Reviews// Killzone 3

Posted 3 Feb 2011 17:43 by
In-flight entertainment
In-flight entertainment
So, back to the game. It kicks off in the aftermath of Killzone 2 where our heroes, having dispatched Helghast bossman Scolar Visari, are trying to leg it from the capital city of Phyruss. Why?

The Helghast are proper sore losers, and dealt with the bad news by nuking the city. Hunted by the Higs, many of them familiar but some of them new, your ISA transport off the planet becomes somewhat incapacitated - time to get familiar with your new home.

This may make some players shudder, as part of Killzone 2's visual appeal was also a bit of a let down. The attention given to detail the cruddy, storm battered streets of the Helghast citadel and mines was intense, but ultimately everything was a bit... well, brown.

Not *that* Jetpac
Not *that* Jetpac
Maybe with smattering of grey. Thankfully, in this forcible extended stay on planet H the game takes us to areas that show the Guerilla guys have more than one hue in their palette. The almost psychedelically colourful jungle flora is an example where the visuals are taken to the other end of the spectrum, literally and figuratively.

It’s here that the gameplay also takes a turn for something a bit different; the stealthy approach. Massively outnumbered and under-armed, you’re forced to loiter in shadows and crouch in the grass, avoiding confrontation or picking the perfect moment to quietly suggest a Hig and his trachea are best kept apart.

It plays well, unlike the stealth elements of Uncharted 2, but on the whole feels a little too prescribed. The placement and patrol patterns of the Helghast means you’re either forced to avoid at all costs, or silently kill every last one.

Hover Bovver
Hover Bovver
You didn’t come here, and by “here” I meant “to play Killzone 3”, for a hide-and-seek-'em-up though, did you? No, you want to shoot some Hig bastard’s face off. Fear not. Of that there is plenty.

The staple combat actions are on hand: sprint, crouch, jump, take cover, peer down iron sights and peek over or around cover - typically down iron sights - to shoot said face from said Hig. Grenade lobbing is available, naturally.

To spice things up a bit, there are a few healthy additions to the armoury. The WASP is a rocket launching device that has two firing modes; the first being a cluster mode that locks on to and seeks out many individual targets, the second being a focused bombardment of a single target.

Rubbish Jetpack
Then there’s a Helghast energy device that, when charged up, will cause multiple targets to explode on the spot. Then there’s the rabidly anticipated jetpack.

To put is bluntly, it’s rubbish. Naturally you can’t offer the player a device that gives them complete freedom to soar unchecked around the level, but the jetpack is so heavily hobbled that the result is little more than a jump boost with a controlled fall, and a high power weapon with loads of ammo.

The latter is the reason I bothered to pick it up again later in the game, which is just wrong. This is a jetpack, for crying out load. Happily, it’s not a major feature.
In-flight entertainment
In-flight entertainment
Beyond the first encounter, you can pretty much take it or leave it. And there are plenty of other bits of hardware to play around with, be it manning the turret on an APC or Raptor (those flying brick things) for a bit of on-rails Operation Wolf nostalgia, or clambering into the exoskeleton walker, armed with heavy artillery and rockets. There’s also a curious level where you race down ice canyons, steering around rockfalls and crevasses , armed with a cannon you can’t aim and a truckload of rockets.

Back on your feet, combat feels much the same as it has done throughout the Killzone series. For my tastes, it’s a touch on the “heavy”. I'd prefer a slightly nimble movement, and I find that the weapons obscure too much of the field of view.

The levels are also very much the linear corridors found it most FPSes - get from A to B via this detritus-lined route, and don’t even think about checking out that apparent vantage point over there, just off to the right.

Flame on!
Flame on!
After the sandbox joy of Liberty City or New Austin, it’s hard to keep the explorer within from screaming “let me jump over this tiny fucking pile of rubble”. Having had the explorer within knocked out of you, it can on occasion it can hinder your game.

Several times I never even bothered to look for a more suitable location from which to attack because I assumed I was already in the appropriate spot. After I’d eventually taken all the enemy out, I found that there were several better spots to carry out the fight.

Still, the “playfeel” is good and the difficultly balancing (I played in normal) is spot on, with just the right amount of ammo rationing to ensure you feel as though every last bullet should count, but never that you’re forever desperately low on ammo.
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HeavY 3 Feb 2011 18:48
"Supporting Move is a brave choice, but aside from that and the support of 3D the game doesn't really bring anything the new to FPS gaming."

