So I imagine you guys are all aware of this little title called Killzone 2? Yeah, thought so. The 360 fanboys hate it already and the PS3 fanboys are ready to canonize it, so I thought I would take a look at it myself. Having read dozens of reviews of the game already, I had a good idea of what to expect and my main complaint was that the demo was really too short to make a firm judgment about anything. This preview will also answer some things I have seen pop up online regarding the demo and the game itself.
Now I have read some people whining about the controls or about how it is repetitive in that you advance, find cover, kill, and repeat, so I will answer those two first: the controls are fine. It just takes getting used to, and there is a Call of Duty-like control scheme (Alternate 2) for those of you who can’t learn two different kinds of controls. One preview complained about that particular control layout being buried in the menu. Um…it’s there. I found it, most people found it. It just happens to be the last layout option. Are people just honestly that desperate to complain about everything they can?
Anyways, the demo is only about 10-15 minutes long and if you take 15 minutes, you probably stopped to look around at everything. So how anyone can already call this repetitive is beyond me. Most games involve you doing the same thing over and over. Halo, Mario, Zelda, GTA, Gears of War, Uncharted and Killzone all involve doing something over and over. So I would lay a jaundiced eye on anyone who says that about such a short demo.
Now, on to the game itself: it is fun. Well, for the short time I got to play it, that is. The graphics are phenomenal and I am not really a graphics whore, but I did take a few moments to appreciate how great and really detailed it all looked. Great graphics faded into the background though as I found myself landing in the middle of an epic war. The graphics serve the game well in making this battle seem like a giant onslaught and you do feel a part of something very big.
Your squad looks very detailed from up close and like you have probably heard, are full of inane macho chatter. If it didn’t bother you in Gears of War, it won’t bother you here. They do a good job of covering you and are very similar to the squadmates in Call of Duty 4 in terms of their AI.
Speaking of AI, I was very impressed with the Helghast AI. They take cover, try to flank you and stay on the move. In some games, once the enemy takes cover, they tend to build a summer home there, but not these guys. In fact, the best moment of the demo came when I watched a Helghast try to run from one cover spot to another. He got tagged by my companion midway through and abruptly turned back and headed for his original hiding spot. Sadly for him, he did not make it, but it is what some humans would have done in that situation so that was pretty cool to see.
There are some things that did bother me, though. Trying to get the x-axis sensitivity just right was a test of patience, but that is more on me than the game. One thing that was annoying was the height of my character. He did seem to only come up to the chest of the other soldiers, but maybe he is just Wolverine sized or in an eternal crouch. I hope he has a posture-pedic bed at home, though, because that is going to play hell with his spine if he survives.
Much talk has been made of the controls being a tad slow and I am here to say that, yes, they are. They are also no different than any other game I have ever played. People whined about LittleBigPlanet’s jumping as well, but when you play a game, you have to learn the controls, the feel and the nuances of it. It can’t all play like Halo or Call of Duty. Once I got the hang of it, I was kicking ass.
The cover system is very well done, hold down L2 to attach yourself to cover and then you can blind fire or jump out and pop off a few shots at your leisure. I really enjoyed using it, I don’t think I have played a FPS shooter that has quite made such good use of cover. F.E.A.R. 2 had a cover system where you leaned out, but that was really annoying and I never used it. This looks like something I will use quite a bit.
Overall, I enjoyed my time on Helghan, short as it was. I would have to play more of the game, but the demo makes me want to play more of it and isn’t that what a demo is for? I don’t think Killzone 2 will change the face of gaming or even FPS’s, but I do think it is a hell of a good time and that is why I play games, so I am leaning towards buying it when it comes out on Feb. 26th.
Have you guys played the demo yet? (There is a way to get it from the European PSN Store, I just can’t reveal it here. Look it up, I found it, its not hard.) What are your thoughts so far on Killzone 2?