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Killzone 3: 3D, Or Not 3D?

Duck and cover!

Our full review of Guerrilla’s Killzone 3 went live earlier today, but one of the things I also wanted to cover was the game’s 3D support, something that the developers were keen to emphasise as being a considerable bullet point on their checklist of features. Naturally, the ability to play through the game in stereoscopic 3D won’t be of substantial benefit to most of our readers, but alongside Move functionality and offline co-op at least Guerrilla are covering all the bases.

Unfortunately, I walked away from my time with this particular game in 3D feeling a little deflated and somewhat disorientated.  It’s true that my only other experience with the technology was with SOCOM: Special Forces (which we’ll be coming back to soon) and Motorstorm Apocalypse, but although the sensation was initially quite impressive the effect didn’t do much to convince me that this is the future, and besides, it’s actually quite understated in Killzone 3.

Much like Cameron did with Avatar, I got the impression that Guerrilla were trying to create depth rather than throwing things out of the screen (except in a few cut-scenes, where guns were swung towards the camera seemingly for cheap effect rather than quality direction) and whilst this most definitely is the right way to go, for me at least the sensation works best when there’s less going on with a particular scene, not something that happens a great deal in Killzone 3.

For example, when you’re hidden behind cover and are hunting out Helghast in the middle distance, the 3D worked really well, and although it won’t make you any better at the game it did look quite nice.  But switch to a fast moving section when you need to quickly turn corners or dodge bullet fire and it gave me an instant headache.  I’m confident this isn’t a particular nuance with Killzone 3, but having to ensure my head was perfectly horizontal (for the polarisation) and directly facing the camera for the best response won’t translate that well to a home setup for most.

Don’t get me wrong: having 3D is a bonus for Killzone 3 – if you’re all set up with the new tech then I’m sure you’ll already be comfortable with the games that support 3D and won’t face the same issues I did.  In terms of the visual difference, although I was told by one of the members of the team that the horizontal resolution was halved to get the game looking as good in 3D as it does in 2D, I couldn’t really tell the difference: it still looks fantastic even when it’s shifting around two copies of everything.

Perhaps 3D just isn’t for me, though.  At any rate, I remain unconvinced at the moment but hopeful that there’ll be a standardised solution before the next generation of consoles – the effect is done nicely enough in Killzone 3 and certainly gives the viewer an immediate sense that this is truly at the peak of what the PS3 is all about just now, but it won’t be making me go out to replace my current rather more two dimensional TV.  Not yet, anyway.

  1. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Its nice to have an extra sense of depth, and although I want to get involved in the tech (I am a believer in it) I don’t think the sacrifices in visual fidelity or framerate is worth it. Fingers crossed for the PS4 and better processing chips in future generations of TVs that eliminate blurryness, crosstalk & flickering.

    Comment posted on 03/02/2011 at 22:58.
    • Matt W [Echo]
      Since: Jul 2009

      “I don’t think the sacrifices in visual fidelity or framerate is worth it.”

      My thought exactly. It’s nice every once in a while just to see something a little different. But I’ll take a brighter, clearer and better performing game over the extra dimension any day.

      Comment posted on 03/02/2011 at 23:01.
      • beeje13
        Since: Jan 2010

        And mine, 3D gaming still seems to be in beta, I think cc may be right in that it will be better on PS4.

        Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 18:16.
    • JesseDeya
      Since: Jan 2010

      I’m hanging out for PS4 3D too, but don’t write off this gen just yet. The KZ3 beta in 3D is might impressive and to be honest you really don’t notice the drop in visuals – in fact it’s really hard to notice them as you play through normally. Text is a little harder to read, but that’s about all I noticed today.

      It ‘feels’ like the 3D frame rate is actually higher. I’m almost certainly wrong, but it feels just as smooth if not smoother than 2D.

      Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 09:26.
  2. teflon
    Community Team
    Since: May 2009

    Based on the Eurogamer Expo demo thing, I thought the 3D was quite good. As you say, it was there to be understated and add depth, rather than wow you 90% of the time.

    It wasn’t a Motorstorm: Apocalypse, that’s for sure. In MS:A, there’s /always/ that hyper fast motion, and then there’s those giant world changing events that are there to be stunning and mess with your face.

    Everything, though, is being hampered by the TV technology. Once we move on to glassless tech that works no matter what angle you’re looking at it from, then 3D will really be worth it.

