Killzone 3 - PS3 Review
Released almost two years to the day after Killzone 2 this third game in the franchise is one which Sony have massive expectations for. Not only does it follow a game which sold 2.6million units to date, but is one of the most hyped games making use of those newfangled 3DTV's as well as the PlayStation Move motion controller. So have developers Guerrilla Games and publishers Sony delivered the goods yet again? Read on to find out...
|PS3 exclusive Killzone 3 is out now.|
Continuing the storyline from Killzone 2, players find Emperor Visari, the vicious dictator of the Helghast, dead at the feet of Sev and Rico. However this war is far from won. In the wake of Visari's death, Helghan has devolved into a world of political scheming, rapid infighting, and murder. Now, the two most powerful men on Helghan are fighting for complete and utter dominance while Visaris vision of Helghan is in jeopardy. With limited supplies and no re-enforcements, the ISA must now fight not to win a war, but to survive a lost one.
Killzone 3 is without a doubt one of the most intense First Person Shooters we have ever played however the developers have also crafted a much more entertaining, and engaging, storyline with some rather unique characters. Gameplay and controls should be familiar to anyone who has played a FPS, with a variety of weapons, including secondary fire modes, grenades and melee attacks. The enemies are plentiful however compared to many other shooters the enemies take quite a few bullets before dropping.
|Visually impressive, some of Killzone 3's enemies are massive.|
Killzone 3 introduces a couple of new features including the ability to jump into a giant mech suit to take down hordes of enemies, as well as using a jetpack to boost over large areas. The jetpack isn't used in too many sections of the campaign, but when it's fairly entertaining. Support for the PlayStation Move is also included in this sequel, and while we are still slightly more comfortable with the Dual Shock 3 controller, playing Killzone 3 with the PlayStation Move added in a sense of freshness and given the focus during development has been well implemented.
Looking at the issues with the single player game, we have a couple of concerns. First of all a 6 hour campaign simply isn't enough in our books - we've said it for Call of Duty games, and more recently with THQ's Homefront, and the same applies here even with a great multiplayer component (more on that soon). This third game also seems to change the "feel" of the gameplay with a slicker movement which many, ourselves included, may enjoy however it also means that the rather unique, heavy, feel from Killzone 2 is now gone. Finally while the developers have added in a wide range of locations, it also feels like a missed opportunity in part. The jungle level, for instance, introduces some plants which will attack, however there are only a couple, and the developers could have added in additional deadly flora or fauna.
|Zooming in through the Sniper Rifle.|
If there is one aspect of gaming that has taken off in this generation, it's online gameplay and Guerrilla Games have put a lot of effort into this title to improve on the already quite fantastic online gameplay in Killzone 2. After entering the online mode you will be able to Find Match which includes Guerrilla Warfare (Team Deathmatch), Warzone (Random Mission Types), and Operations (Controlling Objectives). While it doesn't sound like a lot of game types what is there is superbly implemented and the Warzone mode in particular is fantastic as the objectives change several times during the match, from the highest kill count, to killing or defending someone on your team among others.
Also in the multiplayer mode is the ability to select your preferred map for each of the game modes, creating a clan, statistics for your performance and Career Unlocks which allows you to select your weapons, and upgrade your character to suit your gamestyle. Speaking of characters you now have the option of five classes including Marksman, Engineer, Field Medic, Tactician, and Infiltrator. Each is pretty self explanatory and impressively there isn't really a "dud" class among them with each offering unique abilities on the battlefield. Even the medic, usually a character that few use, has enough upgrades to make him a solid killing machine while also protecting those around him.
|Killzone 3's battlegrounds look great.|
Killzone 3's online modes offer eight maps in this game including Corinth Highway, Pyrrhus Crater, Bilgarsk Boulevard, Turbine Concourse SE-6, Frozen Dam, Akmir Snowdrift, Mawlr Graveyard, and Kaznan Jungle while DLC offers additional maps and extra trophies - for a price.
Visuals in Killzone 3 really are quite spectacular with some of the most impressive we've seen on Sony's console to date, and certainly a lot more variety in the levels and colour palette over the gray-heavy levels in Killzone 2. The battlefields are absolutely frantic with explosions and particles all around, swarms of (superbly modeled) enemies heading in your direction, and some gorgeous cut-scenes. Indeed the cut-scenes have some superb looking character models while the texturing, both in-game and with the cut-scenes, are second to none and no doubt aided by the massive 50GB Blu-Ray storage capacity. The frame rate is fairly solid with only the occasional hiccup here and there.
|Killzone 3 on PS3 includes a 3D mode (not shown).|
Another aspect to the visuals which have generated considerable interest is the inclusion of 3D support for those with 3D capable setups and TV's. Unfortunately we don't have a 3DTV setup here to test this mode, but intend to in the near future and will update our impressions when able to do so. From what we can glean from reports online Killzone 3 is apparently one of the more impressive titles in 3D to date.
As with the previous game in the franchise on PS3 the audio in this title is nothing short of exceptional with a wonderful, rousing orchestral score that just magnifies the scope of this game. As one would expect sound effects such as gunfire and explosions are meaty while surround sound effects are not only immersive, but critical to the success you'll have on the battlefield in pinpointing enemy positions. What really impresses though is the voicework which includes Malcolm McDowell as Jorhan Stahl, James Remar as Captain Jason Narville, and Ray Winstone as Admiral Orlock. It doesn't get any better than that really, and fortunately the script doesn't let them down. A word of warning though, while Guerrilla said they were pulling back on the amount of swearing, there's still quite a bit in the game - but given it's a MA15+ title, that shouldn't be a concern really.
|Explosions and particle effects impress.|
Guerrilla Games have delivered the goods with Killzone 3. While the campaign isn't quite as long as we hoped the multiplayer is extensive and will have you returning time and time again. Visually and sonically Killzone 3 hits the right notes and is a fine example of the PS3's power and the extensive storage space available on the Blu-Ray format. If you're a FPS fan, this is one to check out.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||Guerrilla Games have developed one of the PS3's most impressive games visually. A stunner, with 3DTV support too!||93%|
|SOUND||Gorgeous orchestral music, superb dialogue scripting and delivery, and great effects such as gunfire and explosions.||96%|
|GAMEPLAY||A little faster then the last game, this is a fast and frantic FPS.||88%|
|VALUE||Single player is too short, but multiplayer will keep you coming back.||78%|
|OVERALL||Killzone 3 is one of the most impressive games on the PS3 technically. In terms of gameplay its pretty solid too and while the campaign is a little short the multiplayer is well worth the time.||88%|