Review

Killzone 3 Review (PS3)

If we had to describe Killzone 2 in one word, after careful deliberation we'd plump for 'grey'. While nailing the Helghast troops was undeniably entertaining, and those glowing red eyes gave us the willies even after switching the PS3 off, the game's environments weren't exactly... colourful.

Which is why, going into the much-awaited sequel Killzone 3, we were crossing our fingers, toes and eyes in the hope of some more varied battlefields. Grey, brown and red are all great, Guerrilla, but how about venturing elsewhere on the palette?

The Helghast know how important it is to wrap-up warm

Imagine our faces then, when we found that, not only are there new colours - blue, green, white! - but the action is so much more exciting and wide-spread. Killzone 3 not only surpasses number 2, it's now one of the best PlayStation 3 titles you can pick up. Throw in Move and 3D support, multiplayer action that builds on KZ2's blast-fest, and local co-op campaign support, and this should be a day one purchase for every self-respecting PS3 owner.

The action picks up where the last foray left off. Sev, Rico et al are caught in a tight spot, having killed the Helghast dicatator Visari. Suddenly they've got far more incoming fire than they bargained for, and for the majority of the campaign, you'll be desperately trying to keep them alive.

Immediately it's notable that, in terms of gunplay, Killzone 3 is following the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' strategy. Controls are largely the same as the second installment, as are the enemies, covering system, weapons... pretty much everything. However, where other FPS franchises will update the series via new guns and maps, Killzone 3 takes a different approach, putting the player through trials that add so much flavour.

Anything we mention will feel like a spoiler, so let's just say that you won't simply be running and gunning for the entire story mode. Sure, there are a number of missions that could have been pulled straight out of KZ2 - but not many. Jetpacks, robots, spaceships, zero-gravity... it's one heck of a ride. The few small weapon and combat additions are well-considered too, and really impact the gameplay rather than simply being a new gun to use.

What also helps is that the story is far more engaging this time around. We honestly can't even remember what happened in Killzone 2, so unappealing was the premise, but Killzone 3 actually makes you give a crap. There are a number of scenes that are a little too 'action movie' and rather cringe-worthy, but in general we found ourselves actually giving a crap about Sev's plight.

The apocalyptic setting varies, from doom-filled landscapes to lush forest scenes

Well, that is up until the ending. How a storyline can go from enthralling to 'worst ending ever' is dumbfounding. As the credits rolled, we were left thinking 'seriously?'. Perhaps the writing staff went on holiday just before the last scene, so they had to cut it short. Who knows.

Besides this, however, Killzone 3's single-player is among one of the best FPS campaign's we've played on the PlayStation 3. Throw in another player via local co-op, and it gets even better, with the ability to zap each other back to life when the going gets tough. This is a story we will definitely find ourselves playing through multiple times with different people. Online co-op support would have been nice, but we're not going to voice our concerns too loudly.

Killzone 3 takes a gander into the realms of motion control too, with PlayStation Move support. While we were quick to put down the waggle stick and go back to regular controller play, it must be noted that KZ3 handles far better with the Move than we've seen with any of FPS Move game, or indeed any Wii FPS. Guerrilla has done a fantastic job with the motion control, although this still translates to mediocre play, leaving us doubting whether motion control for FPS games will ever take off.

Certain sections in the KZ3 storyline left us scrunching our faces up in frustration. Now and again, the game will provide you with a horrible checkpoint, for which you'll spawn, get caught instantly in enemy fire, and go down within a few seconds. This only happened a few times, mind, but it was still incredibly anger-inducing for each.

Your team-mates are also dumb as anything, ploughing through enemy lines and getting themselves taken down constantly. When you bite the bullet, they're meant to run over and help you up, but frequently we found that they'd run over to us, being to help us up, then say 'I'm sorry, I can't help you' and run off again. It was hilarious at first, but when you've powered through a horde of Helghast, and then have to respawn and do it all over again, the smile fades.

A disclaimer before we mention the multiplayer components - as the time of writing, the multiplayer servers are not online, and the entire mode is unavailable. However, a special 'Botzone' mode is also available, featuring multiplayer action, but with the players replaced by bots. With our extensive knowledge of Killzone 2's multiplayer action, along with a few hours of play with bots, we feel that we're in a perfectly reasonable position to pass judgment.

Do you know what is cooler than a jetpack? Nothing. Nothing at all

That judgment being, if you enjoyed KZ2's online saga, then KZ3 will also be right up your alley. Maps are varied, from tight corridors to huge open spaces, and a number of exciting new additions keep it feeling fresh. Jump into a walking bot, and you can stomp into battle, mowing down the enemy. All the different classes are available from the get-go this time around, so you can have a crack at being an engineer or infiltrator without having to build up your stats for ages.

Killzone 3 is the best first-person shooter on PS3, with its varied and stunning single-player campaign and all-out action-packed multiplayer. If you care about your PlayStation 3, you will feed it with many hours of Helghast-castigating.

Top Game Moment: The jetpack sections are marvellous fun.

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Comments

By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Feb 22, 2011
SirRoderick
Must.....get.....BRAI....ehm..GAME!!!!!!
By devel (SI Elite) on Feb 22, 2011
devel
And I haven't even played the second! Great!