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June 27, 2004
Killzone - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/11/2004SonyGuerrilla Games1-16 $99.95

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Simply... Stunning... Graphics...
When rumours of Killzone was first surfaced through the gaming community well over a year ago, and then officially announced in August 2003, it was touted as "The Halo Killer" - although Sony were quick to distance themselves from the comparisons. Matching that game is a tall task if ever there was one with Microsoft's title widely accepted as one of the greatest games of all time. Killzone, which is being developed by Guerrilla Games in Holland, is certain to get gamers pulses racing as this is not only one of the most impressive looking First Person Shooters on a console, but will also support online gameplay. Fortunately the developers have also included a suitable science fiction story in Killzone.

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Time to start firing.
Killzone is set in the near future, in a period of planetary colonisation and revolves around a savage conflict between forces that are still loyal to Earth (the ISA) and a separatist, militaristic faction who call themselves the Helghast. The game follows a squad of four soldiers on a suicidal mission behind enemy lines, as they fight to undermine and defeat the Helghast forces following their devastating Blitzkrieg attack on the human colony.

While this sounds solid enough it will be the gameplay that will make or break this title, but the specs look pretty impressive.

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Simply... Stunning... Graphics...
Killzone takes place across 11 levels all based on well-know theatres of war and includes an impressive array of 25 realistic weapons including automatic knives, pistols, shot guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, chain guns, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft turrets. According to the developers it will take around 20 hours just to complete the mission based games. During each of the levels you will also be able to select from one of four team members and play through each level in a way that suits your gaming style; sneak through the rooftops as an assassin or wade through the streets with a gatling gun. The four characters include Templar (Commando), Luger (Stealth/Assassin), Rico (Heavy Weapons) and Hakha (Spy). Each of the non-selected squad members will fight with you though the missions - much like Electronic Art's impressive, but highly overlooked, Freedom Fighters. (If you don't have that game it is highly recommended as well.)

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Nice atmospheric effects.
Killzone will include many context sensitive actions through the levels. It will be possible to sneak behind guards and slit their throats, pistol whip enemies when they get up close.

Guerilla are promising more details on the multi-player modes closer to release however it's obvious that the multi-player aspect of this title will be the key to this titles success. Not only will the game include split screen action for at least two people (we can keep hoping for 4-player split screen as well), but will also support online gameplay for up to 16 gamers. The death matches should be spectacular, however it is the team based action which promised to keep you engrossed for hours, if not days, on end.

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Nice explosion.
Graphically it's quite evident that Killzone is pushing the PS2 to new levels. However it's what you can't see here that also manages to impress including the realistic motion such as vaulting over obstacles and climbing, not floating, up ropes. Hopefully the game will have a rock solid frame rate, something which was still lacking at this years E3 show, but given the six month development remaining there is plenty of time to fix that up.

Killzone also includes an original sound track around 45 minutes long to be recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Voice acting is being provided by Hollywood talent such as Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers), Stephen Berkoff (A Clockwork Orange) and Ronnie Cox (Total Recall, Robocop). Combine this with some wonderful explosions and gunfire and you have one very atmospheric game.

With a release now scheduled for late November 2004 (and having been in development for around 4 years now!) Killzone is fast approaching release, and what a release it should be. This game will almost certainly be the new online title of preference for hardcore gamers, but fortunately offline gamers look like having just as much fun.