previewed on PS3
The long wait
Killzone for the Playstation 2 was a resounding success, creating instant fame for Dutch development studio Guerrilla Games. Sony, keen to make use of Guerrilla’s talented developers, secured the exclusivity of future titles by gobbling up the studio for its own. Not long after, Killzone 2 was set to become one of the launch titles that would accompany the release of Sony’s Playstation 3 in November of 2006. Oh how time flies. In Sony’s defence, the game has got a lot to live up to. Expectations for the game have risen to epic proportions and releasing a game too early would have had a disastrous effect on Sony’s credibility.
Fortunately development on Killzone 2 is drawing to a close and it is now set to release in February of next year. When it arrives, players continue the events from the previous game. It is now two years after the Helghast invasion on the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) colony in Vekta. Not willing to sit and wait for the next attack, ISA forces have decided to take the fight to the Helghast determined to capture the Helghast leader, Emperor Visari in the hope that this will bring an end to the war.
Taking up arms as Sev, a highly experienced veteran and member of the Special Forces unit known as ‘The Legion’, you will lead your group of highly trained soldiers on a mission to eliminate the enemy threat. The invasion of Helghan is just the beginning for Sev and his men. Deployed behind enemy lines, planning to assist the main invasion force, they are tasked with securing Pyrrhus. They quickly discover how formidable the Helghast have become over the last two years. Ill adapted to the harsh climate of the planet, Sev’s team not only has to combat an enemy army in its natural environment but the planet itself as well.
Mangled, thrashed and destroyed
Guerrilla Games have gone all-out to create an environment that can be mangled, thrashed and utterly destroyed. Buildings, bridges and just about every other object can be blown up to your hearts content, all displayed with tremendous realism utilizing the Playstation’s superior power. Not willing to stop with inanimate objects, Guerrilla’s ‘hit response’ system is pushing the limits of motion capture and physics technologies, allowing you to blast your enemies to smithereens with extraordinary detail. Not only the type of weapon but also distance and the point of impact as well as the angle at which you fired, all determine how a stricken body falls and how the blood splatters.
Though Killzone 2 is a sci-fi shooter, you shouldn’t expect to see over-the-top weapons here. Guerrilla has opted to use classics such as the Assault Rifle, Pistol and Rocket Launcher. More futuristic weapons are -expected- but not even the recent version that we played hinted at what they are. Killzone: Liberation on the PSP introduced a cover system to the series called ‘duck and cover’. Killzone 2 uses a slightly altered version of this, named ‘peek and lean’ and it does just that. The game is anything but easy and we expect players will be forced to learn to use this system effectively.
Each level blends from one to the next, instantly picking up where the last left off and each level takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Just how many levels the game will boast is a closely guarded secret, but we expect there to be around 15 in total. Guerrilla is confident that players will continue to play after the first time that they finished the game, promising that each play through will be very different from the previous. Their confidence stems from Killzone 2’s complex physics and gameplay mechanics that influence the game in weird and unpredictable ways. Guerrilla calls these memorable yet unpredictable events ‘happy accidents’.
Just 2 more months!
There is a lot to be excited about in Killzone 2. The deaths of friends and foes are taken to new levels of realism and yet the game loosens its strive to deliver a realistic experience in enough other areas to be fun. Outrageously unrealistic scenes are intermixed with fairly mundane ones, creating an action packed movie-like experience that is second to none.