Killzone 3 Review

-Keith Michael

Killzone 3 is a sequel to a sequel of a game that was originally on the Playstation 2; I’m talking about Killzone. I tried playing Killzone when it had first come out for the Playstation 2 and I hated it. For starters, the gameplay was completely different than the shooter that I was used to playing, the button layout made me want to throw my controller, on top of that, there was no jump button. The lack of a jump button is not normally a bad thing until you come across a log in the road that you know any real person would be able to walk over. I guess it’s a small complaint because the creators of Killzone were just trying to push the player in the right direction without using something corny like an invisible wall or neon arrows that come from nowhere. Well, to be truthful, they pushed me away from the game instead of pushing me in the right direction. After I don’t play the first game in a series, I normally have a hard time getting into any game after that, that’s why I surprised myself with Killzone 3. If I had not played it online for a few minutes, I may have missed one the most beautiful and fun shooters I have ever played.

PLOT:Because this game is a direct sequel to Killzone 2, I am going to spoil things from the first two games. The game starts off with two guys by the name of Rico and Sevchenko talking about how the Vissari is dead and Rico is the killer. This isn’t a bad thing, because the Vissari is a lot like a dictator to the unknown planet that you are on (or known planet depending on if you played the first two games). After a few short minutes, the story fills you in on a few things. One is that you are on a planet called Hellghan that has a thriving civilization called the Hellghast. The second thing I found out was that I was an Earth soldier fighting the war on Hellghan. The third thing was that the Hellghan dictator nuked his own Hellghan cities at the end of Killzone 2 in hopes of trying to wipe out the Earthling fighters. Well,  not all of the soldiers were wiped out by the explosion and the guys that the Vissari was trying to kill managed to stay alive just fine. This is where Killzone 3 comes to fruition; most of the story revolves around trying to stop the new guy, Stahl, from wiping out the human forces on planet Hellghan. Rico and Sev get this bull crap transmission from Captain Narville telling them to lay down there weapons and surrender, that way the Hellghans can sign a peace treaty with Earth. Sev and Rico soon find out that the new guy Stahl is a lot worse than the old Vissari and just wants to take out all the humans so the Hellghans won’t be apposed when they try to rule the galaxy. The thought of some maniacal alien taking down the human race seems to be too much for the two soldiers, so they decide to disobey orders and do some more killing. After a long hard fight through broken cities, giant insect ridden living swamps and other locations, that reminded me of many other shooters, Sev and Rico end up at the end of the line in outer space inside a big space cruiser heading for Earth. I’m not going to give away what happens to Stahl on the cruiser, but I’m sure you can figure it out.

Game play: Killzone 3 surprised me from the first time I saw it in action during an online multiplayer fight. I picked my class like in most shooters and was then off to the races. I instantly felt like I was into something heavy the way the camera movement was working made me feel like I was an actual soldier running hard. Killzone 3 is a bit different with the way the controls are set up; I went in excepting something like CoD and was pleasantly surprised the button layout was changed. Most games have the same formula for the way the button layout is done and it works well most of the time, but change is also a very good thing. It was a little weird at first having to push the right joystick in to aim, but the way the cover system in Killzone 3 is done it makes sense. In this game there is a lot of running and gunning which made for some pretty constant action; stopping only to tell some part of the story. Sense there was so much action it was pretty much a necessity to have some sort of cover system; especially when the difficulty is set to Elite. The developers tried to make a good cover system and they almost pulled it off. You can run and slide up to walls, a lot like Gears of War or Red Dead Redemption, shoot from cover and even aim from cover. The only bad thing is that the cover system doesn’t actually work most of the time. I found myself getting most of my deaths by simply waiting to reload while I was in cover. I thought that leaning against the wall and not being able to see the enemy meant they couldn’t see me, but that wasn’t the case most of the time. I often had to run backwards away from the fight just to let my guy heal and to reestablish what was going on. Killzone 3 is riddled with big robots, tanks, rockets, bullets and enemies flying through the air; so some times it was a little hard to tell what was going on. This is not always a bad thing if you are into the whole war messing with your senses thing, plus there is a nifty button that will tell you where you are supposed to be heading. There are a lot of moments in the game that have Rico and Sev driving some sort of machine and most of the time it is pretty fun. There are big mechs to drive around that can run, jump and shoot two types of rounds. There is a big tank chase scene and even a few parts in the game that allow you to use a jetpack to fly around and cause terror to the Hellghast. Other than the cover system I would say that Killzone 3 has it all when it comes to a FPS game including some really enjoyable melee attacks. With a solid single player campaign a matching co-op campaign and online multiplayer Killzone 3 can keep you busy for quite a while.

Graphics: The graphics in Killzone 3 are some of the best from this generation of first person shooters. There were always plenty of environments, weather affects and characters to gander at in this game. The broken down city falls apart when you shoot missiles at the buildings and the little sparks of electricity from the down power lines makes the experience of war really come alive on the screen. There are parts in the game that involve hiding in the shadows while giant insects climb over your boot and than stabbing a Hellghast in throat to watch them fall lifeless to the grounds. Explosions are every where and I often had had to wait for smoke to clear. Some times odd things would happen though; like people hovering over the ground when walking up steps and there is a point in the game when Sev gets hit by a big wave and comes out of the water with out a single drip of water. The writers rub this in by having Rico say something about deciding to go for a dip, I don’t know if it was on purpose but it was kind of annoying and lazy of the programmers to not make a new model for wet Sev. This game was beautiful and I would recommend it to any one that wants to see a flashy colorful shooter rather than playing the same old dull games that have you running through a bland brown city.

Last Thoughts: I don’t normally play sequels and enjoy them unless I know the back story, but the way the characters were done in Killzone 3 made me want to keep playing and I wanted to kill Stahl from the second I saw his smirk. I loved the way everything in the game looks all gritty and the little whiffs of green smoke fly through the air. The game play was pretty fun and there is actually a jump button. The supporting AI was a little clunky some times but they do help keep you alive during the hard spots. All in all I did really enjoy Killzone 3 and the fact that I didn’t play the other two was only eating at me slightly.

Verdict: 90%

Killzone 3 Story Trailer

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