Hands On: Killzone 3 Beta

I will be the first to admit that I am generally a bit naff at shooters, in particular the Call of Duty series which to me just does not ‘feel’ right as you skip and float across the landscape like you have helium heels. Killzone 2 was too skewed the other way and felt too heavy, as if you were wearing iron amour, but the first thing I noticed about Killzone 3 is that the character’s weight has been tweaked further, making your fighter slightly lighter and nimble but still weighty enough to feel like a real person.

So, the beta: it looks fantastic, the sound has been jammed up to 11 and everything you know and love from Killzone 2 is there but with two year’s worth of extra polish. Join me as we become cheeky schoolboys and lift the skirt of this Killzone 3 multiplayer taster and have a peak at her panties. Or something.



The New Classes:
There have been some minor tweaks to the old Killzone 2 favourites; The Engineer no longer has the shotgun, that now belongs to the Infiltrator (A.K.A. Saboteur) and the Medic now has his own medic-drone.

Each class now has three levels per perk rather than Killzone 2’s single perk. For example the Engineer can now make turrets, then construct turrets with rockets with the final upgrade granting an ability to hack enemy turrets and turn them against their owners. Other tweaks include a fully perked Marksman now having an infinite cloak and suprisingly, the Tactician has lost the ability to drop spawn points.

Kill streaks, XP and Badges:
The XP is system is the biggest change from Killzone 2. You no longer score one point for a kill you score one hundred points, score fifty for a turret kill, twenty-five for an assisted kill, repairs and healing grant you fifty. On top of this Killzone now has kill streaks but getting five kills in a row does not grant you the ability to launch a stupidly powerful nuke at the enemy, it simply increase the score you get for a kill.

Badges are no longer awarded at the end of a match but now pop up during the game with the added benefit of becoming mini perks. One is “Silent Steps” which gives your Helghan warrior a pair of invisible pink fluffy bunny slippers so he can creep up behind an enemy without being heard.

At the end of the match the game summary will list your achievements and you will gain extra XP for having the most kills, the most headshots etc. Your total XP is then added up and as you score moves up so does your rank.

In Killzone 2 you had to reach a certain rank to unlock a character – for example you had to rack up a good few hours playtime before you could unlock the Saboteur. In the Beta all classes are unlocked but their default perks are pretty weak. As you progress through the ranks you gain unlock points and you can spend these on any of the classes and unlock the abilities in the order you chose. You can also unlock new weapons and secondary weapons.

The New Maps:
One thing that has always annoyed me about most multi player games – Killzone 2 included – is that the maps are pretty much symmetrical. This is obviously done so no team has the upper hand. The Killzone 3 maps are not, they are massive, multi layered sprawling terrains with hundreds or places you to creep up behind the enemy and stab them in the head. The Beta multi player map is set on a dam and you can run about on the decking, on the frozen seas or inside the building itself.

Like everything else this has had a few tweaks. The guns are now louder and punchy and the sound is occluded perfectly – in other words if you are outside a building and someone is inside then you hear muffled shots. There replacement Helghast commander sounds rather generic compared to Visari’s menacing voice but that may be a place holder actor.

When standing next to the sea the waves crash and the wind howls across the landscape setting the scene perfectly. Making a welcome return is the familiar “Tweeki!” noise when you score a kill and the drones and turrets sound the same as ever.

Killzone 3 will be joining Gran Turismo 5 and Uncharted 2 in the fight for ‘best looking PS3 game ever’. The dam level features constantly swirling snow and it looks like snow – not white dots or squares. Massive waves crash upon the sea shore and you leave footprints across the drifts. All the classes have been redesigned and the new melee kill animations are wonderful – nothing like creeping up behind someone and stabbing them in the eye!

The Corinth Highway map that can be played as a single player vs. Bots game is drenched in oranges and yellows and in the distance a massive mechanical quadruped can be seem stomping a city to dust. Jet craft streak overhead bringing the map to life. Remember when playing Uncharted 2 you sometimes just stopped and gazed at the gorgeous view? You will do that in Killzone 3.

One thing Killzone 3 does is show up just how old and creaky the Unreal engine has become. I booted up ‘Transformers: War For Cybertron’ after playing Killzone 3 and it looks terrible in comparison.

All the improvements are actual improvements and not change for change sake. It looks stunning, sounds brilliant and as quite of lot of you are about to find out, plays like a dream.

Do remember this is a Beta and there are one or two bugs all of which have been reported back to Guerrilla who are busy fixing them. These are minor glitches and will be fixed before release, Killzone 3 will not contain moonwalking dogs or twisty-headed devil men.

