thor

Trainee
CRank: 5Score: 70950

Dispelling the Killzone 2 Myths

Myth: "Killzone 2 is nothing but an average shooter beyond the great graphics."
Reality: Of course, it depends on what you mean by "average". But here's a great selection of FPSs released in the year 2008:

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
Conflict: Denied Ops
Haze
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Turok
Frontlines: Fuel of War
History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
Quantum of Solace
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Now these are what I would classify as average. These types of games are the most common to be released behind Wii shovelware. They are your "typical" FPS. Clearly, there is really no comparison between Killzone 2 and these games. I won't go into details, but I don't think you should really have much argument here.

Now onto the FPS gems of 2008. You might consider these to be average. Here they are:

Left 4 Dead
Resistance 2
Call of Duty: World at War
Far Cry 2
Battlefield: Bad Company

Left 4 Dead is primarily a co-op shooter, and so doesn't really compare to KZ2. Beyond that, the mechanics are decidedly last-gen and whilst the "AI director" mixes up the enemy spawn points, you can't exactly say much for zombie intelligence. But when can you. Can't really compare the two games.

Resistance 2 suffers from some similar problems; the weapons feel weak compared to Killzone 2, but it does have a sci-fi variety of weapons that are interesting to use. Unfortunately, the pacing of the campaign falls short. The various boss fights are dull and scripted, and the regular enemies just aren't as fun to take down as those in KZ2.

World at War suffers from difficulty balancing problems. The way they've upped the difficulty is to allow the enemies to lob unlimited grenades directly at your feet, and aim straight for your head from halfway across the map, ignoring your teammates. Like in its predecessor, Modern Warfare, you kill enemies by moving forward across the map. This leaves no room for tactics; taking out an enemy will only give you a few seconds until another one spawns in his place. If you had the time and dedication, you could take out the equivalent of the world's population just by shooting one guy and watching him respawn. And you still wouldn't be able to move forward. It's a major frustration of mine; and when you learn that you just need to move forward to kill the enemies, you just ignore the ones of no importance and rush forward, throwing caution to the wind. It's completely against the "tactical" nature that is portrayed from the beginning of Modern Warfare, and so the in-game commentary and style doesn't fit with the run-and-gun type gameplay. Obviously, KZ2 doesn't suffer from this problem.

I could go on and on about how Killzone 2 does so many things so much better than other games, but I'll leave it there for now.

Myth: "Killzone 2's graphics don't WOW and aren't really anything special."
Reality: There really is no argument technically. Using much of the Cell's power, Killzone 2 manages to pull off technical feats that even Crysis can't do. Crysis, even at max settings, cannot handle the number of dynamic lights that KZ2 does. It's the way that it's rendered. Killzone 2 takes no shortcuts like Call of Duty, Halo 3 or countless other games. It renders at 720p native (or a slightly different resolution for compatibility with 1080i-only sets).

If you view the walls up-close with your scope on, of course you can see the textures. This is what happens in games. Crysis's foliage doesn't look that pretty up-close. If you are at a stage where texture resolution is that high, usually you increase other things instead because 99.9% of the time you're NOT looking for flaws in the textures.

Perhaps you haven't been "WOW'd" by the graphics because you've seen them in countless videos and trailers already. That's understandable. But you simply cannot deny that Killzone 2's graphics are an amazing achievement, transcending all other console efforts to date. Go on, play Haze, and then play Killzone 2, and you'll wonder if they're even running on the same console. Killzone 2's graphics are the new benchmark.

Myth: "Killzone 2 sucks because the control input lags."
Reality: After much discussion on the forums, we've all come to a conclusion - there is no input lag. As soon as you move the stick, the view moves. There's always going to be a minor amount of lag due to the intermediate steps required in translating your controller input into a visible change, but no more than other games. What there IS is a slightly weird acceleration system on the x-axis. This could perhaps be tuned further, but once you've got used to it, it's not a problem. The only difference is the acceleration curve of the x-axis - and it's a minor difference.

The other thing that people might be getting annoyed about is the lack of auto-aim. This means that, when targeting an enemy, instead of just moving your recticule to the enemy and firing, you might overshoot or undershoot your target when aiming. Auto-aim means that so long as you're aiming roughly in the right area, it'll move the recticule to a position on the enemy when you move it. This allows you to have the sensitivity up higher and still be able to hit enemies. Whether the lack of auto-aim is for better or worse, it's certainly not input lag.

I might also bring your attention to Edge's Killzone 2 review. A much-praised source of "unbiasedness" and an example of a magazine that "hasn't been paid off," it's interesting to note that they call the controls "tight".

