Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year '09: February

Posted 24 Dec 2009 08:54 by

The second month of the year was dominated by Sony news - understandable, given that this was one of the moments where the PS3 was able to truly show what it was made of. Killzone 2 was the first big-hitter of the year, and Dutch developer Guerrilla Games had been hard at work to make a product that would at least be comparable to Microsoft’s Halo.

Well, we ended up loving it in our Review, noting some tight set-pieces and a comprehensive online multiplayer as huge plus points to the game’s honour. Ultimately, in the gaming public’s eyes, Killzone 2 became the centre of heated debate and faded into mass market obscurity quite fast.

More refreshing than the armies of PS3 and Xbox 360 fanboys going hell-for-leather against each other was the rather honest comments from Guerrilla Games’ Managing Director, Hermen Hulst (“Killzone 2: Guerrilla Admits “Some Areas to Improve"”, 19th Feb 2009). Hulst told the BBC that he felt “we delivered in most areas on the vision we set out,” but at the end of the day, like most products, “there are some areas to improve.”

Hearing this was a bitter pill to swallow for those placing bets on Killzone 2 being a system seller, but the candid discussion was something more innocent and reflective than those with an axe to grind made out. Ultimately, the game was made as “a showcase for the PlayStation 3 hardware,” and by all accounts Guerrilla succeeded.

While the above piece became the most popular news story on SPOnG in February, Sony was also making headlines in general PlayStation 3 affairs. Senior VP of Marketing, Peter Dille, boasted that the company will be launching “the most aggressive marketing year in its history” in 2009, which was effective from Killzone 2’s launch (“Sony: Our PlayStation Exclusives Against Anyone's”, 23rd Feb 2009).

God of War III was also name-dropped, but throughout 2009 there’s not been an awful lot to show for it besides trade event trailers. Dille's 'year' could have been fiscal rather than calendar however, which would mean there’s still time for a huge push for Kratos’ next adventure. Then Dille went and spoke about how Sony “employs more people in development than Microsoft and Nintendo combined” and that, “we’ll put our exclusives up against anyone.” Bold words.

From one Sony man to an ex-Sony man now, as it seems our third most popular story featured the always chatty David Jaffe. Speaking on Twitter to defend the demo of Resident Evil 5 (“Jaffe: Resident Evil 5 Demo Not “Meh””, 5th Feb 2009), it seems like the God of War creator went from ‘meh’ to ‘really digging it’ quite quickly, despite cries on the Internet lambasting the game’s now seemingly archaic gameplay.

One franchise that’s gameplay will never become boring though is Worms, which saw a digitally distributed resurgence in the HD generation thanks to a release on Xbox Live Arcade some two years prior. If any proof were needed that the PlayStation 3 needed to play catch-up at this point in time, it was the delay of various third party games to Sony’s console.

Thankfully, in February Team 17 exclusively spoke to SPOnG and confirmed that Worms was to hit the PlayStation Network (“Exclusive: Team 17 Confirms Worms for PlayStation Network”, 6th Feb 2009), featuring a 1080p display and plenty of bonus content besides. Turns out the reason behind the extra content was “simply because there was no size limitation [compared to Xbox Live Arcade].”
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