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Avatar ImageGamer Limit Backlog Review: Killzone
By: | February 12th, 2009 | Editorial
Feature |PS2

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2004 feels like a long, long time ago. I failed to finish Killzone when I first picked it up for the PS2. I got slightly stuck midway through the game and (after about ten tries) kind of putting it on hold.
Fast forward four years and I’ve (finally) revisited the game, playing it through my PS3 in order to be on top of what went on back then, before the sequel hits. What did I make of Guerilla Games original tale of big blokes, big guns and big red eyes? Read on to find out.

First of all, I’d like to point out that the game runs slightly worse through a PS3; the cutscene cinematics stutter over themselves, but are still easy to follow and some in-game things seem less polished.

To cut a long story short, you start off as Templar, a bad arse marine dude with fuzzy hair who is thrown into the conflict between the ISA and the Helghast. You encounter a few key battles as Templar before being joined by three others; Luger is a sharp shooting feline-figured woman wearing a balaclava and what looks like a Solid Eye device; Rico, a loud-mouthed knucklehead with a massive gun that he seems shy on using on anything with a pulse; and then, eventually, Hakha, a Helghan spy, working with the ISA.

From then on in you get to choose who you play through each individual level, with each character having their own pros and cons. Billy Big Gun (Rico to you) can blow the hell out of things but has no zoom, Templar and Hakha are two sides of the same coin, both well-balanced, and Luger (who I used for most of the game) has a secondary fire on her custom weapon. Itsounds like a pea hitting a pillow, but ends up being a one-shot kill much of the time. Plus, unlike other weapons in the game, you have no limit on these, as long as the gun has primary ammo.

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As far as gameplay goes, Killzone is reasonably solid. Using different guns results in varied levels of recoil, with the standard ISA weapon suffering quite badly from it but packing quite a punch when on target and Luger’s silenced customized weapon having very little recoil but, as a down side, lots less ammo available, making accuracy paramount. Secondary fire allows players to mix things up a little, with the Helghan machine gun doubling up as a shotgun while the ISA standard has a built-in grenade launcher.

If you’re expecting Friendly AI, Killzone will disappoint you. A friend of mine and I always pull a line from Shaun Of The Dead when attempting certain sections of Killzone: “Feel free to step in at ANY time!”. Your AI buddies just pop the odd cap into the air for giggles and are happy to watch exactly what you do, complimenting you on every kill you make. It can be frustrating, especially when paired up with the fact that enemy AI is pretty damn good. They hide from you just when you get them in your sights (even through a sniper scope) and are deadly accurate with their shooting, whether it be a sniper or grenade launcher. It’s also notable that Helghast will usually utilize their secondary fire when up close, so beware of the shotgun as you may often find yourself down in just two shots. A few minor points like these detract them otherwise grand gameplay.

Weapons vary, but are grounded in some form of reality. For example, there are no plasma guns on show. You will often have to choose wisely about which guns to carry as you will only be allowed a maximum of three. This is particularly evident in one section, whereby you have a gun that pinpoints locations for air strikes (much like the binoculars in Warhawk) and the Helghast are rolling around in tanks. You must keep hold of this weapon but, with many others around on offer, do you accompany it with a shotgun, grenade launcher or Helghast assault rifle? It’s up to you, but battles are won and lost on such decisions.

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Graphically the game looks quite dated, although cut scenes are pretty well made and the voice acting is spot-on – Brian Cox’s speech at the start (he plays Scolar Visari, and is back for Killzone 2, yay!) is particularly immense – except some in-game quotes sound like they have been phoned-in. A lot of the in-game acting is very un-inspired, and you won’t find anything new outside of your normal grunts. The general look of the planet Vekta is grey and dismal, which suits the theme of the game, although a splash of colour is added when you hit the jungle. It also gets a little sci-fi and spaceship-ish looking towards the end, which is a nice touch. The music is well done, making for one explosive score. Sound effects are also enthralling; every “bang” and “boom” sounds as if it were done in a hollywood studio.

My main gripes about this game are the infuriatingly sporadic checkpoints, which can have you trodding along for the best part of half an hour, and the length. While there were few plot twists to keep things intersting enough,  I must have been playing it for over 15 hours and, with levels getting slightly repetitive, it could have done with having five hours shaved off. The addition of a great multiplayer, on and offline/with or without bots (which are awesome), makes this even more plausible. But I would say, all in all, if you have the time before Killzone 2 hits, give it a go. Get acquainted with the Helghast before you are thrown in at the deep end at the end of February.

8.0/10

  1. I remember playing a demo for this a long time ago. Killzone 2 looks like a vast improvement. Nice review!

  2. About to say “What the heck is this….”, but then I re-read it saying Killzone, not Killzone 2

    Nice review.

  3. avatar teets

    I played the heck out of the offline multiplayer with split screen vs. bots. Online was fun back in the day, too. It would nice if Killzone 2 had offline splitscreen multiplayer, but I highly doubt it does.

    I did miss the secondary fire on the main ISA rifle (grenade launcher) and the main Helghast rifle (shotgun) on the Killzone 2 demo. No secondary fire at all. What’s up with that?

    • avatar Zulbakri

      Ive seen some comments about olppee with the move vs olppee with regular dualshock controllers.They say dualshock olppee have the advantage.I say no,the move players have the advantage.Once you get used to the move it will stay with you and you will most likely have the advantage on them because the way you aim with the motion controller will be easier.Idk what i just typed.

  4. avatar Takeshi

    Good solid review. I loved the first one and will love the second one even more. Make me proud Guerrilla!

    • avatar Iesha

      They should make Mw3 mpioatcble with the Playstation move! For the people that liked playing CoD on the Wii, Now they can play it on the Ps3 using playstation move.The graphics would be way better N it would feel realistic..especially with the new Gun attachment ps3 came out with, the Sharpshooter But all this would be optional..only a few games use move like Killzone 3,Mag, N socom so CoD would be a great Idea! thumbs up if you agree

  5. avatar Daniel Clancy

    I’m sure they will, pal!

  6. avatar Dan

    I’m shocked you gave presentation a 7 considering this is arguably the most technically beautiful game out there.

    However from what I’ve seen around the press this game won’t dissapoint.

  7. avatar CRAZYSPYDER

    YOUR A DOUCHEBAG!! KILLZONE CAME OUT LIKE 2004,AND REVIEWING IT NOW IS LIKE SOME JACK OFF REVIEWING HALO.IF YOU CAN’T REVIEW SOMETHING CURRENT THEN DONT REVIEW ANYTHING.STICK TO VIVA PINATA ON CRAPBOX 360.

  8. avatar @Crazyspyder

    All-caps is the new cool? A Killzone 1 review makes perfectly sense. btw. It’s you’re from ‘You are’ not your. Douchebag.

  9. avatar dooidooi

    To CRAZYSPYDER,
    YOU’RE an idiot. did u read the aricle? He said he was going back to it since he never finished it and wanted to get caught up.

  10. Also Viva Pinata is a good game, and your fanboyism is showing (just a little).

  11. Haha, lets all rip on crazyGAYder. Cuz he’s obviously an idiot :D

  12. @Dan,

    this is a Killzone 1 review… Killzone 2 would have gotten a 10 in my book.

    @Crazyspyder,

    I’ll post that Halo review next week.

  13. avatar Kevin

    Great review ninja, would love for you to do a Halo one in time for Halo wars! If you need a copy just let me know!

  14. Great review Daniel.

    I remeber getting stuck on a part as well and switching to another game and getting back to it and beating it.

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