Myth: "Killzone 2 isn't innovative."
Reality: It's first important to ask why we are asking if Killzone 2 is innovative. After all, I couldn't name an FPS in the past 10 years that was innovative without introducing some kind of gimmick. As soon as it becomes innovative (see Portal), it strays out of the FPS genre and into something else (in Portal's case, it's a puzzle game).

So why do we want Killzone 2 to be innovative? There's a simple answer: otherwise we feel like we've played it before. After all, who wants to fork out money for a game that plays the same as a game they already own, and can play again? But here we can see that it's not innovation that we want; merely uniqueness. We want Killzone 2 to be a unique experience that's worth spending our hard-earned cash on. Well, Killzone 2 is most certainly unique. Its style of realistic sci-fi is a refreshing change from giant worms and leaping power rangers. That in itself is pretty unique. The graphical style, love it or hate it, also manages to stand out. Yes, it's very grey, but then there are bursts of colour from explosions, the sky, the glowing Helghast eyes that set the game apart.

Killzone 2's cover system is unprecedented, and it changes the core FPS gameplay. It's very different to play from a run-and-gun shooter. It works very well, and is so integral to the whole experience that it's more than just a gimmick. Can you say it's not innovative? Not really, without drawing comparisons from games in other genres or of different styles. Having a first-person cover system keeps the immersive feel of an FPS whilst blending it with the gameplay style of a 3rd person shooter.

Killzone 2's individual elements may have been seen before. But you can say the same about LittleBigPlanet; you can say the same about almost any game. But together - have you seen a first-person shooter with an unlockable class system, where you can mix and match the classes, where you have a choice of weapons, and where the class abilities are as they are? The scout's ability to turn invisible until they injure someone is a slight twist on usual invisibility that's unique.

The clan valour betting system, whilst it remains to see how effective it is, could well revolutionise clan warfare. Rather than unofficial tournaments being set up with a great deal of organisational effort required, there are features within the game to be able to do this with relative ease. In many games, being part of a clan rarely means matches and tournaments unless you're deadly serious. In KZ2, every clan will be fighting for their valour. It opens up the clan system to everybody rather than just the dedicated few.

Myth: "Killzone 2 doesn't live up to the hype."
Reality: Only thing to say here is - what is hype? It's simply a load of gamers getting overexcited about a new game, and free advertising for it. If you let the fanboy squeals get to you then that's not the hype's problem. You don't need to counter the hype in some self-righteous article. Maybe the hype got too much - but I myself simply view it as advertising. Were there no hype, there wouldn't be such negative articles about Killzone 2 - there would only be articles praising it. Had there not been any hype, I might not have even heard about the game. Hype's a tremendously good thing for the game's sales.

If you ignore the hype, what you're left with is then an underrated game. The only reason anybody gives a harsh review score is because it's judged based on the hype. To get a 10/10 it has to be the best game ever. Plenty of games last year did not have to be even close to the best ever to warrant a 10/10 score. Just think - if you played KZ2 and THEN CoD4, CoD4 would pale in comparison. If you played KZ2 thinking it was another movie tie-in shovelware game, you would be really pleasantly surprised. The quality is there. No, I'm not just talking about graphics. Physics, AI, pacing - everything that makes a game great - are all superb. Killzone 2 is awesome. Nothing much more needs to be said than that.

callahan095604d ago

Agreed. I offer my personal thanks to you for typing all that up. Well done!

dragunrising5603d ago

Great examples and arguments. I was worried about the input lag so thanks for clearing that up :-)

Daz5604d ago

very true but you dont need to defend a game that much. LOL

l4d is one of the best game i like on pc. its fun and that what counts not what it looks like.

Sasanova5603d ago

he doesnt defend anything. he uses rational arguments that are basically common sense to any intelligent person. very good blog indeed, it points out the obvious that is so cloudly misled by many xbots who want the game to be bad. but i guess its hard for them to accept something better then halo and gears. understandable.

BBAM5603d ago

lol
good article, you'll still probably get some hating from a few touchy xbox owners though

Rythrine5603d ago (Edited 5603d ago )

Everything you said was spot on. Personally, I don't care what haters say about this game because I know that I'll have a blast with it along with the other ps3 owners who will be buying this game. Bottomline is haters will always exist, be it in cars or sports related. If you ever read comments in ESPN yhen you'll find out how its the "N4G of sports", not as bad but you get the point.

Its a shame that although you wrote a great article, haters who'll read it with their fanboy googles on, won't comprehend it. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Let's all enjoy this game and give kudos to GG for delivering what they promised years ago.

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