I came to the series late. In fact, I never played the first entry. I remember it receiving much hype. I was almost 100% a PC gamer at the time and didn’t by a PS2 until very late in the cycle. As some of you may have read or know I absolutely hate FPS shooting with a controller. It feels clunky and unintuitive after experiencing years and years of precision FPS gaming on the PC. Fast forward to the late 2000s and I am forced to do a little shooting with amazing first party title Uncharted for the PS3 and likewise through its sequel. While playing 3rd person shooters with the controller is at least manageable it is a struggle for FPS unless I am playing the game daily. Much as I would like, my schedule doesn’t always allow for that. When I got a Dual SFX Frag Pro controller for cheap on a Christmas sale I started being able to do a lot more shooters on the console. I picked up Killzone 2 on the cheap from an Amazon Warehouse deal and played through the game over the course of a couple of weeks.
Killzone 2 I assume continues the story of the peoples of earth against the people of Helghan, a harsh and unforgiving land. The Helghast (Higgs) soldiers are like red storm troopers and their leaders are futuristic incarnations of Nazi Germany, complete with Hitler-staches. And they are completely evil too, going so far as to nuke their own planet, pretending it was done by soldiers of earth. Killzone 2 was fairly difficult, the shooting mechanic has a bit of a delay to it and some of the battles were downright set up for your failure, especially the final battle where waves upon waves of enemy soldier assail you from multiple directions. The story was interesting enough, the difficulty was fairly strong IMO. I’m not much of a deathmatch online gamer, but I didn’t really get the opportunity to test that out, as the server were already down (PSN was down anyway).
I liked Killzone 3 enough to want to continue the story, but not enough for a full-on purchase, though I was tempted by the collector’s edition. My new weakness comes in the form of collector’s edition games. It was a pretty popular title on Gamefly so it didn’t come to me right away, which is fine because I got busy with Yakuza 4, and handful of other games and then ultimately L.A. Noire. There are tons of other Killzone 3 reviews that extensively go over the game, so I will talk about the things important to me, and the rest of it briefly.
It’s a decent enough continuation of the story, but is too easy and too short and in the end feels as though it just “another entry”, It was built as a way to simple continue the franchise not a singular great game. Coop reinforced these feelings. Playing with a friend, I didn’t find going through the game a second time any more enjoyable. You simply march through, rarely dying and it didn’t feel very enjoyable. The game is pretty enough, though texture pops sometimes occur. The entire beginning tutorial section is designed to show of the clean futuristic sets, with nice, clean textures, quality models and the real highlight, the quality light sources and glow.
The music and sound design remain appropriately cinematic, the music of the previous entry was a very strong point. Collectors of game music will definitely want to add this to their collection. Voice Acting similarly remains superb, with Brian Cox reprising his roll through flashbacks as Visari. Malcolm McDowell and Ray Winstone get to clash with each other on the Helghast side of things as a bureaucrat and general respectively. James Remar, most recently of Dexter fame, is strong as Captain Narville. Quality voice acting really boosts a game like this up.
When it comes times for Killzone 4, I’ll give it a play at some point. It will not be a day one or even week one purchase for me however. The multiplayer features are not enough to entice me with any game like this, so the single player story has to be extra strong. While it’s good, I don’t think it’s enough to be a purchase for me. Gamefly it is.