Published on February 28th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Killzone 3 Review
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Genre: First-person Shooter
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release: Feb. 22, 2011
There are so many games to choose from when it comes to the first-person genre, but the Killzone series has established itself as one of the go-to franchises especially for Sony fans. Some games are just your average “run em’ up, shoot em’ up” games, and then there are some that are very elaborate and have a lot of depth.
I have played shooters over the years, and while some seem to struggle with controls and horrible AI (Call of Duty says Hi!), Killzone 3 fires on all cylinders. This is not just a first person shooter anymore but more of something that has to be experienced. It took me a few days to get this review together because I played the game twice through, once in standard HD and the other in full HD 3D and I will elaborate on both.
Killzone 3 is a game that pits two human faction against each other. Watching the game’s opening cinematic reminded me of a old WWII film of Americans fighting the Nazis. There are the ISAs and the Helghast. The story picks up right where the second game left off after struggling to find a way off the planet that the Helghast control. This is where Killzone 3 hits a bump in the road. The story can be at time to cliche and mind numbing. The characters each are plane and have no distinction from any other FPS on the market. You play as Sev, the hero who is predictable and is an overly brutish soldier. Aside from the opening sequence, the story turns in reverse and I will say this, that the ending will leave you quite frustrated.
For starters Killzone 3 is beautiful. This is the game that shows what the PlayStation 3 is fully capable of doing. From lavish environments, to unbelievable character design this game is a work of art. It fully creates and captures the torn city that has been battered by war and corruption. There were plenty of broken set pieces that provided cover, and environments and level designs switched up enough that it never felt redundant. Some levels will have you on foot, moving from cover to cover, while some levels will have you in the gunner position of a tank or helicopter. Killzone 3 does a great job of breaking these levels up. The levels are very linear, however the fundamentals switch and will keep the player guessing.
The 3D is even more immersive than I could have ever imagined. I’m not going to spoil any of the story but in the opening sequence of Killzone 3, Sev is put into a Helghast uniform, and with the helmet on you can see all the computer displays up close. It gives you the feel of being inside the suit with the helmet on. People actually looked like they were standing right next to you, and I even found myself looking down on my television screen when going down steps. The only downfall I saw with the 3D is that sometimes the characters animations couldn’t quite catch up to keep the 3D intact. I noticed some screen tears and some ghostly outlines when there is a lot of action happening on the screen. Aside from those minimal flaws, Killzone 3‘s 3D performed well and looked beautiful. Do take frequent breaks because I played it for four hours straight in 3D and it left my eyes hurting just a tad.
(This is only the start of the Helghast Swarm)
The game does control very well, even though I did have to re-map a couple of buttons. If you played Killzone 2, then you may already be familiar with the games controls, and I loved how the weight of the gun you were holding related to your movements and aiming. When using the analogue sticks to aim, it felt very slow and clunky when using a heavy weapon, while sturdy and sometimes to quick when using pistols.
You can’t do a write up on Killzone 3 without talking about the multiplayer. There are three solid modes that will keep you coming back to Killzone 3 after you have completed the eight hour campaign. Returning is the fan favorite Team Deathmatch, which is just as we remembered from Killzone 2 with a few much needed upgrades. The leveling system has been completely re-tooled. You can now spend your skill points on items in game that you use such as armor upgrades and weapons, much like Black Ops has done. Thank you, Guerilla Games, for going this way with the leveling system because the “Class” system from Killzone 2 just wasn’t working. The new Operation mode was decent enough to play, which is an objective driven game type, much like Battlefield Bad Company 2. The major disappointment, which in turn could be a blessing to some, is the local co-op mode. What ever happened to enabling online co-op play? Granted there are not many local co-op games out there anymore, and some people will love it, however, those of us who upgraded to using the internet Killzone 3 does not support online co-op. We also noticed some early lag and server hiccups when playing Team Deathmatch, but with the recent patch I helped reduce a lot of that.
The Final Truth:
Killzone 3 is a solid game, and shows the full potential of the Playstation 3. It may feature a lackluster story and un-impactful characters but Killzone solid gameplay and always fun multiplayer keeps Killzone a hot commodity. Overall it’s a game that you have to experience. From beautiful environments and animations Killzone 3 is a work of art. It fully immerses the player into the war of the ISA and the Helghast. The game has fantastic pacing and never leaves you feel like you are playing the same levels over and over again.
+ Beautiful Environments
+ Awesome Sound Effects
+ Re-tooled leveling system
+ Smart AI
+ Solid Controls
– Weak Storyline
– Poor Character Development
– Lack of Online Co-Op