This is where I start raving about Killzone 2 and my readership that prefers Xbox 360 either turns their head or rolls their eyes. Let me be the first to say that up until about the beginning of February, I had the same immediate reaction to Killzone 2. After the reviews starting pouring in, most of which stayed above the 9/10 fold, I started paying closer attention and began to get excited about the game Sony’s been touting since long before the PlayStation 3 has even been in our hands. It seems the wait was worth it, and the PS3 finally has its great exclusive shooter. Frankly put, Killzone 2 is fucking awesome!
Let’s Not Beat Around the Bush
I’ve sat through the intro movie almost every time I’ve sat down to play Killzone 2. Sure, it looks fantastic. But it gets me pumped to play, something fierce!
Now that your interest is piqued, let me tell you that that is only the tip of the iceberg. There isn’t a massively deep story backing Killzone 2, but what story there is, is entertaining and ends with a climax that has me wanting another sequel… like, now!
The basis is this – The Helghast are human descendants who left the colonies to inhabit the planet Helghan. Due to the planet’s harsh environment, they were forced to adapt physically and mutate to the point where they can no longer be classified as human. In the first game, the Helghast invade the planet Vekta, which is the ISA‘s stronghold. I assume by the end of it, the Helghast were driven away. This time around, the people of Vekta are invading Helghan after a hostile video by the Helghan Empire leader, Scholar Visari, is broadcast. The first chunk of the game takes place in mostly dark and dingy streets of the surrounding area of the Helghan capital. The end goal is to reach and secure Emperor Visari, but of course, things get FUBAR in no time and you find yourself trekking all over the Helghast home world.
Phew, I Need a Breather!
Killzone 2 is intense! And not like that gum that makes your eyes water, intense. I’m talking, non-stop action for 20-30 minutes at a time. Barely enough time to reload or scrounge for ammo between gaps in fire fights. You’re constantly out-numbered, completely surrounded at the best of times, and forever fighting an uphill battle. It’s just great!
Enemy AI are pretty well educated in combat mechanics. Especially evading incoming fire, which is more than I can say about most shooters. You shoot in their direction and they’ll duck, run, or even dive for cover. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself being flanked on a regular basis, as the Helghast are fairly quick on their feet and hardly stop moving long enough to pop in a fresh clip.
Killzone 2 is a very satisfying shooter. There’s a gun for every preference and style – they’re big, loud, and do all kinds of damage on your enemies and the surrounding environments. It’s definitely a cover shooter, and you’re actually able to take cover behind objects and pop up or out just like in Gears of War. The difference being that you’re in first person perspective and it’s not quite as elegant. The left trigger is the “duck” button, which also makes you hug nearby surfaces. Normally, I prefer using the left trigger (or bumper on the PS3) for aiming down the sight, but constantly using the left trigger and bumper felt quite awkward. After a short time, I switched back to the default control scheme, which uses a click of the right stick to aim and left bumper for melee. Obviously, that took a bit of getting used to, but honestly wasn’t a huge hurdle. During online play, you don’t often use cover, so the Call of Duty control scheme works just fine.
Short, But Worth It
The single player campaign is almost shockingly short. I finished it in about 6 and a half hours. I don’t normally find games to feel short, even if they are. But Killzone 2 definitely felt like it was over too soon. That said, it’s a very enjoyable campaign and there’s lots to keep you busy on further play-throughs. There are enemy intel cases to be found, and Helghan insignias placed through-out the environments to shoot down. Of course, there are Trophies for finding all of the collectibles as well as completing the game on the different difficulty settings.
My only other beef, is that the game feels a bit on the linear side. There were moments when I knew something was supposed to happen, but it wasn’t happening. This was usually caused by a Helghast in hiding. Often, the next event won’t trigger until all of the baddies in the area are disposed of.
Fantastic Online Play
It’s no secret that I don’t spend much time playing multiplayer games. I prefer flying solo, chipping away at campaigns or playing co-op far more than fighting against friends or strangers online. But Killzone 2 seems to be one of the rare exceptions where I’ve really been having a lot of fun playing online.
The game types are pretty standard, and all team based. What makes Killzone 2 different is the sheer size of the matches, for starters – with support for up to 32 players. 16 on 16 games are a ridiculous amount of fun! There’s actually only one game type, called Warzone. Depending on the server you connect to, it can be any number of the five main game types, or all of them combined. How it works, is by rotating the game type every few minutes without so much as a brief interruption. Every so often you’ll hear your commanding officer give you a new object, which might be to retrieve a propaganda speaker, or assassinate a target, or defend an area, or just slaughter the opposing force. Each time the round takes a new turn, the winning team is awarded a point for their victory, and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. You earn XP along the way, which is multiplied if your team wins. There are plenty of unlockables in the form of character classes, weapons, and even perks ala Call of Duty. I’ve only played a few games so far, but I’ve had an immense amount of fun each and every time I’ve sat down to play.
Nice to see a game live up to its hype, will have to pick up whenever I get a PS3, which wont be till God of War 3 hits, as that and Killzone are the only titles that interest me at the moment.
Very funny video, to bad it will only lead to more annoying people complaining. I understand people preferring one console over another, but the stupidity of people is ridiculous.
I have my fingers crossed that God of War 3 will hit some time this year, but have a feeling it’ll be a year or more before it’s in our hands. Either way, it will be epic!
Haha! That video rant was hilarious… I have the same thoughts go through my head just about every time I read a comment thread relating to video games. There are just so many stupid, angry people with keyboards (or headsets). It’s staggering.
