Killzone: Shadow Fall’s Multiplayer Detailed – Ditching XP System

Levelling up with XP from kills and objectives is quite a core part of modern multiplayer shooters, even the recently released Killzone: Mercenary featured this system, across both single player and multiplayer and it worked just brilliantly.

It seems odd that Guerrilla Games are trying to reinvent the progression system then, though shows they’re not scared to take a step in a new direction for multiplayer first person shooters. So, how does it work?

Well, it’s based on challenges, rather than points for kills. You’ll still get a point every time you complete one of these challenges – of which there are more than 1500 at launch – as well as weapon attachments, ability enhancers and aesthetic upgrades for your character. Challenges range from destroying a turret to more specific things such as killing an enemy in a certain way with a chosen weapon, such as with a Laser Tripmine while they’re carrying a Beacon.

Combat Honours are new too, and seem like a sort of perks system, offering temporary bonuses that can be activated by earning enough points during a round. These are stackable, and only work for one play session, though there are no details on what these could include.

Weapons can now have up to two attachments too, such as grenade launchers and ammo types, though there’ll be no recoil removal or auto aim so the game stays purely “skill-based”. Along with these attachments, you can have nano-shields which block enemy gunfire, which can be disabled with EMP grenades and appear to be specific to a class, though they’ll detail those closer to release.

There will also be… victory dances for the top three players. Well, not quite dances, but executions, which seem to take the form of a quick-time event, allowing the winner to deal a crushing blow to the top of the losing team, or for the loser to get some revenge with a counter move.

A plethora of leaderboard options will feature, including ones specific to custom Warzones, which is very neat and bots will also make a return, so you’ll never be low on players. Finally, there will be no exoskeletons and jetpacks to make the game much more balanced and fair.

It certainly sounds like a departure from the tried and tested Killzone formula, do you think it’ll succeed?

Source: Killzone Blog



  1. I like the idea of this, but I’m not sure it will work in the full game. With all the silly challenges, it could mean a lot of people trying to complete these instead of playing the objective properly.

    I guess we will only see once the game is out.

    • I absolutely agree, and will have to wait and see how it goes.

      I sometimes thing MP shooters would benefit from having fewer stats and only rewarding winning. Then people wouldn’t worry about their personal K:D stats and help their team with objectives. I do like the idea of the victory executions – that should encourage people to want to win.

    • This progression mechanic is something Guerrilla experimented with the MP for Killzone 2. The classes unlocked by XP but the ability to mix and match secondary abilities and other unlocks were done by completing challenges. So the medic’s secondary ability (health packs) could be used in other classes by performing at least 8 revives in at least 8 games. Likewise the 10x zoom for the sniper rifle was unlocked by getting at least 8 headshots in at least 8 games.

      It had advantages and disadvantages. One advantage was that it forced you to learn the abilities and how they worked. You could not play just one class and unlock everything. Which I thought was a good way to teach the game to players. This I think lead to better play for objective modes because people knew which abilities suited which modes.

      The disadvantage was that some challenges were near impossible. Getting 8 kills with the Engineer’s turret in a game was pretty difficult as they were not that lethal.

      I agree that we will have to wait and see exactly how it pans out but it worked reasonably in Killzone 2.

  2. Payday: The Heist (the original) had it’s own “Challenges” and I sorely miss them from Payday 2. If the new Killzone has anything like that then it sounds like a lot of fun for people who fancy chasing down all of them. :-)

  3. Sounds great. It will be nice to play towards something other than points for kills.

  4. I was in 2 minds whether to get this & now my pessimistic side is telling me not to. I can’t be bothered running around like a pansy trying to blow certain people up with trip wires in under 1 minute whilst standing on one leg & listening to Abba through my nostrils. I just wanna kill people… A gun or baseball bat would be quite suffice.

    • Would you not want to play the game as your heart tells you then look at the achievements/challenges for extra tomfoolery if you’re starting to come to the end of your fun with the game? That’s what I did with ‘Payday: The Heist’.

      • Depends… Is there an achievement/challenge involving wielding a baseball bat? lol

  5. I’m slightly disappointment by the lack of exoskeletons and jetpacks. There was a piece of DLC for Killzone 3 including them on a few more maps which was really fun to play. It didn’t suffer from a lack of balance either.
    Despite that this is the game I most want at launch.

    • Same for me. Has a true next gen feel to me.

  6. To me, a life-long Killzone fan, it honestly does’nt matter what developers do, in terms of ‘shaking things up’, so much of the press is sadly going to slag it off (yes Edge and others i’m looking at you) claiming it’s the same tired old cliches, been done to death etc etc, 7/10 scores and turn a few pages, here’s new COD/MW/Halo doing the same old cliches, done to death ideas etc, 8/10, 9/10 etc scores.

    When KZ2 appeared and it felt different to the ‘twitch’ nature of COD, the press went wahhh!, the COD gamers went wahhh!! it does’nt feel like COD and developers sadly caved in and patched it.

    Killzone on Vita got unfairlt treated by reviewers elsewhere i feel and i’m sure so many knifes are being sharpened to put into back of PS4 (already heard 1 site claiming PS4 BF4 looks dissapointing) and KZ:SF will give them yet another chance to pour scorn.

    I gave up playing MW3 as it felt so stale, so personally welcome any developer trying to break away from established ideas on MP sections, but best of luck weathering the storm of press and public alike.

  7. how in the world are people going to keep track of 1500+ challenges? In the end its still a point based system so I wouldn’t call it anything new or original, just a different path to the same end result of a point based system. If it works or not will depend on the challenges and if a challenge has a point cap. If you complete a challenge for capturing a flag, but you can only earn points for that challenge for say the first 10 times you complete it, the MP is going to turn into a challenge completion fest with everybody going after challenges instead of the objection. As well as what you can use your points for, if each challenge has specific rewards, people will again be challenge hunting. What happens if clans get together and start farming challenges, or certain challenges become glitched, or unachievable. Certainly as time goes on challenges will became near impossible to achieve because the community will become aware of what to avoid- I think about Bad Company 2’s trophy of getting 20 demolition kills, not impossible, but as time whent on people became more aware of when buildings would collapse and exit before getting killed, making the challenge tougher.

    IMO this is a HUGE risk, if it doesn’t work the online could become extremely unbalanced, unrewarding, and almost unplayabe for anybody wanting to play towards an objective. This doesn’t mean it won’t work, it just seems like an “all in” approach to change something that doesn’t need changing.

  8. Not keen on the new system tbh, and Jetpacks and Exos were some of the best things about KZ3.


    • They were fun yes, but were overpowered and ruined the MP for me. Turned it into something Killzone isn’t supposed to be.

      Give me Killzone 2 mp again anyday.

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