Killzone 2 review (PS3)

cyberwaffles | 1867d ago | User review
Reviewing: Killzone 2
The amazing Killzone 2
If I had to only pick two words to define Killzone 2, it would be "technical masterpiece." GG has done a very astounding job with the visuals, sound, and presentation of this game. Every nuance and small detail added into the gameplay just culminates to a very rewarding FPS. The sound of your guns, the light that emits from your fire, the reload animations; everything is virtually sublime. Killzone 2 sets the bar extremely high for FPS's, more so than any other FPS released in the last few years that I could think of. However, Killzone 2 has it's faults that can sometimes be reminiscent to any other mediocre FPS akin to games such as Blacksite or Conflict: Denied Ops. This mediocrity I speak of stems at the single player.

Killzone 2 takes place on the planet Helghan where the ISA takes the fight to the Helghast's home planet to overthrow their ruthless military faction and seize the Emperor Scolar Visari (think of a futuristic Hitler.) Already plot holes are apparent as the living conditions for Helghan shouldn't allow the ISA to breathe normally in it. Even the Helghast have to continue wearing their masks due to prolong exposure of the environment, and yet the ISA have no problem sustaining themselves in this hostile atmosphere. To me, this doesn't make sense, but whatever; that's not the problem here. As a matter of a fact, there are three main problems with the campaign. 1) Unoriginal and uninspiring script. 2) Very poor voice acting and script aside from Scolar Visari. 3) Characters fail to connect with you. Some of these problems aren't as bad as they seem actually, the voice acting is actually realistic. I'm pretty sure in a real war, you would be cussing about as much as comrade Rico Vasquez; one of gaming's already most obnoxious characters to most people. However, this is a game, we demand a script full of substance similar to MGS4, not a barrage of F-bombs.

This poorly written voice acting score sadly compliments the somewhat unoriginal story. GG definitely scores points for the dark and gritty sci fi atmosphere, there is nothing wrong with this as it's actually a really cool art direction that I've never seen before in a game. It's futuristic, but it still feels down to earth as the game omits most cliche sci fi weapons such as plasma guns and such. However, the whole premise is nothing to be amazed with. To put this simply: you invade a planet with a rag tag squad, try to take down the leader, end Visari and Helghan's tyrannical reign, and that's it. Nothing special and sadly, there were no plot twists that I was hoping for. I think GG could've made a really interesting story if there were more secrecy going underneath the straight forward story. For example, I would've loved it if Jan Templar (Colonel of the Vekta cruiser) was discovered to be an underground spy working for Helghan since the first Killzone game. A little sabotage and subterfuge would've been interesting to spontaneously jump out at you but sadly, the game is pretty obvious.

The characters weren't too bad on the good side. You won't be emotionally attached to guys like Rico or Sev as much as you were when seeing Gray Fox's last words in MGS1, but they do portray some pretty good realism. Sev getting pissed off at Rico for accidentally killing Garza, Rico killing his own ISA teammate because of his trash talk to now-dead Jan Templar, the teamwork between Sev and Rico, and other parts are really good. What's even better is that both the enemy and team AI is amazing. I got to say that I felt completely safe with Natko on my side as I was descending on an elevator on the Vekta cruiser. He would cover my back when i was literally seconds away from death and I can tell you that I never felt as much gratitude for friendly AI as I did in this game. Really good, but again, they're isn't much with the character. They all cuss, get pissed, kill, rinse, wash, repeat. Great guys to have as teammates, but you won't enjoy their company as much as Alex from Half Life 2.

Again, only small complaints to a very polished game. Controls are nice and are a lot better after a few patches, enemy AI is astounding (you will see enemies slightly move from their original cover if they've felt compromised), Elite difficulty will leave any hardcore FPS player in tears, and a single player experience with excellent fight scenes and fire fights.

And the best part of all this game isn't even the very solid single player, but the online play. There are 7 classes (Rifleman, Medic, Engineer, Tactician, Assault, Saboteur, and Scout), with 6 of them having primary and secondary abilities that correspond with their class type. The game consists of a ranking system similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare where you gain XP and unlock weapons and classes as you progress throughout your online tenure. Sadly, the ranking system is very very short and once completed, there isn't much incentive after reaching the top rank. It would've been better if it was spread a lot more as having everyone using the same classes in roughly a few days didn't make you feel unique about your classes compared to other people online. That, and the lack of weapon variety. The shotgun, ISA assault rifle, semi automatic rifle, revolver, and sniper are excellent weapons, but sadly the rest don't feel as great; at least for me that is. One of the good things about Call of Duty is it's weapon variety and how each gun worked and feel different to cover people's different preferences for a gun.

