In the already diluted gaming world of first-person shooters comes another offering. This time it is the sequel to Guerrilla Games’ Killzone, aptly named Killzone 2. The narrative of the game continues on from Killzone and Killzone Liberation.
You are thrown into the middle of an intense fire fight as Sergeant Thomas “Sev” Shevchenko with several scary looking Helghast’s baying for blood. Although I had never played any of the previous Killzones, the controls were relatively simple, at least when I worked out how to configure them. The action is bold and brash as the first few minuets sees “Sev” and his platoon have to dodge the explosions, rockets and machine gun fire of the Helghast.
The first thing clearly visible is the games graphics, a smooth crystal clear picture shown through a first person point of view heightens the viewing pleasure of not just the player but anyone capable of watching without getting itchy fingers. The second thing that strikes out is the sounds, whilst other games have shown glimpses of sound enrichment, Killzone refines the sounds and creates another dimension of realism as the player feels more and more part of the game.
Realism seems to be a big part of Killzone’s appeal despite the game being set in a fictional environment. But it’s the artificial intelligence (AI) which really sets apart Killzone from other first-person shooters of its kind. The appeal of many first person shooter (FPS) games has been the online play and the normal game play has been paper thin. You only have to look as far Unreal tournament 3 which offers a wooden plot development. Call Of Duty – seen as the benchmark in the FPS category of gaming offers – a good storyline but the lack of artificial intelligence means it offers very little gratification upon completion.
Killzone however breaks the mould by offering a stern challenge, even on the most basic skill level. The enemies prove to be a real menace as they frustrate the life out of the player by constantly moving around and popping up where you least expect them. Getting through levels isn’t difficult but time consuming as the pesky Helghast continue to play cat and mouse with your army. Unfortunately the artificial intelligence of Sergeant Sev’s platoon isn’t so intelligent. I experienced a few glitches such as one of the men in my platoon would become stuck without reason. In one instance it led to me running around aimlessly wondering why the level hadn’t finished. It wasn’t until I traced my steps that I realised that a member of my squad had become stuck.
Despite this Killzone 2 does bring a lot of original concepts to the FPS party and implements them well. I started the game sceptical but was enthralled and it definitely has ensured that its rivals up their game.