Killzone 2 – Generic Fun

Killzone 2 is EXACTLY what you think it is. A military themed futuristic shooter with amazing graphics, a flashy campaign mode and a few classy dick jokes. I know, it’s 2012. At Pietriots we game according to our budgets and we take our time, because games are fun. Despite being an old predictable shooter, I felt the need to write about it because I was having a good time. The gameplay is quite impressive and the battlefields really feel alive, it was all going gre-

“COLLECT INTEL DOCUMENTS TO UNLOCK CONTENT AT KILLZONE.COM”

… what the fuck? We’re in a warzone and you want me to fire up my personal computer and think about the internet? I THOUGHT I WAS FIGHTING ENEMY DUDES, I THOUGHT THIS WAS IMPORTANT. I don’t care how cool the official Killzone website is, put it in the manual. I’ve got a game to play! As I was saying, the battlefield is very active and it somehow feels like there’s a million bullets flying out of 8-10 soldiers. The haphazard clutter of explosive sound and visual laser discos in the air combine to make a truly-

“FIND & DESTROY ALL THE HELGHAST SYMBOLS TO UNLOCK A TROPHY”

WHOA THERE get out of my way! I can’t see where this grenade is going! SHIT, that was close! … A TROPHY YOU SAY? OKAY THEN, i’ll take my eyes off this mission and leave my comrads to die while I hunt down some symbols. So I wander off the scripted path, and immediately all my buddies start bitching incessantly; “let’s go!“, “come ooooon buddy, we ain’t got all day here!“. Fuck off guys i’m busy, have you seen how cool the Killzone website is? Hold on, i’m checking my Twitter feed.

I would feel bad about making my team wait if they weren’t so hopeless, often my buddies would run out onto the battlefield and just spin around in circles until they die. They rarely shoot, and when they do they don’t hit anything. Their stupidity extends beyond this lack of spacial awareness, to the point where they actively sabotage you. Listening to your team is a great way to die, someone will say “run up the stairs!” where ten enemy soldiers await you in the perfect position.

In fairness, this stuff is only stupidly distracting because of how detailed and impressive the world is in this game; surprisingly the bullshit trailer Sony first showed at E3 wasn’t bullshit. The developers created an intensely buzzing world, and I excitedly explored every inch I could. The special effects really stand out as well with some insane explosions and particles flying everywhere, and enemies have impressive reactions to things; including their own deaths. Unfortunately the great graphics are masked by a black-grey filter that robs the colour from the entire game. It’s seriously bland; it makes Fallout 3 look like fucking Robot Unicorn in comparison. As a result it takes away a lot of the impact of the detailed graphics until you look closer. I suppose it’s feasible that our hero is colorblind, it affects 1 in 10.

On the whole, that’s pretty much the extent of annoying things covered. It was quite a smooth experience all through the rest of the campaign with no other annoying bits, quite an accomplishment for a shooter of this style (TROPHY UNLOCKED). The gameplay is a lot of fun despite a few shortcomings with the controls. By shortcomings I mean this;

Dual-analog shooters feel like complete shit to me after playing so much Conduit 2. It’s still functional and you can aim where you want, but it’s less responsive and less fun. Furthermore, Killzone 2 feels more stiff than other dual-analog shooters i’ve played and the cursor bounces around a bit on its own guidance. It looks like Killzone 3 may have solved this problem with Move implementation, but i’ll reserve judgement on that until I play it.

Moving on, the game is still fun because it seems like it wasn’t designed for precision aiming. Many scenarios involve coming in at enemies from the right angle and knocking them out in close combat, or taking down giant enemy drones and tanks. I very rarely went for headshots, it felt pointless when 5 bullets could still bounce off their helmets. The most satisfying gun is the shotgun, much to my glee. One or two hits with the shotgun will do as much damage as 30 with an assault rifle; it’s damn satisfying to mow enemies down with steady, powerful shots and clever movement. Strategy is important and you can’t just bunny hop your way through a battlefield; I learned this while trying to revive one of my hopeless teammates who decided to run into the enemies camp on a whim in the middle of a shitstorm between both armies.

Another thing that feels great is the running, holding down sprint almost triples your speed and it actually feels fast. It’s refreshing to play a modern shooter where the character doesn’t jab a steel rod halfway up his arse before a run.

The campaign is pretty short, it took me 7 hours and I wasn’t playing on easy. The story is interesting if you like jokes about smelly assholes followed by loud “YEEEHAWWW” laughter and high-fives. Which I do. Apart from that it’s very basic, one army fighting another for reasons none of the soldiers understand. That’s about what I expect for a shooter, the rest of the action lies in online multiplayer. I had a few goes and I thought I was winning until I realised the red number was the number of deaths. Killzone 2 is a fairly typical, blunt, average game; but it doesn’t apologise for it. It’s generic fun and I enjoyed it enough that i’m going to hunt down Killzone 3 for some more action.

7 thoughts on “Killzone 2 – Generic Fun”

  1. nice review!
    I’m looking forward to hear your impressions of Killzone 3. Hopefully you’ll be playing it with Move?
    I’ve heard the team did a very good job implementing pointer and motion controls, especially if you play with Sony’s rifle-shell-thingy.
    Also from videos on youtube, the third game at least looks more colorful then the second, as well as, you know, jetpacks!

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      1. It’s not the shooting, it’s the risky investment and performance of the Move+NonMove+PlasticArsenal itself. We’ve yet to see anyone demonstrate that the pointer function measures up to Wii’s default packed-in 2006 tech. There’s plenty of WiiWii ShootShoot videos already on the site, that’s for sure.

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      2. I understand your frustration, believe me when I say I would’ve loved to have more of these types of games on Wii, but sadly that ship has sailed long ago. What’s left is to sit back and enjoy the games we do have, regardless of platform or economic viability for the publisher.

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      3. I’m not so optimistic – once they show me what’s “offered” at full price, I tend to turn my back on it for good. I continue to fight on, long after the 16-bit era!

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