Previews// Killzone 3

Posted 16 Dec 2010 17:41 by
Six years ago Guerrilla Games delivered unto us a little first-person shooter called Killzone. It was a slightly less than remarkable game.

It was undoubtedly lovely looking, especially considering its aged PS2 host, but it didn't quite deliver on the "epic story" front held by the standard of the time, Halo. The PS2's network multi-player ecosystem was so shambolic it may as well not have existed. It was comparatively difficult too.

It took almost five years to deliver its successor - we'll ignore the third-person isometric PSP outing. This time offering a proper multiplayer option, Killzone 2 was a bloody lovely looking game to boot.

When I reviewed it, I bestowed upon it a worthy 94%. Where it fell short of the 100% was the piss-poor gung-ho dialogue. If you liked that aspect of the game, you'll be delighted to hear that - from what we see in this rather short, one-level preview - it returns in all its growling, brow furrowing, hoo-haa glory.

The version we played comes with single player campaign and a two player, split screen co-op. The level is centered around a contraption known as a MAWLR, which looks for all the world like the three-way bastard child of a robot mech, aircraft carrier and orbital ion cannon. The preview opens with the signature jarhead bravado cut-scenes featuring those flying platform thingies.

On board for the ride are our old ISA friends Rico and Sev. Rico's scowl appears to have deepened by a good centimetre or two, and he's definitely got anger management issues. Some swearing and cross words are exchanged before you're thrown into battle.

Into the action
Initially I was a bit lost as to what I was meant to do. I could see the waypoint, but there was a large chainlink fence in the way and a steady stream of Helghans that was seemingly endless. When I legged it for the way point and got stuck at the fence I ended up pancaked by one of my own tanks. The cheek of it!

A fleeting reload and this time I was a little less hasty, which was when I noticed that direction comes from the chatter on your radio. Point taken; listen to you comrades, and do as they suggest - if you can hear them over the cacophony of being bombarded by mortars.

As the tanks trundled by, I took a moment to note the great detail on the scenery and the characters. Lighting and shadows are used to great effect, and texture detail, particularly on the main character's facial expressions which can be almost measured in pores-per-inch.

Like its predecessor, the game carried the torch for filthy, battered, grittiness, though without a side-by-side comparison its hard to say how much, if any, a visual improvement there's been.

Movement
When I took the call to see if a preview of KZ3 was something I'd like to take for a run around the block, SPOnG's Mark followed with, "You've got PS Move haven't you?"

To say that I'm skeptical of using these motion controllers for 'proper' games would be more than fair. I'm old school - give me a joystick (a square one with one stick and one big red button, yeah?) or, for PC-based FPS, a keyboard and mouse, and I'm happy.

Given the token effort that was KZ2's motion control, which you'll remember amounted to holding down the shoulder buttons and rotating the controller to open a scattering of wheel valves and door locks (probably dropped into the game for the sole purpose of ticking this particular box), I wasn't expecting anything good. It only seemed right, though, to see if Sony's ill marketed device could cut the mustard.

A Far Cry
Anyone familiar with Wii FPSes will have already encountered the implementation used in KZ3. For my sins, FarCry Wii was foisted upon me some years ago, and I believe I've yet to recover.

Need a light?
Need a light?
Almost the moment I started playing I thought, "Oh dear, this will never do", and I fought the compulsion to immediately switch back to the pad. I'm glad I did, because with a little persistence it pays off. Where Move wins over Wii's prior efforts at pointer-based FPS control is in its incredible precision and unerring steadiness. There's no jitter or drifting crosshair here - you point, and it sticks right on target.

Looking around feels very unnatural after years of stick control, but with a bit of tweaking the control options and perseverance it fairly quickly becomes as natural as the sticks. By the end of the preview's single level I'd pretty much mastered it.

With the nav controller's trigger activating ironsight targetting, the camera is locked down - though it will shift if you bump the crosshairs right up to the edge. This makes for near pixel-perfect targeting. Reloading is very natural - a simple twist of the Move controller is all it takes, and cover is taken with the Move button. A push of the nav controller's stick and you pop-up to take aim (and cop some fire too). Coupled with the ironsight it make for a very satisfying, accurate and effective means of tackling many foes from behind cover.

Co-op stamps
Playing in co-operative mode takes you through the same campaign and levels as the single player, only this time you really do have someone to cover your back. If youíre taken down, as with the multiplayer, thereís a ďrevivalĒ period. I can see this leading to fisticuffs, as a downed partner will eventually die, forcing you both to start from the last checkpoint.

Interestingly thereís no option for the Move controller in this mode. One can only guess thatís because itís confusing for players - should they point to their half of the screen, or is the top-left of screen the top left or your half? Because of this, I was forced to play with a pad after taking the preview through its paces twice with Move. I can honestly say that aiming with sticks feels about as precise threading a needle while wearing boxing gloves. Iím about as surprised as anyone, but Iím a convert.

I'll keep the details of the three-way bastard MAWLR for you to enjoy when the game is released, around the middle of next year.

I can see right up your nose
I can see right up your nose
With the preview over, I'd sum it up by saying it was painfully short - painful because I really wanted more, and that can only be a good thing. I have played the multiplayer beta a little, and that too is turning out to be a very well polished product. It has the now usual fayre; player classes, load outs, level ups, etc.

Sadly, my pathetic reaction times and clumsy stick control made for a lot of dying and very little in the way of progress. If there were an issue with it, I'd say it was that the multi-player levels are too vast for a noob to master before their patience runs out.

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Comments

Guest 20 Dec 2010 06:24
1/10
OMFG! killznoe3 officialy has gt split-screen co-op mode...why isn't anyone excited????????????????????
Guest1 20 Dec 2010 06:25
2/10
Split-screen co-op mode is confirmed? Did GG confirmed it or what?
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Guest 20 Dec 2010 06:26
3/10
I dunno..but the authour here confirmed it...
Playing in co-operative mode takes you through the same campaign and levels as the single player, only this time you really do have someone to cover your back
Guest 20 Dec 2010 06:27
4/10
I dunno..but the authour here confirmed it...
Playing in co-operative mode takes you through the same campaign and levels as the single player, only this time you really do have someone to cover your back
Fox21302 22 Dec 2010 17:44
5/10
OMFG! killznoe3 officialy has gt split-screen co-op mode...why isn't anyone excited????????????????????
by Guest

This site isn't that popular as can be seen by the number of comments :/sacarsam.... so who would be exicted since no one is reading this article
Guest 22 Dec 2010 17:48
6/10
almost no one ...not no one reading it.... i am human too contrary to what the words in red tell me....... and what do you mean
This site isn't that popular as can be seen by the number of comments :/sacarsam
there was no need for :/ sacarsam at the end since i can see what you mean...lol
Fox21302 22 Dec 2010 17:49
7/10
LOL.. but you got the point.... LAST COMMENT HERE..
Guest1 22 Dec 2010 17:50
8/10
yeah well...GG just confirmed it!

http://asia.gamespot.com/ps3/action/killzone3/news.html?sid=6285485&om_act=convert&om_clk=gsupdates&tag=updates;title;1&mode=previews
TimSpong 23 Dec 2010 10:40
9/10
Fox21302 wrote:
This site isn't that popular as can be seen by the number of comments :/sacarsam.... so who would be exicted since no one is reading this article


What does that even mean?

Cheers all

Tim Smith
Guest 25 Dec 2010 04:48
10/10
I think he means to say that looking at the comments section, there seems to be not a whole lot of people reading the article as there are only a few users commenting.... Thus, not many people would be excited to hear the news since there are very few people reading the article in the first place.

Cheers all,

Edward Howard
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