Polygon: Killzone Shadow Fall Review: Stalemate

That absence of meaningful evolution might be Killzone: Shadow Fall’s biggest sin. For all the next-gen bluster of its visuals and the repeated blunt-force attempts to ram a message home, Guerilla’s first shot on the PS4 retreads shooter cliches, and poorly. In a launch lineup crowded with shooters, Killzone: Shadow Fall sits at the bottom.

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tuglu_pati1710d ago

This guys are pushing it. A 5? GTFO

Lalanana1710d ago ShowReplies(4)
Detoxx1710d ago

I'll be playing BF4 on my PS4, so I don't care.

4Sh0w1710d ago

Damm a 5 really? I got to believe its a lot better than that. Don't flip out people its just one review, I already saw a couple 8's which is good.

xHeavYx1710d ago

I saw it coming,Polygon is full of it. z That also game TLOU a 7.5 and were part of the "I demand a PS4" meltdown

badz1491710d ago

LOL @Polygon not even trying to hide their hatred towards anything Playstation! I don't really care though as it's expected for them to give a low score! they are so predictable as this score can already be seen coming from them from miles away! oh well, you can't expect any less from a MS sponsored site, right?

just look at this Metacritic for TLoU:

out of 98 reviews, they gave the 2nd lowest score and is 1 among just 3 (OUT OF 98!!) who gave TLoU less than 80! the average review is at 95 and even user review fares around 91! so...why are they even trying to justify their review again? what this shows is not how bad the game is, but rather how out of touch they are in terms of game reception compared to other people. so, it makes them pretty much irrelevant and just a showing of pure stupidity!

MrDead1710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

Look who sponsors Polygon

Anyway one or two negative reviews won't dissuade me for the Killzone greatness.

Septic1710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

Oh Polygon......

Let's see them apply the same 'standards' for other titles. If they aren't consistently harsh (or stupid) then I think people will bury them.

mikeslemonade1710d ago

I guess review sites are finally using the full rating scale. I'm tired of sites just using the 6.5-10 scale.

badboy7761710d ago

I'm watching Poloygons PS4 Livestream. These guys are Terrible Reviewers!!!!!!!

solidjun51710d ago


I agree. I want to see them apply the same standard. Time will tell.

DonMingos1710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

They didn't like The Last Of Us either and that is probably the best game of this entire gaming generation, so if they didn't like KZ too, than that must mean it is an epic memorable game, just like TLOU.


Story Quality: WTF
Do you like this site? NO

We have to get rid of this biased hit seekers on n4g

FamilyGuy1710d ago

There's a pretty good chance that Polygon will again have the lowest score for a PS Exclusive. At what point will this site be evaluated and removed from the list of credible gaming websites?

They continuously prove themselves to be incredibly bias against Sony exclusives so why are we still listening to this bs site?

DOMination-1710d ago

The game looks fantastic visually but looks a bit"last gen" in terms of gameplay. All the new FPS can have that criticism aimed at them though so I don't mean to single this out. The game still looks pretty solid though, a 5 is kinda taking the piss a bit.

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ajax171710d ago Show
Freak of Nature1710d ago

It's at about 7.5 overall thus far. So 5 is looking like a blow below the belt at this point.

Ouch! a 5....

Conzul1710d ago

if polygon has taught us anything, it's too add 3 points to their score every time. I mean, hello TLOU, right? That puts Shadowfall at 8, just like ign.

About right.

nosferatuzodd1710d ago ShowReplies(1)
HammerKong1710d ago ShowReplies(2)
OrangePowerz1710d ago

As a Killzone fan the games have never been the best games on the planet, but a 5 is a joke. But what can you expect from Polygon who complains also that the console is mainly focused on games and they try to come get that stupid "it doesn't have games" going again Xbox fans have been gping on constantly during the PS3 time.

Back-to-Back1710d ago

Killzone 2 has a 91 on metacritic. WTF

OrangePowerz1710d ago

I think Killzone 2 is a great game and so far the best of the series. I wouldn`t say it`s close to Half Life or the first Modern Warfare, but it doenst` have to be to be a great game. You can have good games, great games and amazing games. Killzone 2 I would put into the great games category and there is nothing wrong with it. Even if Shadow Fall is only a good game it wouldn`t deserve a 5/10.

whybag1710d ago

Did you see some of the reasoning for the score?
"Somewhere in all of this, there must have been a story worth telling, and like shafts of light in a ruined building, these bits occasionally shine through. But more often than not, they’re buried in muddy shades of grey."
"Enemies tend to cower in cover or, later, flank from every direction using shielded Helghast with shotguns or worse. Body shots aren’t useless, but they’re not very effective, making Shadow Fall a game of obligatory, boring headshots, often from a distance under walls of gunfire."
So the story has too many shades of grey (cause politics never does that), and "Wah, I'm not one-shotting everybody!" I'll have to play it to see if the story is bad, but these reasons seem pretty specious.

Snackel1710d ago

Ouch KillZone with a Metacritic score of 72 and Knack 59! This is our exclusive launches. This is not going good!!! Come on Sony I thought you are all about the games, show us gamers some respect!