    Comment posted on 03/02/2011 at 23:03.
  3. rept0n
    Since: May 2010

    Was happy to see that today’s Open Beta has 3D as well as the advertised Move support. Played about 20 minutes with Bots in the frozen map (which I’d played in the Plus Beta).
    I have a Samsung 50″ Plasma, and can say that he effect was good, and no headaches so far (I played through the whole of Black Ops in 3D). Haven’t noticed a framerate drop between the two Betas… But obviously there is more going on in the single player game.
    I’m off to Playstation Access tomorrow, and can’t wait to try Motorstorm. Although 3D gaming and technology is in its infancy, it’s more than just a gimmick.

    Comment posted on 03/02/2011 at 23:37.
    • rht992
      Since: Apr 2009

      I sir am truely jealous of that tv you have!

      Comment posted on 03/02/2011 at 23:55.
    • JesseDeya
      Since: Jan 2010

      Likewise, I find the 3D in the new KZ3 beta very playable – no eyestrain even though the depth is quite pronounced. Also of note, no noticeable crosstalk.

      Using Samsung 63″ 7000 series plasma – firmware 2002.

      I’ve tried Motorstorm 3D Rift and was impressed, will be keen to hear what Apocalypse is like!

      Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 09:29.
    • DiscoChimp
      Since: Jun 2009

      Loving the 3D in the Beta in comparison to COD and particularly the awful GT5 implemetnation. I find I have to turn down the depth perception to 15/25% though to stop ghosting, but perhaps I should sit further away (pesky walls!!)

      Comment posted on 07/02/2011 at 22:04.
  4. Gaztee
    Since: Mar 2009

    I have enjoyed the 3d experience so far. For me the fight is way better in 3D, than 2D. At the Beta I was more impressed with KZ3 than MS:A because as you stated the game is not throwing things at you, which MS:A did. Definitely the way forward & all the better for it!

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 00:32.
    • Jas-n
      Since: Aug 2008

      I tend to find throwing things at you in films is too gimmicky, but in games, you usually get things thrown at you so it’s more expected.

      Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 00:43.
  5. icuyesido
    Since: Jan 2010

    Played KZ3 in 3D (at the Beta rooms) and I liked it, thought it was brilliant tech but I found that it distracted me from the gameplay. 3D just (in my mind) isn’t worth the money at the moment, it’s only getting cheaper but it’s got a long way to go before I commit to one.

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 01:58.
  6. Juelz345
    Since: Oct 2008

    I’m personally enjoying the 3D. And the beta in general (which is surprising for me since I didn’t like KZ2’s multiplayer. Both my Move Nav’s were dead so I havent tried out the Move support yet, but if it’s like MAG then I won’t be using it.

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 02:23.
  7. seedaripper1973
    Since: Forever

    Nofi, your’e such a fucking troll!!
    I was gonna post in the forums, as to which 3d tv to get? money is no object…so if any readers can give me a glimpse, it would be surely appreciated…ta (p.s, loved the review nofmeister) *one has to regain sychophantic levels quickly*
    ;-) x

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 05:39.
    • Juelz345
      Since: Oct 2008

      I have the Sony Bravia 46 inch LED and i can tell you that it’s certainly a wonderful choice. The picture quality is amazing. A friend of mine has a 46 inch Toshiba and it’s been giving him trouble so I’d stay away from those.

      Apart from the Bravia i’d also recommend looking the Samsung LED’s. I looked at a few of them when i was trying to make my decision and they were incredibly impressive. I went with the Bravia because i got an excellent deal on it.

      I paid US$1700.00 incl TAX for:

      TV US$2000.00
      Sony 3D Starter Kit US$400.00
      Playstaion Slim US$300.00 (Christmas gift for my kids)
      GT5 US$60
      Grown Ups Blu-Ray US$30.00

      So US$1700 for US$2,790.00 + tax worth of stuff. I love Best Buy.

      Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 14:05.
  8. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Going 3DHDTV shopping this weekend – time permitting, as I am on call. Fingers crossed I will have the time, I always said once KZ3 dropped I would invest in a belter 3DHDTV.

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 09:02.
  9. philbert8
    The Frankie Boyle Of TSA
    Since: Sep 2010

    I’m still playing PS3 on a standard TV half the time, where do you guys get your money from? Maybe my days as a toilet trader are not over yet.

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 10:40.
  10. DJ Judas
    Since: Aug 2008

    I’m not really sold on current 3D tech and don’t think I ever will be in it’s current form.

    Regardless of not wanting to wear the glasses to view 3D, I just don’t think it deserves the 3D namesake.

    I’ll be waiting for the next stage of 3D integration in whatever form that arrives in before I take the plunge, until then when I next upgrade it will be a TV without 3D, unless of course they shoehorn the feature into every TV produced.

    Comment posted on 04/02/2011 at 10:59.

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