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February 25, 2009
Killzone 2 - PS3 Review Page 2
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Now this is what a PS3 game looks like!
Our biggest complaint about this game - the short single player experience. We complete the single player campaign on a medium difficulty level in 7 hours 18 minutes and 45 seconds. We were neither rushing nor taking our time, but going at a moderate pace. If you're not playing games online, and despite the fact that you would likely replay the title a couple of times then the value really has to be questioned to an extent. If you are going to play online then, much like Call of Duty 4 you can expect to spend many times that amount of time playing the game to unlock all the Trophies and find all the secrets.

Now we hit what is certain to be the biggest asset to this game - the multi-player. First the disappointment, which isn't really a big deal for us - the game does not have a co-op mode, either online or offline. Deal with it. What we are left with is a multi-player mode call Warzone which uses a brilliant upgrade system not too dissimilar to that in Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4 with new weapons, items and seven different soldier classes being unlocked as you increase in rank.

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Character models are very detailed.
Killzone 2 ships with eight maps on the disc, and they have all been designed solely with multi-player in mind. As you play through the online game with up to 32 players in each level you will rotate through five main game types; Assassination, Search & Retrieve, Search & Destroy, Bodycount and Capture & Hold. Each of these are pretty self-explanatory, but the best aspect is that the game switches between these modes without a need to pause for loading. Another neat feature is the ability to form smaller squads within the game so if you die, you have the option to respawn near the squad leader.

It must be pointed out that at this stage we've only been able to play this game on the development servers using the December 2008 build of the game - our review code (which is the same as retail release) won't be playable online until the servers come online sometime in the next 24 hours - just before release. Having said that, even with 5 other human players, and a dozen or so bots in the match everything was silky smooth and one of the best online gaming experiences we've ever had. If the need arises we will note any issues with the retail servers here in the coming weeks.

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Too close to the grenades...
If you've seen the screenshots, downloaded the demo or seen trailers for this game you would be well aware that this is one of the best console games ever visually, and we would go so far as to say that on a technical level this is the best game ever seen on a console. Texturing is brilliant, lighting realistic and effects such as dust and explosions second to none. Indeed this game, running in real-time, even exceeds that seen in the pre-rendered E3 trailer from 2005. Animation on the soldiers is silky-smooth, and the enemies, while a little too similar due to their masks, still look wonderful.

There are two extremely minor issues we have with the visuals in this game. The first is more of a design issue with many locations being a deep gray in colour, and with little lighting. This makes the game look quite dark and drab and while there are exceptions, the majority of the game has a very similar look from start to end. The second slight issue with the graphics is the occasional fraction of a second load as you move through the maps. We can live with that given the game doesn't chew up a tonne of Hard Drive space and is streaming off Blu-Ray.

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Killzone 2 - the PS3 hits its strides.
As for the audio, there will be little surprise to hear (literally) that this is one of the best games on the PS3, and indeed any platform, in terms of audio. Utilising 7.1 surround sound the effects are aggressive, surrounding and impactful at all times and a decent sound setup will certainly assist in targeting enemies. Dialogue is pretty well scripted, and pretty well presented, and while I've seen some criticism of the amount of swearing in the game, I actually thought it was pretty tame.

As I mentioned in the preview for Killzone 2 "The original Killzone on PS2 was a technical achievement with some wonderful effects and animation but lacked something in the gameplay". This PS3 sequel nails it in almost every single way with only the single player campaign length being a major drawback, and perhaps the slightly drab visuals. Still, if you love FPS's, online gaming or jaw-dropping visuals then there is no need to avoid this latest Sony title.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSQuite possibly the best ever visuals seen in a console game on a techical level, artistically it's a bit dark.
SOUNDAbsolutely no problems here; loud, aggressive and kick-ass from start to finish.
GAMEPLAYAs a First Person Shooter games rarely get this intense, or entertaining. Multiplayer is a big focus, and is tremendous fun.
VALUEWe completed single player in just over 7 hours, multi-player adds value and could last for months.
OVERALLKillzone 2 should be a big system mover for the PS3, and deservedly so. We would have liked a bit more colour and brightness to battlefields, and longer single player campaign, but with such entertaining gameplay this game is an essential purchase.

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