Dee_911710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

If anyone wants to read this obvious hit seeking site review, here you go

Killzone: Shadow Fall is developer Guerrilla Games’ latest attempt to find a niche for the their AAA shooter franchise.

The original Killzone was impossibly positioned as a competitor to Halo; Killzone 2 and its infamous “target render” reveal video was caught between impossible expectations and the somewhat subdued reality; Killzone 3 squeaked out to little fanfare tied to the PlayStation Move; and Killzone: Mercenary is best known as the closest-to-a-console-shooter on the PlayStation Vita.

Now, with the launch of the PS4, Killzone: Shadow Fall presents the best opportunity for a new beginning for the series. But that opportunity slips from Guerrilla’s grasp once again, this time under the weight of a poor campaign without a team to root for.

Killzone: Shadow Fall takes place 30 years after the ISA forces of Vekta functionally rendered the planet of their enemies the Helghast uninhabitable. Perhaps taken aback at the sheer horror and devastation they inflicted, the Vektans have resettled part of one of their biggest cities with the Helghan survivors, where tensions simmer and eventually bubble over.

There’s some grasping in Killzone: Shadow Fall’s premise toward higher social commentary and exploration of real world political drama, particularly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. There are also strong echoes of the post-WWII socialist/capitalist divide of East and West Germany during the 70s in the sorts of maneuvering and secret police actions of both the ISA and the Helghast.

Somewhere in all of this, there must have been a story worth telling, and like shafts of light in a ruined building, these bits occasionally shine through. But more often than not, they’re buried in muddy shades of grey. Killzone has always flirted and later actively courted an early-20th century sort of nihilism with regards to humanity’s predilections to endless, aimless war. Shadow Fall completes that cycle. Despite the beauty of Vekta and the extraordinary technical wizardry on display, the game does its absolute best to paint almost every character as an awful, irredeemable person engaging in an awful, hopeless cycle.

As the story progresses, every offense by one side is one-upped by the other, further muddying the ugly history of the entire conflict even further. Well sure, the Helghast are nightmarish neo-Fascists, but they evolved that way after being used as human chattel by the Vektans and abandoned on a merciless planet. The Helghast violently arrest and murder anyone caught on their side of the giant demilitarized zone that separates the two societies, but the Vektan’s ISA forces are also coming up with ways to wipe out the entire Helghast race.

Dee_911710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )


This literally does not stop — even as the credits roll, Killzone: Shadow Fall finds another parting shot to underscore the ultimate pointlessness of the Helghast/Vektan war.

It didn’t matter that Killzone: Shadow Fall’s script was full of awful, overwrought dialogue, plot holes, or general stupidity, or that the voice acting was frequently painful. If Guerrilla was trying to tell me that everyone in the conflict depicted across the Killzone series was irredeemable, then they succeeded. But it also did an excellent job of murdering any investment I tried to place within the characters or the plot. By the end of the game, I didn’t actively want any one side to win or lose. I just didn’t care.

The tone and presentation are so oppressive that it’s almost an afterthought that Shadow Fall’s biggest problem is its deficit of fun.

The basic gunplay isn’t much of a departure from previous games in the series. Aiming and shooting in Killzone has always been a more laborious process than in its first-person shooter contemporaries. Some of this is due to basic latency between the input on the controller and the game’s response to that input, but there’s a sense that Guerrilla has embraced this, whether it was originally intended or not. Weapons in Killzone: Shadow Fall tend to be large and loud and onerous. It’s part of Killzone’s sensibility.

This isn't the problem. Instead, Guerrilla can’t seem to find an effective, functional combat loop. Enemies tend to cower in cover or, later, flank from every direction using shielded Helghast with shotguns or worse. Body shots aren’t useless, but they’re not very effective, making Shadow Fall a game of obligatory, boring headshots, often from a distance under walls of gunfire.

Dee_911710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

Attempts at stealth are undermined by enemies’ improbably wide cones of vision. And, despite repeated instances where Shadow Fall’s x-ray sonar ability showed me enemies running in place against walls, they still managed to find every hole and opening to shower me with bullets. Theoretically, you can crouch behind a barrier and hit the left trigger to pop up over it to take shots at Helghast in the distance — but somehow, every piece of cover in the game manages to leave your head exposed to enemy fire.

Death frequently contributes to Shadow Fall’s campaign length. The game has an infuriating, trial-and-error approach to forward progress. The UI is disinterested in suggesting the next objective or mission-critical moment in a variety of circumstances. On one level, locked sections of a research vessel are accessed by picking up fuel rods from elsewhere on the ship and slotting them into place — something Killzone: Shadow Fall never told me.

Toward the end of the game, I died and reloaded somewhere in the neighborhood of two dozen times in the umpteenth holdout fight against an overwhelming Helghast force. The solution? I had to make a break for a docked bomber and use its guns on the Helghast until they retreated, which, again, the game never bothered to tell me.

