Games like Killzone 2 only come around once or twice a generation; not just in terms of surrounding hype and rabid interest, but also in measuring up to the huge expectation levels of gamers hungry for that special something that will re-ignite their love of videogames. Killzone 2, then, is the PS3’s crowning glory, and after 2 years of false starts, almost-greats and goalpost pings, Sony have a winner on their hands – come February 27th the only thing people will be talking about is the PlayStation 3 and how it’s playing host to the best first person shooter ever created.
Visually it’s off the chart – there’s no other way to say it. If you thought Gears of War 2 looked good then be prepared to cast aside Fenix and his friends because it doesn’t hold a candle to what Guerilla Games have managed to wrangle out of the PS3 – not only does it look just as good as the pre-rendered E3 footage from 2005 but often surpasses it in terms of animation and an incredible attention to detail to every single aspect of the on-screen action. The way the game relays a real sense of movement and motion is a sight to behold, but the wonderful physics, lighting and environmental effects make the game seem alive like no other.
We’re not going to spoil the storyline here, but it’s probably no surprise to anyone reading this to learn that the game takes place on the Helghast planet of Helgan, a war-torn, fractured world filled with desperation and decay. The Helghast are no longer dumb cannon fodder, but enemies with a motive and history, using cover and flanking intelligently to get at you; and because you’re now on their soil the war plays out somewhat differently as the plot progresses. Much of the time you’ll be in the company of team mates: smart, computer controlled AI that react, move and think like humans and although it’s the player that must ultimately forward the action your squad is more than capable of helping out when the going gets tough.
Of course, as those in the multiplayer beta will know, Killzone 2 isn’t just about the single player – Guerilla have packed in a fully class-based multi mode online battler too with each class offering a distinct but neatly divided set of attributes and abilities. Naturally we’ll reserve full judgement on the multiplayer until the game is released but rest assured that clan support is fully integrated, you can bet on the outcome of matches and some of the game types are astonishingly clever – one inparticular, once you’ve seen it, makes you wonder how it’s not been in every FPS ever created.
So yes, this is just TSA’s first toe dipping into the wonder of Killzone 2, and believe us when we say we’ve got lots more coming soon, but from what we’ve seen this is going to be that game this generation – the one everybody with a PS3 will buy, and the one everyone without one has to buy a PS3 for. Breathtaking visuals, great single player and a comprehensive multiplayer section make everything before it seem like a trial run. Sure, it’s building upon the best bits of every other shooter made, but combined into one killer experience.