More and more these days we find ourselves surrounded by copy cat clones and copy and paste ideas that have over time lead the gaming industry to a point of status-quo on ingenuity and innovation. I for one would have summarised 2011 in a nutshell as a years where innovation was criticised as copy cat and breakthroughs ignored or neglected. As with most years the same games predominantly establish themselves later in the year and win over the masses with their rinse and repeat tactics, and when something different or new arises, it becomes quickly suppressed and quelled by the bulk powerhouses which have much more sway over our decisions and choices as a consumer.
Killzone 3 is perhaps one of the few games that did a significant deal to breakthrough the shroud and appear for all its worth. I’m in no doubt that at some point in your luxurious gaming life you’ve become acquainted with, or have at least acknowledged the Killzone games. The Killzone series is set in a future far from earth, but dominantly fixated on current technology and known existing races with slight modifications on both. The galaxy is inhabited by a collective group of planets inhabited by humans known as the ISA – Interplanetary Strategic Alliance, and the biologically altered humanoids the Helghan Empire; whose national army uniform looks like it was ordered straight out of the latest issue of S&M.
Killzone 3’s story kicks straight off where number 2’s finished; after what seems like the inevitable defeat of the Helghast, a fleet of phenomenal size and power has suddenly appeared, and believe me… after what you just done to them, they ain’t happy, you continue play as Sgt. Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchencko In terms of the story the game definitely keeps you gripped and pushing on for more, running for your lives from the Helghast and fighting time and time again just to survive, after being deserted you realise you have to regroup, mount your numbers and perform guerrilla operations against your oppressors. While possibly not their strongest story out of the whole series, the plot if by no means weak and constantly keeps you pushing on through different environments and scenarios that supply a more than ample amount of excitement and anticipation.
The story is good we’ve got that over and done with, but what’s to say the game won’t just get repetitive? Most games do, they start rinsing and repeating themselves several times through the course of a story and nothing changes. This is where Killzone 3 differentiates itself. I can be quick straightforward with this; start to finish Killzone 3 didn’t feel like it was working on recycled ideas. Your always exploring new and immerse ideas, areas or concepts. Your always doing something different, whether it’s exploring a new setting, driving or mounting a new vehicle, or approaching a situation in a manner previously unexplored in the game. On top of this the game has what is surely what of my most enjoyed melee systems; the system has an insta-kill situation where you enter into some gruelling sequence of blood and grow, whether it’s thumbing them in the eyes or simply slitting the throat, all sequences are messy and gratifying.
Graphics wise the game delivers by all means, It hits high on graphics ratings, in fact I would probably say these are definitely some of the best if not the best games graphics I have ever seen on a console. The detail applied to the visuals in this game are phenomenal, so much so those Helghast would probably beat Darth Vader in a costume competition, and what would great visuals be without great audio. The voice acting is diverse and accurate, every accent feels like it belongs (which really makes me sound like I’m saying me and all British people wear gimp suits (I’d just like to validate we don’t))
The game comes with co-op too so if your feeling pretty lonely and want to experience the story with a friend then feel free to do so. This in its turn probably provides the only identifiable weakness the game presents as the character player 2 plays as seems to have no role, background of even seem in existence if you play the game in single player. Which is quite curious if you consider that the character played a significant role in Killzone 2.
Multiplayer wise you’re looking at between 2-24 players to a match. Your choice of game modes is either guerrilla warfare – essentially team deathmatch, Warzone – Essentially its a bundle of different game modes crammed into one sitting, the winning side being the team that won the most rounds accumulative, and last but not least there’s operations – essentially an attack and defend game where the attacking team has to keep pushing back the defenders until they’re at their last base. Operation was probably my favourite, especially because I loved the cinematic at the end of each bases destruction that usually had a bunch of players in, each player usually doing something; it was strangely amusing and satisfying. The Multiplayer works on a class system, with the 5 classes being – Engineer, Marksman, Tactician, Infiltrator and Field Medic.
Guns are class locked but some appear across multiple classes, and you can pick up weapons off enemies and allies in match, each class possess a primary and secondary ability and you earn unlock points as you level up that allow you to purchase weapons and abilities for your classes. The Engineer’s abilities allow him to repair and build turrets, gun emplacements and ammo crates amongst other uses. The Marksman’s abilities allow him to cloak invisible although he becomes more visible to an enemy who is closer of the more he moves, and a scrambler ability that impairs the maps and tactical visibility of enemies near him. The tacticians primary roles are to capture spawn points located around the map for his teammates to use, on top of this he also has access to recon abilities and beacon’s which call in flying sentry drones. Infiltrator’s are your class of trickery and deception; they have access to an ability that allows them to disguise themselves as a member of the enemy team (however is you come across the enemy your disguised as, expect things to get quite awkward….) and they also have a secondary ability pool that allows them to sprint faster and perform use actions quicker. Finally we have the medic, probably quite self-explanatory but here goes; they have access to a revive ability, a heal ability and a medi-droid that will support and provide cover fire for the medic, the droid will accompany the medic until its destruction, or his death. On top of this to add more immersion; some maps contain certain interactive pieces which will affect the way the battle may play out, these range from an EMP like blast, to exo-skeleton armored vehicle suits and jetpacks.
Overall Killzone 3 is a game that contrasts itself from the rest of the FPS genre and comes out unique and fun. The experience is constantly evolving throughout the course of the campaign and there wasn’t a single moment where something didn’t change and I had no moment of dreariness of boredom. The graphics and audio were mind-blowing, and although I don’t have a TV that supports stereoscopic 3D, I’m sure it was just as impressive. The multiplayer was fun and enjoyable, and while being easily laid back and relaxing there is also more than enough room for serious competitive play and tactical teamwork. In terms of additional functions the game also supports PS move,and runs very smoothly and is just as enjoyable with or without it, but being able to use move simply added to the overall immersion, depth and provide more playback for me. Although I wouldn’t advise missing out on the single player experience, you can pick up the multiplayer side of the game separate from the PS store if you so choose.
Editor Note: DZ_Darren is a contributing writer for EVO Unlimited with a focus on Playstation 3