Some of this is due to questionable art design, as enemies are often incredibly difficult to make out against environments — a problem that also includes basic UI elements like objective markers, which frequently blend into any given scene, regardless of setting or lighting. Playing Killzone: Shadow Fall often felt like translating a foreign language under a hail of gunfire.

The game constantly fails to find any sort of trajectory or direction, and it suffers as a result. In Guerrilla’s attempts to depict the horrors of a divided society, they often crush the life out of the game with extended "playable" cutscenes showing awful though pedestrian moments in day-to-day New Helghan. But, ironically, the parts of the game where I was able to wander through and soak up the often stunning environments that make up Killzone: Shadow Fall were the moments of the campaign I enjoyed most.

Multiplayer at least manages a level of competency that escapes Shadow Fall’s story component. Thanks to a pretty steady 60 frames per second and the revelatory new Dualshock 4, it controls better than any previous Killzone game has — while still retaining Killzone’s inherent style and identity.

But Shadow Fall’s multiplayer stages feels cluttered and not as navigable as I would have liked. It seemed like I was always bumping into some invisible piece of geometry and getting killed for the trouble, or jumping against a railing that my soldier refused to vault. And, similarly to the campaign, there’s not really anything new, interesting or ambitious about Shadow Fall’s multiplayer — the constantly evolving objective-based play of Warzone matches has been around since Killzone 2.

That absence of meaningful evolution might be Killzone: Shadow Fall’s biggest sin. For all the next-gen bluster of its visuals and the repeated blunt-force attempts to ram a message home, Guerrilla’s first shot on the PS4 retreads shooter cliches, and poorly. In a launch lineup crowded with shooters, Killzone: Shadow Fall sits at the bottom.

Dee_911710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

He didn't like the art direction and he sucked at playing the game

Clunkyd1710d ago

Not a surprise coming from polygon.

hutness1710d ago

Sooo...basically, they're saying Call of Duty: Ghost is a much better game...Gotcha. -_-

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RTheRebel1710d ago ShowReplies(3)
Lolrus1710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

Oh dear, theyve just made their website lose all its credibility with this peice.

Thegamer411710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

They already lost their credibility when they gave The Last of Us a 7.5

"In a launch lineup crowded with shooters, Killzone: Shadow Fall sits at the bottom"

So they are saying that CoD Ghosts is better? Anyone that takes this review seriously needs to find a new hobby other than gaming.

exsturminator011710d ago

They gave TLoU a 7.5? Thank you for sharing that. They obviously have very different taste in games than me, and I can now comfortably pass over their review of KZ:SF without worrying I've missed an opinion relevant to me.

rdgneoz31710d ago

They lost any credibility when they took money from MS to make a documentary about itself (about $750k)... Giving TLoU and Ni No Kuni bad reviews didn't help either.

Deividas1710d ago

Yup, and they game Dead Space 3 a 9.5....come on, that game was shit. Polygon is a decent site but reviews are biased as hell, they like sports games and hence why all of them get above a 8. Playstation games always get a lower score on Polygon, just go see for yourself. THEY ARE SPONSORED BY MICROSOFT PEOPLE!!

LoveOfTheGame1710d ago (Edited 1710d ago )

I thought we sorted out that they are not entirely bias when they gave TLOU a 7.5?

Seriously I spent most of my bubbles showing the scores of both PS and Xbox games compared to their averages and there wasn't much of a difference in scoring.

Could of sworn that after showing proof people decided that they just gave low scores to the games in question and were not bias in that sense. Oh wait, giving proof only works in the real world and not N4G.

Edit: Also never look at the score of a review to measure it, look at the actual review. Critique is always much more informative than scores.

OrangePowerz1710d ago

Or giving Ni No Kuni a 6.5.

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user74029311710d ago

proud playstation fanboy here, but everyone calm down lol! jeez its 1 review lmao. c'mon fellas

cleft51710d ago

It's less about 1 negative review and more about the fact that Polygon has been doing this sort of crap for a while with Playstation exclusive games. Look at their reviews for The Last of Us, Dragon's Crown, and Ni No Kuni. Pretty much they have a history of giving the lowest scores to Playstation exclusive games to the point where they got called out on it. It would be one thing if the majority of other reviewers held similar views to these games as Polygon, but they don't.

People are just more than a little sick and tired of this sort of crude. I can't speak for others, but I would feel the same way if there was a well known site giving Microsoft exclusive games constant low scores when the majority of other reviewers greatly disagree. Regardless, this just goes to show why people shouldn't take anything reviewers say completely serious. Try the game yourself or watch someone broadcast it on a site like Twitchtv.

Neonridr1710d ago

5 is a little low. Everywhere else it's been 7's and 8's.

Still would like to play it for myself to make up my mind.

evilunklebud1710d ago

I was hoping for more. Along the lines of KZ2.

thewildbeard1710d ago

Same here. I'll play it first but I find my opinion on some games differs very much from Polygon. The Last of Us for example. They gave it a 7.5 but I just found that funny.

evilunklebud1710d ago

that was pretty laughable, but with kz4 they seem to be a little closer to the average score... so far.

gillri1710d ago ShowReplies(2)