Personally, I never really got into Killzone 2. I picked the Greatest Hits copy up at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks on Black Friday '10, simply because of the price. Well, also because of all the damn praise I had heard about this game. I played the single player for about an hour, hour and a half, but could not get into it. Honestly, I felt bad because I knew how much I would be missing out on if I didn't play this PS3 exclusive. But I simply could not get into it. When I turned on my PS3 this Thursday, I saw that the open beta was now up for download....with a few software updates as well. And let me tell you, just from this beta, I have become a huge Killzone fan!
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Created by Guerilla Games, the original Killzone was released on the PlayStation 2 back in November of 2004. Labeled by critics and the company themselves as a "Halo-killer", the hype was through the roof. When the game finally launched, just like most things with hype, the reception was mediocre. With review scores varying from 6 out of 10 to 9.5 out of 10, it was an average seller. In October of 2006, Guerilla released a sequel to the game on the PSP entitled Killzone: Liberation. This third person shooter took place two months after where the original Killzone left off. The reception of this game was quite the opposite of its predecessor. All reviews had nothing but positive things to say about this game with nearly no complaints. In February of '09, the sequel, or, the true sequel was released onto the PS3 with the simple title, Killzone 2. This game is where Guerilla really got the true praise that they had been needing to become a common name in the gaming industry. With an average of 9 out of 10 per review, this installment is known as the best yet.
But Killzone 3 hasn't been released.
The free open beta available for download on the Playstation Store features five different multiplayer classes (Marksman, Engineer, Field Medic, Infiltrator, and Tactician), four different game types (Guerilla Warfare, Warzone, Operations. and Botzone) and one multiplayer map named Frozen Dam. I'll later go into detail of what each of these are, but for now, I'm just going to name them. You can play online against other gamers in these gripping game modes on this single map. But believe me, there is more than enough content in this single beta to keep you occupied for quite some time.
Killzone 3 comes equipped with a super smooth control scheme that takes minutes to get used to! Each button performs the usual FPS control action. X for jump, Square to reload, Triangle to switch weapons, etc. I can feel my fingers gently slide across the Sixaxis controller as if I was rubbing my hands on a pink cloud of cotton candy. That's extremely smooth and soft by the way. My only problem with the control layout is that to crouch, you have to push the L2 button. Now, there are two different control layouts you can choose from, but the one particular one that has the usual FPS feel to it, L2 makes you crouch. Why not have Circle make you crouch, or clicking one of the analog sticks? But like I said, you can surpass that minor roadblock and memorize the control scheme in minutes!
Killzone 2 is commonly mentioned when fanboys are having heated discussions over which games have the best graphics. As the picture to the right shows, IGN gave Killzone 2 the sought after Best Graphics Technology award. From the hour of that game I played, I would agree in a heartbeat. Now what makes you think the boys at Guerilla are going to allow Killzone 2 to be triumphant over Killzone 3 asthetically? The graphics included in Killzone 3 are hands down the most realistic graphics I have ever seen. And I'm still on a 480p screen! Aside from the fact that you are partaking in warfare against aliens from another planet in the middle of an iceberg with robots flying around your head and turrets being spawned out of the air, this is the most realistic game I have ever seen or played. PERIOD.
The online gameplay for the Killzone 3 beta is right at the top of my list, just below Medal of Honor and BioShock 2 (yes, I actually played the online for BioShock longer than thirty minutes). The environments are terrifying and intimidating in a beautiful way. Like I said earlier, there are five different classes to choose from throughout four different game types. Here's a brief description of each class and mode, courtesy of Killzone 3 itself:
Marksman: From the shadows or at a distance, the Marksman prefers to kill undetected. When forced to deal with the enemy up close he uses stealth and detection counter-measures to hide his approach.
Tactician: The seasoned Tactician brings order from chaos, turning a hostile battlefield into a controlled warzone. He enables and facilitates; capturing Tactical Spawn Areas, spotting enemies, and supporting defense with Sentry Drones.
Engineer: Capable of crafting turrets from virtually nothing, hacking into enemy turrets and repairing just about anything, Engineers are capable of jury-rigging a solution to any problem.
Infiltrator: The Infiltrator hides in plain sight, using deception to confuse the enemy while going swiftly about his tasks with unprecedented speed and stamina.
Field Medic: The Field Medic gives what the battlefield takes away. Life is his to give and take but the truly skilled Field Medic can bring soldiers back from the brink of death to be more effective than they ever were before.
Guerilla Warfare: The objective is simple: Kill the enemy. The winning faction is the team that reaches the pre-set body count first, or accumulates the highest number of kills before time runs out.
Warzone: Warzone features multiple randomized mission types for each faction to accomplish, creating dynamically changing gameplay from one game to the next.
Operations: The ISA and Helghast battle for control of specific objectives- the ISA on the offensive and the Helghast defending. The best players are featured throughout the match in cutscenes depicting their successes.
Botzone: (this is not from the game like the other entries are) Basically how Black Ops has a bot mode where you can play against CPUs on different difficulties. This can help you learn the maps without having to play a real match and get your ass destroyed out in the battlefield. Needless to say, the points you get in Botzone do not go towards your career points and stats.
This one little beta has turned me into a Guerilla fanboy! When this game releases on February 22nd, I'm sure to start saving money for this beast of a game! Graphics are insane, gameplay is smooth, and I only have two complaints about the beta.
1) It may just be me, but sometimes I can't even get onto the online part of the beta. It will freeze as it's connecting to the game. Leave a comment if you have a similar problem.
2) This could be a glitch (which I'm not surprised there is a glitch in a beta) or a set aspect of the game, but sometimes the enemy will disguise themself in your teams uniform. I wouldn't mind if this happened but the gamer tag that hovers over their head turns green, showing they are on your team. It will flicker back and forth between green and red, but not frequently enough where this isn't a problem. Glitch or intentional, I REALLY hope this is not in the full version of the game.
Minus those two gripes, the beta seems like a real game! Very excited for this game, and I promise, I will beat Killzone 2 before I play Killzone 3!
Thank you all for reading. Be sure to please comment on this review. Whether you agree, disagree, if I persuaded you to try it out, that type of stuff. Be sure to check back to the website as much as you can. Lots more news and reviews to come!