Call of Duty didn't bring anything new to the genre either yet you reviewers never complain about teh innovationzzz on CoD reviews.
pierre89 3 Feb 2011 22:20
no matter how a ps3 game is, no matter how it's graphics are the best ever seen, etc etc, xbox games will still score better. that's a fact.

it's impossible to an american website (don't know if spong is american) to give credit to a ps3 game, and give the score it deserves.

xbox games, even if they take 2 hours to finish, will always be "the best experience ever, bla bla bla".

everything that come from outside america, will be treated like s**t, and unfortunately, for us, gamers, maybe 70% or more big games related websites are from america, therefore they will always promote national s**t, even if its a big s**t, and sony, will always be treated like an enemy, as the result ps3 games will always score lower, if it's a multi platform, and if it's a BIG huge ps3 exclusive game, these websites will strive to spread the word that the game is crap, bla bla bla, short, bla bla bla, and so on, even if it has the best graphics, the best lightening effects, the best everything, it will always get a 6-7/10. no ps3 exclusive game should get a 9 or a 10, in america, so people buy national s**t. people buy xboxs, knowing they wll rrod sooner or later. and they get one rrod, they buy a second one. and a third one. just because its american, they will buy s**t. if the ps3 had the rrod return rate the xbox360 has, even obama would be talking about it, in the whitehouse.

castlevania, enslaved, gt5, lbp2 and others were Day one for me. Killzone 3, resistance 3, uncharted 3 and many others will be day one for me as well.

if there weren't all these hundresds of xbox fanboy websites killing every game on the ps3, with s**tty scores, sony would have sold at least 60 million ps3, at the moment. but with all the hate from the usa people, reviewers, gamers, and all the effort they put on giving bad scores to ps3 games, it's normal many people buy xbox, whose games are always perfect,

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config 4 Feb 2011 12:00
SPOnG is a very British site. I'm offended you'd think otherwise. Hrrmph :)

Not sure I agree on the assertion that PS3 games will always score lower than 360's, or that everyone hearts CoD more even though it too isn't innovative. On SPOnG, Blops scored 92%. That 5% diff is more likely to be down to it playing better than it simply being CoD, or a that the reviewer played it on 360 (which I believe he did)

I've kicked the tyres of KZ3 and though it's definitely fun, but it's also just a but humdrum. That's prolly down to the rubbish story because I never found Half-life to be all that innovative from any other FPS - it was the story and the universe it was set in that made it utterly compelling. If you're gonna make a big deal out of a story within a game, you'd better make it a really good story. Otherwise, what's the point? Surely it's there to draw you in and make you want to play one ... more ... level, not to make you click "skip".

In the beta MP games I spent more time respawning and getting lost in the massively complex arenas than I did enjoying it, but I kinda put that down to it being a limited pool of very experienced FPSers making the matchmking a bit s**te.
PreciousRoi 5 Feb 2011 22:20
Between the name and his attitude toward America, this guy is either French...or an American...

As the Forum's Imperial American Jingo in Residence I feel compelled to respond.

Of course, Pierre's statements are utterly ridiculous. Does the Xbox 360 sell better in the US than everywhere else? Absolutely. Is this because the Xbox is "Made in America*"? To a lesser extent, Yes. To a greater extent, Yes, but once removed. But is this difference due to Xenophobic or Patriotic tendencies in American consumers and its games media? Absolutely, Unequivocally, Not.

The Xboxes may be designed and sold by an American company, but Microsoft managed the incredible feat of insinuating itself into the console marketplace dominated by Sony and Nintendo first on the strength of the original Xbox' hardware and superior capabilities, and by becoming identified with that most American of game genres, the First Person Shooter. So sure, the Xbox has been "the American console"...but that is, a "software issue", if you will. Halo, Ghost Recon, Rainbow 6, built-in Ethernet, and System Link, followed by LIVE! established its brand identity. Games like Splinter Cell, Forza Motorsports and Knights of the Old Republic proved that the original Xbox could deliver a Best of Breed experience outside of the First Person Shooter genre. It certainly had better graphics and lighting effects than the PS2. Is it so incredible that combining that success with an earlier street date than the PS3 would give the 360 a nice share of the market in the US? But the Wii and PS3 are still incredibly popular in fact, I'd make the argument that there are more people in the US prejudiced against the 360 because it ISN'T "Japanese" than those prejudiced toward it because it is "American". As for people buying replacement consoles...I certainly remember plenty of people who went though 3 or more original PlayStations due to optical disk and other problems...but I guess since there wasn't a sexy name like RROD no one really remembers that...

You want somewhere the consumers are Xenophobic and Jingoistic, I think everyone in the world knows where you can find them, wakari-mas? certainly isn't America, we'll buy anything.

*Malaysia actually, I think.
sad sack 6 Feb 2011 03:57

so wii and nintendo DS games should get a low score? considering their actual games and how middle-market they are they seem to be overachieving.

if you want to be taken seriously, pierre, try changing to an american username like "chuck" or "deshawndre".

obviously the above is a pardoy of your own strange paranoid pov. wahh waahhh wahhh waaahhh
PurpleGekko 11 Feb 2011 13:37
"...or picking the perfect moment to quietly suggest a Hig and his trachea are best kept apart." <3
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