Killzone 2 Review
After nearly 5 years in development, Guerilla Games has finally released the sequel to their often disliked original game. However like Insomniac and Resistance 2(This is the first but won’t be the last time a comparison will be made), Guerilla Games made a sequel that is everything it should be, addressing and fixing all problems and complaints from their original title. The result? A superb gaming experience that everyone who enjoys action games should play.
Sons and daughters of Helghan… This much I vow.The history of these days will be written in blood.
By crushing the armies of our enemy, by seizing the weapons they thought to turn against us, we were fighting for our very existence.
But if there are those who would deny us peace,refuse us our rightful place in the universe,than… we will unleash such Terrible Vengeance, That Generations yet Unborn, Will Cry out in Anguish!!
Those are the first words that players will hear when they boot on their copy of Killzone 2. Brian Cox delivers a powerful performance as the dictator Visari at the start of the game, however it is a shame that the story takes a bit of a nose diver from there. The story isn’t necessarily bad, it is just basically non existent, especially to those who haven’t played the previous titles in the series.
Players will take control of Sev, a sergeant in the ISA army and a member of the newly formed Alpha squad, who are charged with the capture of the dictator Visari. Old characters from the original game make appearances like Rico who is your commanding officer as well as Jan Templar who has been promoted to Colonel after the events of the first game.
While these two characters as well as Visari return, that is about the extent of characters you’ll see in the game. Of course there are the rest of your squad and a few handful of other side characters, but the cast is very small and non of the characters are well fleshed out. (Where’s my half helghast colonel and assassin chick???) The characters are not as interesting as their counterparts in the original game, however they get the job done.
What really stands out in Killzone 2 is the gameplay and just how well the level design is. The developers were aiming for a theatre of war type game, that showed war in the pure chaos and destruction of it all, and it pulls this off brilliantly. The game brings a gritty worn torn planet to life, and really the chaos of battle. The levels are excellently well paced and help make the game string along fast. The game sports a cover system that is essential for the single player experience, especially on the harder difficulties.
Using cover is an essential part of gameplay, but more than that, also using the right pieces of cover is also important. A bad location can mean the difference between living through a firefight or being overrun-ed by the enemy. The enemy A.I also makes picking the right cover important, as they are pretty smart, especially in groups. When there are a variety of enemies at once, the different enemy types force you to react quickly and in different ways, whether its a volley of cover fire from the standard trooper, or the rush of the close range strikers.
The game will run around ten hours or so in the single player campaign and it won’t disappoint anyone. The multiplayer aspect of the game also shines, yet it also has its problems. Unlike most games where the rank of the player takes a long time and ribbons are easy to achieve, Killzone 2 takes the opposite approach. Ranks don’t take relatively long to achieve, with me personally reaching the highest rank of general in the time span of a week.
The real challenge of the multiplayer is attaining ribbons & the badges. Unlike games like Resistance 2(see I told you!) where a player can obtain multiple copies of the same ribbon within a given match, players can only receive one type of ribbon per match. Badges are obtained when 8 kinds of a certain ribbon are obtained, meaning it takes a minimum of 8 matches to obtain a given badge. Badges allow for new abilities or bonuses to be unlocked, which is a great segway for the class system!
Killzone 2 has a number of classes ranging from the standard soldier, to medics, engineers, tacticians and more. Each class has weapons unique to them (For the higher level classes anyway) as well as a primary and secondary ability. Primary abilities cannot be changed, however once the secondary badge is unlocked, the secondary ability can be switched out with other unlocked abilities. This allows for mix and matching between classes so a Medic who can revive, can also use air support, repair objects or a number of other abilities.
The multiplayer system is great, but its sort of too unique for its own good. The emphasis and difficulty of the badges and the ease of the ranks makes it very difficult for people used to the standard system to deal with. However those minor complaints aside, it is still a very fun addicting multiplayer experience. The highlight being Warzone, what the multiplayer is called. Unlike other games who have games based on a specific gameplay type, like deathmatch and capture the flag, Killzone 2’s Warzone combines, any and all of these gameplay types into a single multiplayer game, condensing them into small packets and streaming new ones on the fly, which keeps each round fresh.
On the technical side of things, impressive doesn’t do the game justice. It is a stunningly beautiful game that shows just how far in game graphics have come. Every second of the game looks great, whether its a set piece battle in the single player or a frag fest during warzone. The voice acting for the most part is decent, except for the exceptional voice acting of Brian Cox in the role of Visari, he has all but 2 instances where you hear him directly but in both of those circumstances he has a powerful presence.
As it is obvious to tell at this point, I really enjoyed Killzone 2, it is exactly what a sequel should be, building off the original to create a gaming experience that’s better than the original.(Even though some would say that was easy considering the first game) The game is incredibly fun, with absolutely stunning production values and a multiplayer that will keep you coming back for more. it has its flaws but they are nothing compared to the rest of the game. This is a 100% must buy game.