There's no doubt that Guerilla Games set the bar ridiculously high for the Killzone franchise when they released Killzone 2 about two years ago and the expectations were immense; graphically and control wise. How could they possibly outdo the performance of Killzone 2? Is the thought even fathomable?
Visari had been shot to death by Rico at the end of Killzone 2 as a last-minute rage outburst, thus propelling the Helghan nation into "madness" like Visari promised right before his death. The ISA are caught in the middle of this massive civil war as two possible "heirs" to Visari's throne, Admiral Orlock and Jordan Stahl clash differences in terms of their vision of a better Helghan and how to deal with the ISA survivors. Along with a couple of subplots (Narville needing rescue after becoming a POW) the main story has to do with the "get out of dodge" complex where your few in numbers and behind enemy lines. The game emphasizes survival a lot and is quite evident given the horrifying odds that these men are up against.
Many critics have dismissed the story of Killzone 3 as "bland" and some have even resorted to calling the story nonexistent. Killzone 3 is a SEQUEL to Killzone 2, not much story is needed here folks since the bulk of this ongoing war is told in past sequels and prequels. This game is about the desperate attempt to leave Helghan in one piece and it executes this story quite well. To deduct points because of the story in Killzone 3 is like deducting points off Gears of War for having chainsaws attached to their assault rifles.
Killzone 3 boasts some of the most breath-taking set pieces to ever grace a next-generation console, the Reckoning portion of Killzone 3 will leave you speechless. You will be amazed at how much Guerilla Games was able to squeeze out of the PS3, the Reckoning level in Killzone 3 has you going up against the biggest boss in FPS history that only rivals that 40-foot chimeran monster in Resistance 2. Lightening is striking down as you race through a barrage of mortar fire and enemy troopers coming down in dropships, you pick up a WASP (Killzone 3's version of a portable weapon of mass destruction" and...Well let's leave it at that, one must experience the exhilaration and adrenaline that this portion of the game delivers.
Lighting effects are amazingly realistic and the character models have been significantly improved, Sev no longer has that robotic smirk on his face, in this game he actually has facial expressions. Environments range from snowy ice caps to a very fascinating take on the whole alien jungle setting, these levels are massive and if you look hard enough you might just find an alternate route for a more advantageous position. Graphically, Killzone 3 is unmatched, it's only competition being it's ambitious predecessor.
The sound mix in Killzone 3 is of Hollywood stature, Joris De Man returns as the composer for this game and he eloquently prepares an emotionally-driven score that really encapsulates the overall feeling of desperation and hope throughout the entire campaign. Even the main menu titles has a mesmerizing score that leaves you in awe without even pressing the start button. Explosions are loud and gripping, your M82 rifle has a noticeable makeover in terms of sound, it has a roar of a sound when fired that makes it feel that much heavier and powerful. Malcolm McDowell lends his voice for the character of Jordan Stahl and Ray Winstone voices Orlock, a duo that performs flawlessly, Orlock's thick grunt of a voice against Stahl's joker-esque approach to delivering lines; they really brought the characters to life.
Gameplay has had an overhaul yet Guerilla Games managed to keep both the veteran players of Killzone 2 and newcomers happy and contented. The heavy feel is back in it's full glory but the controls are much smoother than they were in Killzone 2, you will not bump into walls or doors like you did in the previous game which had a stiff feel to it. All the controls have been refined and one would even shed a tear knowing that Guerilla Games actually succeeded in perfecting the controls in the true Killzone fashion.
The online portion of the game is so massive that a second review might suffice. To keep it brief, you have a similar ranking system like you had in the previous game only this time around you unlock these points that you can use to get weapons and perks. The point system has also been reworked as you will find it much easier to gain points; Killzone 3 rewards you with points for virtually everything you do whereas in Killzone 2, the point system was rather unforgiving and for lack of a better word, "cheap." Maps are huge and bursting with details, you will most likely die the first few times for being continuously distracted by the breath-taking scenery. Class system is back with a few changes, the saboteur is now called the infiltrator. Other changes include what weapons they carry and of course what their perks are. New game modes include Operations and Guerilla Warfare. Operations literally puts the top 3 players in the cutscene in an objective-based match spanning three very critical objectives that need to be completed in a very short amount of time with the ISA invading and the Helghasts defending. Guerilla Warfare is your standard team deathmatch and Warzone returns from last game.
Killzone 3 is what a $60 game should be. It has incredible longevity, it fully exercises the power of the playstation 3, it's fun multiplayer will leave you neglecting every other game coming out this year. The satisfaction of hearing that kill notification "brilippp!" chirp thingy never gets old, it's really satisfying! Buy Killzone 3 today and prepare to be engulfed in the atmosphere of pure chaos and destruction!