My first dive into a Next Gen game really gets me excited to the future of the Playstation 4 as developers unlock the true potential. Visuals are absolutely stunning as you gaze across the crystal clear Vektan planet, along with the depth of colors, reflections, and textures make it all inviting. The game ran smooth outside of some rouge hiccups during intense combat situations. Also, the music is pretty damn good. Sometimes I would just stand still and let the soundtrack swarm me with warm fuzzy feelings, and inject me with adrenaline. The gunplay is pretty good too, with a lot of the weapons feeling pretty powerful knocking your foes around like ragdolls.
The new controls utilizing the Playstation 4’s touchpad didn’t really add anything new to the gameplay although it made switching between your OWL’s 4 functionalities seamless…if they were used. I barely used the Attack and Shield function as the game wasn’t that difficult. The Stun blast was used more frequently towards the end and was quite useful. Lastly, it deploys a zipline for hard to reach terrain, or faster travel, but its usage felt very much scripted. The gameplay as a whole screams generic FPS and doesn’t do anything special to help differentiate itself from other games that are out on the market. Although KZ:SF does a nice job changing your environments and setting, there isn’t a whole lot of memorable set pieces that make you want to push forward in excitement thus making my experience quite dull, especially when tethered to a completely forgetting story. The games never have done anything outside the box, really. I hate the fact that I play as the “Good” guys. The story of Killzone: Shadow fall is set up after the inhalation of the Helghast's home planet. In one big awkward apology, the ISA decides to give half the planet back to its original owners. A huge wall is built splitting Vekta in half, and all the Vektans living in that area must evacuate. After some time the Helghans begin to revolt and attempt to take back what’s rightfully theirs. From the beginning you play as a young Kellan, who is trying to escape to their side of the wall with his father. Sadly, they are spotted and his father is killed. Kellan is then saved and recruited by the evil ISA.
At least in Killzone: Shadow fall you play as someone who has a brain, and finally “gets” it, so I don’t feel like a complete douche. Sadly, the game does a poor job to develop the main character, making him not really worth caring about. He eventually is given aid by another underdeveloped character….Echo (I had to look that up) who is a half bred freak child from the two races. She is the one to have Kellan open his eyes to what is really going on, as they end up betraying their own kind in an effort to make things right. Their actions are noble but neither of the two have any defining moments that make them stand out. You are rooting for the cause, but a snail and a turtle could have yielded the same results. Actually, I think I would’ve liked that better…coming soon, Killzone: Turtle and Snail.
I digress, anyway, at least there’s the Multiplayer, which to me, is the only reason I continue to play it. It’s very competitive, addictive and fun. There aren’t a lot of maps, or different modes but it still does a good enough job at keeping you interested. With a game mode like Warzone that randomly selects other game modes in a battle of best out of 4, it’s easy to enjoy yourself. There are 3 loadouts and each has a set of 4 customizable slots, which comes in handy when you want to adjust your strategy on the fly. Battles can be very intense, and chaotic in some nicely designed maps that provides some good balance for both factions.
Killzone: Shadow Falls isn’t that killer IP that makes you want to own a next gen console. Outside of its multiplayer, visuals and soundtrack, and its a completely forgettable experience that ends way too abruptly, leaving nothing but a sour taste in your mouth, there wasn’t much there. Even the added gameplay towards the end did nothing for what should have at least put a smirk on my face. The game is all beauty but lacks the brains to be anything but ordinary. One day maybe Guerrilla will create a game where you play as the “Evil” empire and become a Helghan warrior. That’s something that would be cool.