Reviews (Video Games)
Killzone 3 looks to be one of the best titles this year, being the follow up to Guerilla’s 2009 release, this sequel seems like a serious contendor for this year’s GOTY Awards. The guys at Guerilla came on to the PS3 scene with KZ2 and really showed what they could do with its power; And now we have KZ3 to round out the trilogy (although Im sure there will be a 4th, 5th, 6th and so on) and provide the PS3 with a quality shooter. Read on to see if it lived up to the hype!
Society has proven, time and time again, that we rely on our leaders to shape the future of our homes, our cities and our policies. Within every nation, there lays a principle (when obtained) that gives the people a sense of security, a sense of well-being and a sense of peace. But this principle can also sway our leaders to conflict and strife. They will do all they can to achieve it, but they will never fully reach it without sacrificing something in return. Whether that is substance, property or, sadly, their own citizens, this principle could usher in a new era of prosperity or cause the downfall of the nation and its systems.
This principle has been shown throughout history, through the wars and conflicts of the foreign and domestic, but may have not been the easiest idea to identify. All animosity always harbors an urge to obtain power. Power is a principle that leads to all conflict, no matter how one tries to justify the means. Power is what causes devastation and creation, doubt and hope, life and death. Killzone 3 expresses this principle by showing us the struggle between the brutal forces of the Helghan Empire and the ever resilient ISA, as they wage interplanetary war on one another. As you play as Sergeant Tomas “Sev” Sevchenko, you will experience the war first-hand through his eyes, and see how the pursuit of power has altered everything around him.
Killzone 3 begins directly after the conclusion of Killzone 2, where Rico Velaquez and Sev infiltrated the Visari Palace (the White House in terms of the Helghan) and killed Scholar Visari who was the founder and leader of the Helghan Empire. Once they regroup with Captain Jason Narville, they are demoted for going against the order to capture Scholar Visari and begin their journey to the evacuation site. On their way there, Rico disobeys orders and leaves Sev and Narville to rescue another squad who are under heavy resistance. When the remaining forces reach the evac area, the ships have already left in fear of being destroyed and Narville, Sev and the rest of their platoon are marooned on the planet.
Six months after this incident, the game then jumps to the Helghan side, showing the player how the remaining leaders of the Helghan Empire fight amongst themselves about who should rule in Visari’s stead, mainly Admiral Orlock and Chairman Jorhan Stahl. Outraged by their decisions, Stahl takes his own private army to track and hunt down Narville’s forces. Throughout the rest of the Campaign Mode, the story follows Sev as he tries to find out what the Helghan are planning and joins his allies together to stop them. It also jumps to scenes of the Helghan leaders as they continue to argue over the future of their nation. Killzone 3’s story is a typical one for most first person shooters, but it still delivers a narrative that you’ll stay interested with.
A devastated planet has never looked good in the eyes of anyone, but this one is simply stunning! The environment breaths perfection (even while wearing a Helghast helmet), giving off shadows and textures that look almost real, especially if you’re playing it on high-definition. The movements of your fellow soldiers and enemies demonstrate realistic movement, making it seem as if in any way they move- gravity, bulk, weight- they are limited to human boundaries. Bodies aren’t flying through the air at extreme speeds from an explosion and a single punch won’t fell an enemy.
A great visual affect that they added that no other shooter seems to have is the brutal melee kill. You feel every throat being slit and every eye being gouged (that would actually be very painful) and most enemies you defeat don’t fall in the same way, which bleeds variety. The sound effects in this game are also amazing. You can hear echoes from bullets when you fire down hallways, the steps of enemies around the corner, and the sound of bullets penetrating enemy flesh and armor. Killzone 3 tries delivering extreme realism in all aspects, and I believe they have done an outstanding job.
The robust environment in Killzone 3 is a sight to see. The Helghan home world brings forth a buffet of different environmental tastes; from the collapsed city of Pyrrhus, to the dark and dreary jungles of Vekta, to the snow and frost infested Stahl Arms Facility. The home world of Vekta is a diverse planet with many climates that showcases many environments to wage battle on. In each of the environments you experience something unique to that specific area, whether it is blinding snow storms that obscure your vision or tall grass and dark caverns that prevent Helghast from seeing you; each locale will deliver the same experience but give you a different feeling. Some of these environments even have objects that can defeat your opponents for you: poisoness plants, explosive barrels and overloaded electrical transformers. The terrain is yours to exploit and enjoy!
