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Killer instinct

tech reviews Updated: Feb 10, 2009 18:20 IST
Avinash Bali
Avinash Bali
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

When Killzone 2 was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2005 it blew the socks off everyone and made us realise that the PS3 was capable of being a super console. Sceptics of course played the wait and watch game saying that a video wasn’t any guarantee the game would be as good.

After nearly three years of drama, a copy of Killzone 2 finally made its way to our hands. Is this the system seller we were promised all along? Does this game justify purchasing a PlayStation3? Yes. YES.

Gameplay
Killzone 2 takes place after the events of Killzone Liberation (the PSP game). Fed up with the Helghast attacks on Vekta (their home planet), the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) forces have now descended on the home planet, Helghan, to capture Emperor Visari. You’ll step into the boots of Sgt Tomas Sevchenko as he and his band of hard-as-nails soldiers end the Helghast tyranny once and for all. Don’t expect anything more intricate than that. Voice acting is pretty terrible and the teammates use expletives almost all the time.

Killzone 2 is a standard first person shooter where your missions include capturing areas, blowing things and killing Helghast soldiers. Your enemies continue to spawn unless you and your crew cross an (invisible) event trigger like placing an explosive or destroying a tank. But don’t think that you can run around the battlefield recklessly with your gun in hand. You have to take cover, isolate your enemies and pick them individually. Unlike most shooters on the block that shift to a third person perspective as and when you take cover, Killzone 2 stays firmly rooted in the first person perspective.

The only major gripe I had was with the way the game controlled. It felt sluggish and slow compared to other shooters like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and didn’t improve even after tweaking the sensitivity.

Meet your enemies
You’ll encounter a good amount of enemy variety in this game. Each and every one of them is challenging since the Artificial Intelligence (AI) fuelling them is top notch. Start with ‘easy difficulty’ if you are new to first person shooters. Enemies stay firmly rooted in cover and put up a good fight.

Unfortunately the friendly AI aren’t as smart. They march blindly into enemy fire. As far as your arsenal is concerned you’ll be wielding futuristic equivalents of modern day weaponry like assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers etc. They aren’t very innovative but they get the job done.

Guerilla Games have gone in for a realistic approach and squeezing down on the trigger results in huge recoil. But to make sure you hit your targets, you’ll have to fire off short controlled bursts of fire. You’re also limited to carrying just two weapons at a time — a primary weapon like a revolver or a pistol and a secondary weapon like an assault rifle or a shotgun, a rocket launcher etc. Thankfully ammunition is available abundantly.

Killzone 2 has better multiplayer action than most shooters on the block and even allows you to practice with clever bots. There are six classes that form the crux of multiplayer action including the medic, the saboteur and the soldier. Game modes include Skirmish mode (just you and the bots), and Warzone, where you play online and find your objectives changing constantly.

It’s a pity that multiplayer action doesn’t come with a co-operative mode and the cover system from the single player campaign does not carry over to multiplayer.

End note
Killzone 2 is the best looking game to grace the PS3 till date. It pulls off its visual splendour without a loss of frame rate. What surprised me was that the game did not require an install, which meant there was a certain amount of freezing from time to time as a new area loaded.

The game grows on you. Sure it’s plagued by certain issues, but they won’t detract from the intense action on-screen. The game’s controls were the biggest hurdle in my opinion and once you get through that, it’s pretty much smooth sailing all the way.

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