I was a pretty big fan of Killzone 2, so when I found out I could get my hands on Killzone 3 at E3 and try out the new jetpack gameplay, I was stoked. Being a big supporter of Sony’s push for 3D content, I was also excited to try out the 3D version of the game.
Well, I’ve now finished my playthrough of the jetpack demo, and I’m here to tell you that Killzone fans have a whole lot to be excited about. People who think that 3D is the next big fad might be a little disappointed though. For my full impressions of the game, hit the jump.
When the jetpack demo first started, I had no clue that I was back on Helghast again. That’s because the whole level I was playing takes place in a frozen snowy wasteland, which is an environment that didn’t exist at all in Killzone 2. Considering how bland and boring a lot of the levels were in the previous game, it’s nice to see the developers mixing things up.
What’s shocking is just how beautiful the snowy landscape was. If you can imagine a game level taking place in Antarctica, on top of giant icebergs, during a horrible snow storm, you pretty much have the mental image of what the environment looks like. If this level is any indication of how diverse the landscapes might get, Killzone 3 is going to be a gorgeous game.
Graphics ain’t nothing without good gameplay, and I’m here to tell you that the new jetpack gameplay is pretty damn tight. Controlling your new jetpack is simply a matter of holding the L1 button to lift off and again to slow your decent. While you only have a short duration of time you can fly for, you can push the X button for a short burst of forward speed to help you cross small distances quickly. I used this feature extensively in the demo to jump from iceberg to iceberg.
Unfortunately, when you use the jetpack you don’t have the ability to duck behind cover or perform melee attacks. This means you need to completely switch up the strategy used to take down enemies. Instead of sticking out of cover to fire, you instead my take to the air and surprise your enemies from above. This will be a big shift for fans used to the Killzone 2 duck-and-cover gameplay mechanics, but change can be a really good thing, especially in this case.
You won’t only be attacking enemies on the ground though, as the Helghast now have jetpacks themselves. While they are pretty dangerous when they’re in the air attacking you, they are even more dangerous when you’ve killed them. When you do, the fuel tanks on their jetpacks explode and they fall to the ground as live ticking bombs. You’ll need to make sure to get out of the way, because they have a tendancy to come down right on top of you to take you out.
The thing I was most looking forward to when I sat down to try the demo was getting to experience the game in 3D for the first time. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed with my experience. For the most part, the 3D is used very well to give the foreground a feeling of depth, but it was had to see a difference with anything in the background. If I didn’t know better, I would think the entire background is rendered in 2D.
While playing, my eyes did begin to dry out quite a bit, but I didn’t get a headache or any feeling of dizziness sometimes associated with viewing 3D images. I can say that the 3D didn’t really give me a greater feeling of immersion than the standard 2D version. If anything, it was really distracting and caused me to play more poorly.
Suffice to say, I don’t think that Killzone 3 is a game that will benefit much from the inclusion of 3D. That’s not to say that the 2D version isn’t going to rock, because from what I’ve played so far, the game is on track to be another smash hit for the PS3. I just wish the 3D worked better, because that’s a feature that if it worked correctly could really help elevate the game to that next level of awesomeness.