Remember this video from E3 in 2005? Sony showed this off to demonstrate how amazing they wanted Killzone 2 to look and then they went quiet on the game for another two years. In 2007, after the PlayStation 3 had been released, they finally showed a new trailer for the game, again at E3. That second trailer wasn’t as breathtakingly polished but it was certainly still very exciting as a showcase for what the console was capable of.
When the game was finally released in February 2009, it was one of the best looking games on console. Since then we’ve had the visual splendour of Uncharted 2 and 3 to divert our attention from the Killzone series but the third outing for the sci-fi FPS series was still very striking.
But it was that first trailer for Killzone 2, a target video really, that stuck in the minds of many early adopters of the PlayStation 3. Now we’re probably less than a year away from seeing the PlayStation 4 or Orbis, as they’re whispering in the development meetings at Sony HQ, and I think we need another big splash. I think we need a Killzone 4 target video.
Guerrilla Games are, we understand, working on another instalment in the franchise. I’m hoping it’s going to be a launch title for the new Sony hardware we’re expecting but I’d like to see it now. I’d like them to release something big and shocking and ballsy that acts as a statement to gamers everywhere. Sure, LittleBigPlanet and Wonderbook are brilliant and necessary.
The Vita is lovely and hopefully we’ll see it better represented in coming months too. But there’s nothing like Killzone to blow the doors off and make Sony’s hardcore fans take notice.
I also think that now is a perfect time to do it. Warfighter is a largely stale and cynical grab at the modern military shooter fan base, rushed out before next week’s release of the next Call of Duty game crushes sales charts for a month or two. Halo 4 is out in a few days to represent the sci-fi shooters and, apparently, it’s really good.
But Sony’s premier first person shooter offers something different from the glut of modern military shooters and, although it’s certainly sci-fi, it’s not really the same kind of sci-fi as the fantastical, colourful vistas that Halo serves up with such aplomb. Killzone is something different entirely.
Killzone 4 has an opportunity, not just to wow PlayStation fans who are beginning to hunger for the next generation of hardware but to drive a stake into the ground and declare itself the standard for true next gen shooters. If Guerrilla dropped another staggering target video before Christmas it would put the series front and centre for the PlayStation brand and show the hardcore fans that, despite the (perfectly sensible) focus on more casual games this Christmas, they haven’t been forgotten about.
With the boxed trilogy hitting shops and the PSN availability of Killzone HD, there’s a great opportunity to increase enthusiasm around the brand generally too.
I’d certainly like to go into 2013 thinking about the potential of Sony’s new hardware for what it can show me on my screen, rather than the steady stream of boring technical specs leaked through dubious sources. They won’t talk about new hardware until they’re ready and that seems like it’s going to be early summer of next year. But they can show software, stick the PlayStation logo on the end and then refuse to comment on whether it’s PS3 or next gen. We’d all go crazy for that.
I want to be wowed by seeing something I’d never considered possible on a console. I want to see something amazing and fresh and beautiful. I want PlayStation to innovate and surprise me as I sit amid the CoD clones and yearn for some gritty, serious sci-fi. I want to see Killzone 4.