Review: Killzone 2

The Higs Are Back

The Higs Are Back

Let me preface this by saying I’m not a fan of First Person Shooter video games at all. I’ve played a few and never really fell in love with any of them. Resident Evil:Survivor was my least favorite and MMOFPS’ (Massive Multiplayer Online First Person Shooters) like Gunz and Combat Arms intrigued me but, hardly made me jump for joy over them.

The only FPS’ that really got my attention was Goldeneye 6(still probably one of the finest games ever created) and the inconspicuous “Gun Showdown” for the PSP (review for this game can be seen here) but, upon purchasing my Playstation 3 video game console I was at odds on what games to purchase. After some thought I picked up Street Fighter IV, Little Big Planet and Killzone 2, I was apprehensive about buying Killzone because of my relationship with FPS’ but, the best looking games were that and Resident Evil 5 (and anyone who knows me knows I have a terrible fear of zombies) so I picked it up anyway and took it home with me.

Upon the start of the game I was already pleased with the voice acting, the monologue Visari, emperor of the Helghast and voiced by Brian Cox who most notably played William Stryker in the X-men sequel X2: X-Men United, gives that opens the game is some of the best voice acting in a game I’ve yet to experience. The rest of the opening reveals that Killzone 2 is a graphics dream come true, the lush backgrounds offset by shadows and lighting techniques are enough to make anyone marvel at the work Guerilla has done with this sequel.

The story picks up off of Killzone and Killzone Liberation (the PSP continuation of Killzone) this time following  Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchenko instead of Jan Templar; the protagonist of the first two games. I.S.A. forced have begun to invade the Helghast’s homeworld of Helghan in retaliation to events beginning in the first game, a battle they think will be over in a matter of days quickly spirals into a struggle lasting months due to the Helghast seizing control of an unknown power. Sevchenko, returning favorite Rico Vasquez, Dante Garza and Shawn Natko make up the main party of alpha squad and land on Helghan to ‘liberate’ it from Scolar Vasari. The battle soon digresses into a struggle when it is revealed Colonel Mael Radec is in command of the Helghan army and is seeking the Nuclear Codes to a set of Nuclear weapons seized by the Helghast in the previous games. It becomes apparent that Radec will stop at nothing to get these codes and alpha squad embarks in a race against time to capture Visari and get a hold on the plentiful Helghast forces.

The gameplay is the best part of this game, with melee weapons, a series of powerful and different guns, grenades and some vehicles the player is never at a loss for something to do. Each map is distinct and detailed, from flashing lights to lightning and explosions in the background; multiple plays will reveal certain details that are visually stunning and epically detailed; and the battles that ensue are exciting and enjoyable. The player never finds him or herself fighting Helghast for too long or for too short, the battles last just long enough to be stressful but, not long enough to be boring. The variety of weapons also will the player pleasure that they can eradicate Helghan forces in many different ways, from pistols to shotguns to a insanely powerful electricity gun the player will find themselves willing to put the mission in danger just to see what a new weapon will do and look like. The blend of sci-fi and gritty war scenarios make Killzone pleasurable to a range of audiences, not just harden sci-fi freaks and World War buffs.

Killzone 2 picks up the pace the most in it’s amazing Online Multiplayer mode. Complete with enough maps to keep the player playing for a while, a class system that has each class having two sets of special abilities and weapons and unique missions that’ll have a game of 32 players scrambling to achieve their objective first; the multiplayer mode is interesting enough to keep one playing for hours on end. Each map is derived from a map found within the one player campaign mode but, its never exactly the same allowing for familiarity and surprise all at once. The maps are big enough to allow for exploration but, small enough to keep the action going at all times a problem often found in great games like Socom. The detailed work of background events and lightwork doesn’t end in the campaign mode the online multiplayers are just as detailed, one map, only available in a downloadable content pack labeled “Steel & Titanium”, is a moving train with hazards flying by at break neck speeds and rushing wind the feel of the level is one hundred percent present. It’s not as if you’re playing on a train map but, rather actually on a moving train, the environment plays a role in how you move your character and the choices you make in battle. The point of the online mode isn’t just a shoot em up its offset with a Ribbon and Badge reward system. The system works by awarding ribbons for certain feats accomplished in battle and then badges are awarded when a certain amount of ribbons have been obtained then badges award a new ability or upgrade to the player. For example achieving a certain amount of headshots in battle will gain the player a ‘headshot specialist’ ribbon eight of those ribbons will gain the player a ‘headshot specialist’ badge which will up the points for each headshot gained in battle. Points are redeemed after every game to advanced to the next level of ranks, each rank then unlocks a new class of player such as a Scout; which uses a sniper rifle and can put on a cloaking device making them invisible to the eye.

These details make Killzone 2 different from most other FPS’ out there, and it deserves all the praise it receives. All FPS after Killzone 2 should be judge in comparison to Killzone 2. The replay value is immense and there always seems to be something to do and someone to play with.

Before I close this review I feel the need to recognize Sean Pertwee who returns to voice the new character Colonel Radec. In terms of voice acting Pertwee steals the show, Radec appears in the game almost minutely but, one particular scene he appears in is the most interesting of all the scenes in the game.

Grades:

Story: A – (worthy but not necessary to get through the campaign mode, just killing Helghast is good enough)

Gameplay: A+ (This game is fun, fun, fun!)

Music: A (the score isn’t bad at all, adds excitment to the great cinema scenes)

Acting: A+ (Even if one doesn’t find themselves caring about the characters, you will believe they are who they are through the acting)

Replay Value: A+ (try not to play this game twice)

Overall: A+If you like FPS’, War Games or even Sci-Fi games this is the game for you, its a must have for the Playstation 3

I’ve Mention quite a few games in this review I’ve added this section for you to check them all out

Killzone, Liberation and 2

Street Fighter IV

Little big Planet

Socom

Resident Evil 5

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