Anyways, Killzone 2 looks really intriguing to me… I am currently 360 only, but I’m thinking of renting a PS3 and a copy of the game just to see what it’s all about. I’m a huge shooter fan, and I’ve heard a lot of reviews saying both that it’s awesome, and it’s terrible. I just have to find out for myself.
Did you run into any network problems playing online? I’ve read that Tom Chick of Fidgit, and the guys of Penny Arcade both had a ridiculously difficult time playing online, because the game would crash and throw all their accrued XP out the window. You didn’t run into any of that?
Indeed, I had a few good laughs watching Adam’s rant. Perfect examples of why I avoid forums like the plague. His plea at the end of the video is a good idea, but unless the entire internet watched it, there’s no chance for redemption. Communication has a lot to do with the lack of online gaming I do as well. I don’t even own the PS3 headset any more.
Terrible reviews? What have you been reading? Oh wait, you’ve been on the forums again, haven’t you? 😉
Haven’t had a single problem playing online, and I’ve only been playing 32 player matches. Runs smooth as butter, quick to connect and plenty of available servers.
Okay, I will come clean. :p The "terrible reviews" were from Tom Chick of Fidgit, and from Penny Arcade. I don’t really read reviewing sites, to be honest. I watch trailers and go on personal recommendations from friends and bloggers who’s tastes seem to run in the same vein as my own.
Here are the links to the "terrible reviews" I was mentioning:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2009/3/2/ (Tycho’s post)
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2009/3/4/ (Gabe’s post)
Note: if for some reason you feel like hurling, read the comments on that last link, the single player review by Tom at Fidgit. It seems all the trolls came out to play for that one. 🙂
I bought this on Tuesday and only had a couple of hours to dive straight in, so I took to the online battlefields. Amazing. I’m hooked. I haven’t even started the single player game yet!
To put it bluntly like you stated, KIllzone 2 WAS worth the wait. I loved every second of campaign (even if we both agree it was a bit short), especially the Suljeva Village part.
After recently finishing F.E.A.R. 2’s camapign I loved the Hammerhead to bits with it’s ability to turn guys into human pin cushions. How can anybody top that?
Then KZ2 comes along and puts a fucking exploding bolt gun and makes every shot a sight to see. I smoked a Helghast right above me right in the gut, he flew up and was crucifed on the surrounding industrial structure. Awesome.
Multiplayer is the shit too. I just recently unlocked the VC9 rocket launcher which means I can easily deal with jerkies who put turrets everywhere and clean out rooms of enemies. A multiplayer moment I have to share; I was playing Assassination on Blood Gracht when the score was 3-3. Basically for those unaware it’s the tiebreaker and people want the point bonus for winning the match. We get the enemy target and like a dumb (smart) little bastard he tucks away in a little nook with 15 of his best friends waiting to scrap. So basically we say ‘fuck it’ our entire team charges for him. About 20 seconds of chaos later I somehow get taken down RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BASTARD. So I’m thinking ‘Well, we were very close’ and get up to go grab a beer when a rogue medic on my team revives me! The target has his back turned. I blow his head off with the shotgun and we pick up the oh-so-sweet win. AWESOME.
This game will be played for months to come.
I too had a blast with the exploding bolt gun. The first time I pinned a dude, I laughed out loud as he was whisked away. Then laughed even harder when the delayed explosion occurred.
That’s a great online recall. I haven’t had too many awesome moments to share just yet, but I did win the match for our team last night when I found the assassination target lying critically wounded in a tucked away corner on the far edge of the map.
I don’t think I have you on my PSN friends list. Toss me an invite – PlainBlack.
Actually, I believe I have you added already going under the handle McDonnelMiller. Let’s game sometime!
Ah, okay. Sony really needs to improve the profiles on PSN. They’re nearly completely useless.
Honestly, I play the X360 and I prefer it as a gaming system. However, Killzone 2 is AMAZING! Everything about the game is good so far. I haven’t beaten it yet, but this game is just blowing me away. The details, the AI, the chaos!
I’m glad my PS3 will finally be getting some more attention. I’ve only been using it for Blu-Ray movie purposes…not anymore!
Love your reviews man, keep em’ coming!
Hmm. Killzone 2 is a Shooter like everyone for me. Ok, the intro and sequences are really cool. It’s such like Cinematic trailers. I love them. And I really got big into multiplayer the latest day’s. It’s just great with the short missions during a multiplayer match.
The Graphics are good, but not the so good all people say. Call of Duty 4 and 5 are really similar. I don’t think that Killzone 2 can "revolutionize" the ps3 scene.
But it was worth to buy, thats true.
I was trying to wait til I finished off FEAR 2 to pick this up but I caved!
I’m glad I did though, I’ll go back and finish FEAR 2 on the 360 later but god damn this game is good! It’s one of those games where every now and then you actually need a break because it’s so intense, and I think that’s a good thing.
Plus I haven’t even touched the online play yet, so looking forward to that – I’ll flick you a friends request if that’s cool?
While I only own a 360, and don’t plan on getting another system in the near future, I can say without a doubt that if I did own a PS3 I would have bought Killzone 2 on release day. That game looks very impressive and looks rather fun. However, it isn’t enough of a system seller for me. Same thing with Super Smash Bros: Brawl, I really want to play but I don’t own a Wii so I just had to get over it. By the way, that video was great.
its a great game man
the best shooting game I have ever played
[…] and sticker packs. My little sack person is currently decked out in a Helghast soldier outfit (from Killzone 2), which is absolutely […]