Other than the lack of weapons, short ranking system, and the difficulty of playing this game online; it's a very unique and fun game online. Easily my top FPS for online at the moment. Excellent maps, well balanced classes and perks, interchangeable secondary abilities, patches and ribbons to unlock more goodies, a weekly honor system that rewards players with top 10%, 5%, 3%, and 1% stats for online (I got top 1%!), and a plethora of other features such as multi-mode matches and a really nice clan system.

If anyone is a FPS aficionado, then they should pick this game up immediately. There are not many, if any, FPS's that plays anything like Killzone 2 and I can only wait for Killzone 3's release.
Ups
Excellent visuals and sound, probably the best in gaming right now{Excellent online
even has a just-as addicting offline Skirmish{Good controls, gameplay mechanics, and firefights are a blast
Downs
Single player could've been better{Online could've been more diverse and expanded{Controls may be discouraging at first, especially for seasoned COD fans
Score
9.0
Graphics Gameplay is hit and miss and for the most part it hits really good. I love the fact you can sprint while reloading or switching your guns,and the first person cover in the single player works surprisingly well too.
10.0
Sound Easily the best graphics for a FPS in my opinion. The lighting, animation, hit-response enemy detection system, physics, reload animations, environments, textures, are all exceptional. Nothing to complain about.
9.0
Gameplay Guns have a great popping sound, explosions sound dangerous, the digital chirp for getting kills online is addicting, the wind even sounds good. Sadly, voice acting isn't as great as I expected and I think Battlefield Bad Company remains to have the best sound for fire fights.
9.5
Fun factor The game is just plain fun. I've played the hell out of the online and skirmish modes. When the game first released, I played it from 8:00 AM Saturday morning, to Sunday night at 11:30 PM and I was literally hearing that digital chirp in my head everywhere I went. It's nuts!
9.0
Online Online has a very smart set up. Unlocking badges by obtaining a certain amount of ribbons and stuff is a very good idea. The online could be expanded and prolonged though. Killzone 3 will surely be a bigger online experience.
9.4
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
ThatCanadianGuy  +   1867d ago
Good review!
I really enjoyed this game.The graphics, unlike most good looking games, gave me that "WOW" factor till the very end.

But god damn man...is this game EVER FREAKIN'HARD on elite.
I've been stuck at the end where i fight Radec since april..

And whoever reads this in the months to come..hell..i'll probably still be stuck there..
cyberwaffles  +   1867d ago
thanks man, appreciate the response. killzone 2 is a great game, no matter how you cut it. spread the word!
Mcrmarcher  +   1867d ago
Good review, I enjoyed reading it. Im glad to see other people enjoying the game as much as I did.

@ThatCanadianguy420
Im in the same boat as you, its one hell of a challenge, I am on the second floor trying to get past the helghast soldiers, Radec's gonna be a *****
cyberwaffles  +   1867d ago
lol
i'm glad it wasn't annoying to read. i had teachers in highschool who threw my papers in their fireplace. thanks.
Ravage27  +   1866d ago
'the digital chirp for getting kills online is addicting'
i can't agree more XD

Regarding the AI, it's pretty good throughout the game, but i was slightly pissed with Rico towards the end. You know, that part when Sev&Rico goes up against Radec & his guards.

He tends to focus too much on the enemies below and neglect his job of covering his side of the balcony. As a result, i kept getting flanked.

Anyway great review, enjoyed reading it. Hopefully GG comes up with a way for us to direct the AI priorities or add some kind of squad control :)
rob6021  +   1866d ago
As I understood it anyone could breath in the atomosphere on Helghan, It's just the long-term effects of living there that had the helghan wearing masks.

The storyline is a good read: From Killzone.com -
"In 2220 the heads of the various refugee camps come together for the first time to reform the Helghan Administration. 90% of the refugee camps agree to collectivize their resources and labor, in order to cooperate in the rebuilding of their civilization.

Disturbing medical problems are found to be common throughout the colony – high gravity, exotic radiation and storms have serious effects on the longevity of the human being. Medical support from the ISA is non-existent, and indigenous facilities are too primitive. The wearing of masks for those who work in the outdoors becomes mandatory. Mask wearing becomes the sign of having a working class profession. Even with masks, 'lung burn' (as the settlers call it) becomes the primary cause of death in Helghan over the age of thirty."
cyberwaffles  +   1862d ago
wow, thanks for the info. really nice to learn that. sucks that most helghan people die around 30 though. i like the backstory too.

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
Remember

Killzone 2

Average Score 9.1 Reviews(419)
Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
US 27 February 2009
EU 25 February 2009
AU 26 February 2009
JP 23 April 2009
Xbox 360 Release Dates