Killzone 2: First Things First

You’ve waited since 2005 for Killzone 2, almost 4 years, and now it’s finally (or at least, nearly) here.  So when you get your shiny shrinkwrapped copy home, don’t just fling it in the PS3, hammer the Start button and dive into the online, relax, soak up the atmosphere and make the most of this monumental occasion, there won’t be another like it for years…

Killzone 2 is created by wizards: there’s almost no load times, no initial install and no waiting for Trophies to cache, you’re straight onto the attract screen in seconds.  It might seem obvious, but don’t just press Start when you get there: leave the PS3 alone, grab a cup of tea and watch the various looping movies to get yourself in the mood.  Every single one of them will be leaps and bounds beyond anything you’ve seen on YouTube.

When you’re ready, head straight for the controls option.  Unless you want a learning curve steeper than Everest, you’ll want to make some adjustments to the default control settings which will immediately make you feel more at home.  No, this isn’t us trying to emulate Call of Duty’s mapping, but the out-of-the-box options are needlessly tricky to use.  Our tip:  invert Y, ramp the sensitivities up (aiming is a little slower in KZ2) and ensure zoom is set to hold.

Then pick “Alternate 2” – fire and grenade are still on the R1 and R2 buttons, but zoom and crouch, which you’ll use a lot more than Guerilla seem to think, are much better suited to L1 and L2.  Almost everything else is the same, with close quarter combat sensibly re-routed to a push of the analog stick.

Next, go to the visual settings.  Flip the crosshair off and switch off the subs, unless you’re hard of hearing – they get in the way and ruin the atmosphere, plus half the script is swearing anyway.  Finally, ensure your gamma settings are correct and the game isn’t too bright or too dark, you’ll thank us later when you’re totally immersed in the wonderful lighting effects.  Until you shoot a lamp, mind, but we’ll save critique for the review.

Finally, jump into a quick 16 player local lobby, with 15 bots.  Learn the controls, master the heavy physics and the cover mechanics, and establish in your head the various game modes within multiplayer.  Jumping into a full online firefight would be disastrous, and we’ll be running Killzone 2 Boot Camps for the first couple of weeks anyway – sign up in our forum.

And then, and only then, should you have a go at the main campaign.  Trust us, it’s better this way.