Personally I cannot wait until February when the full game comes out, Killzone 3 is an absolute day one purchase for me and as I said at the top, I really can’t stand shooters.

See you on Helghan!



  1. Great preview! And for the love of all things multiplayer I hope Guerilla Games now include ‘helium heels’ & ‘invisible pink fluffy slippers’ as perks!

    • Guerilla (*waves hello*) have been brilliant on the private beta forums when it coomes to listening to suggestions so you never know :)

    • PS+ exclusive me thinks :-)

  2. I do hope I get the email today…. I must have been the first person to download and install the KZ3 theme all done by 20:01:02 ;)

    • no, you weren’t… i was… i had the theme applied at 20.00.14 ! really :-) !!

      • wow, you guys are like, so cool!

      • lol ^^ awesome comment

      • Mine was applied at 20:01 and i stll dont have the bloody email

    • Phaw, 20:00:50 tops!

      • really, i mean it… i had it done in 14 seconds and i haven’t got a code yet…

    • 20:00:08 beats that! I can’t wait, but going to have to tonight. Why did I decide to loose some weight and get into shape – from a round pear shape, to a smaller apple shape one :) and decide to sign up for 5-a-side football. Madness. Well it looks like a late one for me tonight afterwards playing this!

  3. How big is the beta in gigabytes?

    • From what I remember it’s about 1.3 gig.

  4. Lovely article, TC. One of your finest. Simply because you’ve been honest enough to say that you don’t sit particularly well with shooters (and how well you do) and here we have an honest look at the beta. Everything really does sound like they’ve given it tremendous care and attention whilst simultaneously listening to feedback from the community. Top effort all ’round.

  5. it sounds excellent, I wish I was in the beta.

  6. my jaw dropped open at the 3rd picture

  7. Daaammmnnnnn. That is shaping up to be a cracker of a game.

  8. Really excited about trying this Beta out – more so than any other one this year.

    Btw Tuff did you mean “three perks per level” in the ‘The New Classes’ section?

    • No, each perk – for example the engineer’s turrets has three levels. First level which costs 1 unlock point is create turrets. Two additional unlock points and you can create rocket firing turrets. Three more points and you can hack the enemy turrets.

      The Marksman – 1st Unlock is the cloak for a limited time. 2nd unlock is stay cloaked permanantly until you fire, 3rd is stayed cloaked even if you stab someone in the eye.

      Hence, each perk has three levels.

    • i think he means what he says, in that there is one perk, that can be upgraded to make it slightly better, for the COD players that would be like getting the ‘pro’ version of a perk

      • Might want to refrain from calling them perks (TC included), as they are upgradeable class abilities. Since they are exclusive to each class (correct me if I’m wrong). Perks sound wrong, though I don’t like the kill-streak thing. But there you go it sounds AWESOME.

        3 .. 2 .. 1 .. Forgetting about this game again, no need to get over-hyped yet. There’s like 4 months till this releases!

      • As i said, im crap at shooters. Perks. Classes. Whatever. They help you kill bad guys :)

  9. It really is great, Ive just barely had time to play it over the last week :o( but Im hoping to remedy that this week.

  10. Am not a fan of progressive classes

    It means the best most experienced people at the game have loads of weapons and abilities which make pwning n00bs easier meaning the game quickly gets inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t endlessly sink half their lives into it.

    Other than that, sounds amazing

    • I see your point, but on KZ2 even if you were new to the game as long as you were good then you could still do really well.

      Just out of interest, what would you suggest with the class system?

      • Duno, they need a reward mechanism, in the past I’ve always been in favour of it being cosmetic rewards only

      • Hmmm, i wouldn’t mind some cosmetic stuff mixed in with perks. Maybe that would balance it a bit more.

        As long as the perks aren’t overpowered, then i don’t mind either way :)

    • Also annoying is people who plays games a lot thereby getting a lot of practice at them. More skill at the game means owning noobs is easier too. They should cap it to 5 hours a week of playtime max.

      • Um… why? No one would play the game.

      • In actual fact, Killzone 2 had official lobbies which had level caps to prevent it being too unfair. Maybe they’ll do the same this time

      • Surely your messing with us.
        You fork out your hard earned cash and then “they” (I presume you mean devs & pubs) limit you to 5hrs a week.
        As Chelsea are top of the premiership does that mean they are only allowed to train once a week in case they beat another team not as good as them

      • Funny! – He’s just messing with you ;)

      • 5 hours a week?
        Are you high?

Comments are now closed for this post.