Killzone 3 wouldn’t have its name if it didn’t have anything to ‘kill’ with. That’s where armaments come into the scene, be it Helghast or ISA. From assault rifles that display power and accuracy, to light machine guns that rain down destruction for extended periods of time, to futuristic guns that explode your enemies from the inside, Killzone 3 provides a weapon for all types of players.
Each weapon feels different from the last, causing you to adjust differently from a previous one. Some guns have more recoil, have scopes that you have to adjust to, hold more rounds and some with an alternate fire. You may find yourself siding with a particular weapon, but you may want to adjust depending on the situation. That’s why there are so many to choose from. It allows you to create a ‘killzone’ of your own.
The gameplay in Killzone 3 is pleasantly gratifying. The controller is mapped out so that every button serves a purpose. For those who are more comfortable with aiming down the sights by using a trigger button, there is an alternate control scheme for that than using the default right stick clicking. If you feel the movement of your character is too clunky compared to another FPS you were playing, you can adjust the sensitivity to your liking.
This has been an issue for some players, but the game was intended to be realistic. The control was meant to make it feel that everything had weight, instead of floating like a feather and moving like a machine. I don’t believe human beings have achieved throwing around a 20-40 pound weapon without gravity and inertia affecting it. Physics are applied in real life, why not in videogames?
If you know someone that has purchased Killzone 3, they probably have spent most of their playing time on its incredible multiplayer. Killzone 3 has three game types you’ll be throwing yourself into: Guerilla Warfare, Warzone, and Operations. Guerilla Warfare is your typical Team Deathmatch, where two teams face off, head-to-head, to achieve the acquired kill count to win the match. Warzone is where the most variety of the multiplayer comes in.
During the match, your team will be given many different objectives during a certain time limit; from planting bombs, to holding locations, to killing a VIP player, to a typical team deathmatch body count. The objective constantly changes and the team with the most fulfilled objectives wins. Operations is similar to Warzone in some ways. As the ISA you try to hold positions, plant bombs, and retrieve energy cores to win the match, while the Helghast have to simply defend against the advances of the ISA. You’ll know when an objective is completed when you see a pretty cool cutscene showing the players who completed that objective.
A large aspect of Killzone 3’s multiplayer is the class system. You are giving 5 classes to choose from: Engineer, Marksman, Tactician, Infiltrator, and Field Medic. Each class has different abilities and weapons, unique to that class. You also have access to extra skills, like body armor and extra ammo just to name a few.
-Engineers are a support class mostly, providing repair to ammo boxes, mounted guns, and sentry turrets. They can also set up automated turrets to provide support fire for your teammates or hold a vital point. They are a class that relies strongly on a light machine gun.
-Marksmen are support and frontline fighters. They can use a cloak suit to hide and provide kills from long distances without being seen or can use it to infiltrate enemy ranks to kill from the inside. They also have an ability which jams enemy radars so you and your team can sneak up on enemies. They rely heavily on rifles with scopes.
-Tacticians are mostly support, being able to capture spawn and hold points much faster than other classes and provide extreme cover fire with a sentry drone that rains fire from the sky. They also have an ability which points out enemy positions within range. They use a variety of guns from SMGs, to shotguns, to a trusty assault rifle.
-Infiltrators are mainly frontline, being able to disguise themselves as the enemy and infiltrating (figures) enemy ranks without them knowing. With an ability to prolong stamina indefinitely, they can sprint-rush opponents before they realize you’re the enemy. This class relies heavily on close combat weapons and melee.
-Field Medics are purely support, providing healing to fallen comrades and increased health bonuses to those in the area. They also provide support with a small sentry drone that follows the medic and provides cover fire. This class relies strongly on a medium ranged weapon, from an SMG to a light machine gun.
Each class has their own strengths and weaknesses, but you don’t have to play them to how I and others suggest. You can be a medic rushing a base with your sentry drone or be an engineer that plants turrets around an enemy spawn position. The way you play a class is totally up to you.
Killzone 3 is the best first-person shooter that I have played this year. It provided me with an intense campaign, realistic control and visuals, and ideal combat. This game also supplied me with my much needed multiplayer fix and many sleepless nights. With a scenario so close to home, Killzone 3 has shown me that with power, you can destroy the world around you, or create something as breathtaking as this game.
Killzone 3 clearly illustrates how power is a principle that even foreign races exhibit in their own society, but if we all limit the power that we hold we will find equilibrium. Killzone 3 shows this balance by making itself different from other games like it, but making it similar to those games in certain areas. With so many other shooter titles out there, my resolve was never conflicted when I decided to purchase this game. Killzone 3 has giving me a thrilling experience and introduced me to a principle that I have not seen in quite a long time from a game: perfection.