left ample room for improvement. Specifically, many have argued that Killzone 2’s story was a little weak, the gun mechanics felt somewhat sluggish, and the lack of a co-op campaign disappointed many punters. After spending plenty of time with the follow-up, it’s clear that the studio has listened to its user base and incorporated just about every conceivable fan request into its latest endeavor. The result? A far more compelling narrative, refined gameplay mechanics, not to mention the chance to take on the Helghast with a buddy in the game’s split-screen co-op mode. Crucially, these changes – which are fairly minor in the grand scheme of things – will not alienate hardcore followers of the celebrated sci-fi blaster series. (Check out our video review of Killzone 3 here)
Most gamers make it their duty to defend exclusives. Xbox 360 fanboys have their Halo and Fable series, while Nintendo junkies have their Mario and Zelda games. For PS3 owners, the Killzone series is like their supermodel girlfriend, it’s so perfect it needs very little defending. The good news is that Killzone 3 goes beyond our expectations; the bad news is you are going to waste away playing this game—forgetting all your worldly responsibilities in exchange for week after week of tussling around in the multiplayer, or trying the campaign on a harder difficulty setting.
Killzone 3 picks up some time after the events of its multi-million selling predecessor. After pushing back the Helghast army, the main character, Sev, must work with commander Rico and company to prevent a mass bio chemical attack on Earth. As a member of the ISA’s Special Forces, Sev is one tough soldier. When paired up with Rico, the game feels more like a buddy flick. The duo has some great dialogue that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Michael Bay flick and their partnership and devotion to their mission is incredibly strong.
On the Helghast side, the empire is under enormous internal strife, with different leaders jockeying for supremacy. From the outset of the game, there’s a real sense that the Helghast not only want their revenge, but they know how to get it, and it’s going to get ugly. Players are given a sneak peek into the Helghan culture through a couple of important cut scenes, but more importantly through the levels that allow you to play exactly like a Helghast soldier.
This is one of the better FPS stories we’ve experienced. There are, of course, huge overtones of Nazism and Communism, and of betrayal and loyalty. You’ll root for the ISA throughout the game, but you may be surprised when you feel sympathy for some of the rulers of the Helghast. The whole story is presented through terrific writing and gorgeous cut scenes.
Despite the ISA’s efforts to thwart the Helghast, the war never ended, and at the start of Killzone 3 you are thrown right back into the action. Just as in previous entries, the game is not all giant gun battles, although there’s plenty of that, too. You’ll have the chance to pilot several different vehicles, all with varying control sensitivity. One minute you’ll find yourself commandeering a snow machine, the next minute you’ll man a colossal gun battery on a flying transport. These vehicle-centric levels offer a terrific change in pace, but it’s all integrated so seamlessly into the game that it feels completely natural.
The levels provide an assortment of environments to explore. In one level you’ll sneak through a Helghan jungle, in the next you’ll be in a ruined city, and in another you’ll fight through the actual Helghast headquarters. Yes, there is greenery, although it’s more alien wildlife. There’s more than just the typical sci-fi onslaught of war colors, ... (continued on next page)