Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
In the opinion of many, including myself, Killzone 2 was the true definition of an improved sequel. It addressed every issue that plagued the first game and delivered quite an experience for PS3 owners. Two years later, the guys at Guerrilla Games have returned with Killzone 3 and the ongoing struggle between the ISA and the Helghast. With such a strong foundation already in place, they don’t take too many risks or try to ruin a good thing as they once again deliver a solid Killzone experience.
Killzone 3 picks up mere moments after the conclusion of the previous game. At that point, it seemed as though the ISA were on the right path at stopping the Helghast. However, now the ISA needs to try to retreat before its too late. Like Uncharted 2, Killzone 3’s story jumps a lot in its time-frame. You’ll begin the game at a pivotal plot point but shortly there after, it will jump back six months and repeats that on a number of different occasions. In all, the story does a good job at continuing the grand plot, but isn’t necessarily that impressive as a stand-alone experience. One of the highlights though are the few scenes in the first half of the game that show the internal struggles amongst the Helghast leaders. On the ISA side of things, the sometimes idiotic thought-process of their Captain can lead to some head scratching on your part. It’s quite cliched at time, but fans of the franchise shouldn’t see it as any kind of a surprise.
As stated before, very little has fundamentally changed with Killzone 3. The game feels like a true continuation of the Killzone 2 in every respect. Starting with the controls, the same layout returns but feels much more responsive his time. There is very little lag between your button presses and the actions on the screen. One hamper though is the SixAxis control scheme for setting explosives, which wasn’t that enjoyable to begin with, have return. This implementation was one of the low-lights of KZ2 and the fact that it returns will disappoint some. Outside of that one issue, the controls are easy enough to grasp that anyone can quickly jump into the mix and feel comfortable after only a short amount of time.
Gameplay wise, the amount of mission variety is superb. One gripe many shooter fans have is when a game lacks variety in its mission structures. Thankfully, Killzone 3 doesn’t suffer from that problem. You reprise the role of Sargent Sev and his missions will have him traversing areas alone or with a squad. Some will incorporate stealth and there are even a fair share of those in which vehicles are involved. The pacing of each mission is so perfectly tunbed that they never feel longer than they aught to be.
When talking about the Killzone franchise, the main point of discussion has been its strong visuals and that holds true not only in comparison to the last game but against other games currently on the market. The graphics pop with such vibrancy that they will amaze just about anyone playing or watching. Locales are well varied; you’ll run and gun in a number of different locations from grungy Wastelands, stormy waters in icy locations to even areas filled with exotic plant life. None of the zones lack detail and the graphics run smoothly that your own interaction in each is quite impressive.
There is only one set-back with the visuals and that comes at points where it transitions from gameplay to cinematic. Killzone 3 is filled with numerous cut-scenes - which look amazing - but the transition that goes from a when you’re playing to when you are not is a little disjointed. It will literally pause for about a second or two in order to load the cinematic, which does take you out of the experience. At first, you may think your system froze, but it’s just a shift that is not that well executed. It definitely doesn’t take away from the overall experience, but it is a bit disappointing that something as minor as this occurs in the first place.
With strong visuals and varied gameplay, if the audio delivers the same results, you should have a fantastic package, right? Unfortunately, even with an absolutely wonderful score that is reminiscent of John Williams’ work in Star Wars and great voice work by all characters, regardless of their role, there are a few audio problems that fail to keep it on par with everything else. Audio hiccups occur far too frequently in the game. At first, it felt as those the audio break-ups were on purpose, especially considering the frantic action and the fact that sometimes radio transmissions will not come through in battle. But when interacting face-to-face with a character or watching a cut-scene and the audio disappears or is garbled, it’s quite disheartening. It is the only thing that hampers the audio, which is otherwise a treat to the ears.
Upon completing the single-player story, which lasts about 7-9 hours, the number of different options available afterwards will keep you occupied for days on end. For starters, there is a competent local Co-Op mode which lets the second player take control of Netko from the last game. It’s an interesting inclusion but considering the Co-Op is nothing more than adding him into the single-player story, without actually changing any of the cut-scenes, it seems unnecessary. While still enjoyable, it would have been more impressive had the Co-Op mode been a completely different storyline, separate from the main-game.
If you’re more of the competitive sort, then the online multiplayer options will certainly keep you occupied. There are three modes to choose from. Warzone returns, which incorporates a number of different modes - such as assassination, capture and hold, and deathmatch - that alternate over a certain period of time. If standard deathmatch is what you’re looking for, then Guerrilla Warzone will satisfy those needs. The last option, which is quite deep is called Operations.
In Operations, you’ll take control of either the ISA or the Helghast in a number of different objective-based missions. In every situation, the ISA are on the offensive trying to pierce the Helghast defenses. Each of the three maps available in this mode are broken up into a number of different sections that must be completed in order to advance. If the ISA fail to complete the objective in time, the match ends.
While I really enjoyed playing Operations, it is severely favored towards the Helghast. Since your only responsibility is to defend a specific zone, it’s pretty straightforward. On the other hand, since the ISA must infiltrate the area and always have an additional requirement to complete, it makes it really hard to succeed. In every match, regardless of being ISA or Helghast, the Helghast were always victorious. This mode will need some more minor tweeks to the balancing to ensure that if you’re playing as the ISA, you’re not seriously handicapped.
In all, the number of multiplayer options is vast and outside of that minor balancing issue in Operations, are an absolute blast to play. Considering how enjoyable Killzone 2’s multiplayer was, I’m thrilled that more options were added with this go-round.
If you enjoyed KZ2 to any regard, you will definitely like what is offered here. There is so much content available that getting bored will be a very difficult feat to achieve. Killzone 3 might not be perfect, but it is still a fantastic game and well worth the investment. It improves upon a number of different things, doesn’t remove anything substantial and should continue to be the de-facto, go-to FPS on the PS3 for a very long time.
+ Visuals that pop with great use of environments
+ Fantastic score that mirrors some of the best films in Hollywood
+ Great cast with many familiar voices
+ Excellent multiplayer modes
- Transition between action and cut-scene is not that fluid
- Dredded SixAxis controls for explosives make a return
- Story is not that strong and it helps to have some familiarity with the franchise
- Operations does require some balancing to make playing as the ISA more enjoyable.
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Release Date : 2011/02/22
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer : Guerrilla
Category : Shooter
ESRB : M
7.0 / 10
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8.7 / 10