If Bulletstorm doesn’t soak up all of your attention in February, you might want to check out Sony’s 3rd installment to the well-known and exclusive Killzone series. I’ve always had a soft spot for Killzone. I think it stems back from not owning an original xbox and having access to Halo: Combat Evolved. Killzone was my Halo for PS2 and I loved it. It was one of the first well done shooters that I owned for a console and even took advantage of the rarely used ethernet adapter that I owned for it. The story doesn’t really stand out to me as memorable, but lets be honest, neither does Halo. It was just a pure action and guns while you blaze through hordes of Helghast.
Unleash the Power
After giving the demo for Killzone 3 a play through I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It felt a lot like Killzone 2, but they definitely added a few things that made me want to keep going. The first thing I noticed right away were the visuals. It’s no secret that the PS3 is a box of untapped power when it comes to the hardware and what it’s capable of over its competitors. You don’t always see that taken advantage of in the multi-platform titles but the exclusive ones tend to shine a little more. Killzone definitely takes advantage of what it has access to. It looked great. The demo starts you off by throwing you on a gatling right in the middle of tons of action and I was amazed at how much was actually going on without the console dropping a frame.
Once it drops you into action it starts to feel a little familiar with few new tricks. The control reminded me a lot of Killzone 2. It felt a little loose to me be, but most PS3 shooters do for me. I think I’m just too used to the 360 controller, but it doesn’t take long to adjust. It’s very smooth and extremely fast paced. The character movement is still very fluid and life like with pretty smart AI enemies. If you crank the difficulty up you’ll definitely have your work cut out for you.
This Feels Familiar
Throughout the demo you’re moving along with an AI partner. I got really excited seeing a co-op option in the menu only to be disappointed after further research to find that this is only a local split-screen feature. For real? What year is this? We’re lazy. We don’t go over to friend’s houses anymore to play through campaigns, and if we did we sure as hell don’t want to share a small sliver of a screen while we do it. Anyway, running around with your AI parter really seemed familiar to me the moment he asked me let him help boost me up only for me to pull him up afterwards. It was very Army of Two, but there really is no comparison. It didn’t feel overused and I quickly stopped comparing the two games.
They made a choice which I fully support regarding the weapons. Killzone 3 lets you jump on a heavy gun, detach it, and carry it with you. You might be saying, “Uh… you can do that in a lot of games.” Well yeah, but you can throw it on your back and switch back and forth between it and your assault riffle. Sure it’s a little unrealistic, but who can’t be excited about actually being able to make a detached heavy weapon useful without having to throw it away because it’s not really practical in the area of the map you’re at.
I feel like jet packs are popping up a lot here lately, but lets be honest… jetpacks rule. Killzone uses a similar burst style jetpack to Halo: Reach. It’s really just for bursting you to far away platforms you couldn’t actually get to without it. It doesn’t seem to let you just fly around aimlessly with it. If you could, I must’ve been doing it wrong which is completely possible. If the jetpack itself isn’t enough the attached turret gun is a nice bonus.
Up Close and Personal
One of the things that first drew me to the original Killzone was the up close melee animations. If you could sneak up on an enemy from behind you’d pull out a knife and jam it in their throat for a silent kill. That was pretty brutal for a melee kill back then. Killzone 3 takes it up a notch with their “Brutal Melee” up close combat engine. They give you various up close melee attacks that you can even string together for a combo. Honestly, why would you just hit in the face with your gun when you could stab them in the eye and twist it around a little, or touch their brain with your thumbs?
Overall, the Killzone 3 demo seems to be a decent continuation in the series with a few perks that might make it stand out as its own game. It isn’t as big of a jump as Killzone 2 was from the original but I definitely feel like it’s worth checking out if you own a PS3. Killzone 3 was developed by Guerrilla Games exclusively for the PS3 and is being published by Sony. The full game is available now for $60 wherever you like to go to get your game on.