Killzone 3 Review

“Killzone 3 may be only three quarters of the game that Killzone 2 was in some aspects, but with all respect, it is ten times more ambitious than its predecessor, thirty times better than the first Killzone game, and even adds in a few gameplay modes here an there.”

One of the continual pieces of Killzone’s gameplay formula has always been hectic battles and epic setpiece moments. To be sure not to disappoint fans of the series and newcomers alike, Guerilla Games was sure to include plenty of both, as well as some other electric components within the mix and fray. The stories within the Killzone games- or lack thereof, have always been one of the major downsides to the series, but if you can choose to ignore the thin backstory (which is certainly easy to do in the chaos and explosive action), then you’re in for one of the rides of your life- long or short as it may have already been.

To not spoil the fun here too much entirely, I won’t tell you exactly all of what happens, but you will probably be able to piece most of it together yourselves- the resourceful internet gurus and gamers that I am sure you all are.After the grand finale and impressively idiotic decisions of some key characters from killzone 2, the beginning of Killzone 3 is insane, chaotic, and jammed with action and wildness as the ISA troopers struggle to escape an ever-growing hell-hole of a planet that is the homeworld of the Helghast. Eer since the strategic move to move the main location of the games from Earth to the Helghast homeworld, from the insane landing to the death of one of their leaders- things have simply gone from bad to worse to not as bad to terrible for Rico and the gang. Well, now things are about to get even worse. Again.

Throughout the entire game, you will probably miss almost nearly all of the story and dialogue, as it is breast-fed to you throughout combat- meaning you are either not paying attention, don’t here it over the battle sounds, or couldn’t care less to begin with. As I said, do not panic, and look it up on YouTube- as the shooting and everything else is the main highpoint of the story here, not the pish poor showing they call a plot. Think of this as the Call of Duty specifically made for PC, with a little science fiction mixed in. And lots more f-bombs.

That much having been said, the shooting and other gameplay moments within the game are always stunning and magnificent in all of their glory, often going above and beyond what you previously thought was both reasonable and possible. This game sets the bar higher several times, making it that much harder for others to catch up- especially with it’s wonderful integration of the Move controller as well. Although Kinect has been everything but a success as of late, the Move aspect of things for Killzone 3 really shows which console has the future of movement capture in its hands, and it’s certainly not the Wii. Parts throughout the game that are specifically designated for the Move controller make things even more interesting, and also save the mechanics from being otherwise broken through regular gameplay- which is always a blessing. Never try using the remote for too terribly long, but in short bursts as it is fed to you- it works wonderfully.

Helghan offers not only a fragile and ruined atmosphere amidst the ruins of bombed out buildings and shot up environments, but a place where you can watch in equal horror and fascination as your buddies and environments alike are constantly and mercilessly shot to pieces by the enemies and their weapons. That’s not to say that you won’t have your own chances as well, but beware the precise, quick, and brutal gunplay to be found here. You can’t absorb whole clips of ammo like in Halo, or a few chest shots like Call of Duty. No, in Killzone- it’s often kill or be killed, and one good headshot is all it takes to wipe your smile right off your face when you’re lining up the perfect shot on that opposing sniper… While the enemy is always adapting to changes in the battlefield, as well as to your difficulty level- no matter what level you are on, you’re looking at some stiff opposition and a tough day in the life of these soldiers.

Although aggressive behavior on the field of battle is well rewarded and will often net you a total victory here and there, you must always be cautious at certain points as well, especially when your foes switch tactics on you  and begin to use your momentum against you- placing traps for your men here and there around the battlefield. Balance your key attributes of both defensive and offensive maneuvers, and you’ll have an unstoppable force- or at least a survivable battle on your hands this time around. With the heavy mixture of human and otherwise weaponry, you’ll never find yourself lost for ammunition or bullets for your favorite gun- whatever that may be. Scavenge or hold on to your grunt rifle- either way is acceptable, so long as you snag a few kills here and there along the way…

One thing can truly be said about Killzone 3. It is certainly the most definitively balanced Killzone game to date, as the action is wonderfully split between heavy shooting sequences, rail shooting ones, flying and mech piloting sequences, and much more that break the mold many times over. The jetpack from some of the PSP games makes it console debut with much ado and glory to take the cake for fun and dangerous moments- and rides as well. These are just some of the things you’ll find yourself doing when not shooting faces through helmets. You could be stepping on people in a mech, piloting a tank, or even crazier things- you simply never know what to expect. The pacing nearly completely handles the lack of storytelling, but leaves a tad bit to still be desired here and there.

Despite the amount of frivolous activity on-field at any given time throughout the campaign and any mode within this Killzone game, the graphics remain some of the best to date in a console game, as well as a testament to what hard work and game design can do for your game. Characters and other elements of the game are handled with a deftly moving hand, animated amazingly and responsively to figures and events, and even the eerie environment- eerie as it still hauntingly is, is much more lifelike and alive-feeling than the previous greys and dark colors from Killzone 2. It’s about like Gears of War 3 in all of its new colorful splendor, if you’d want to compare it anyway…

A series first in the way of a true multiplayer mode makes an appearance as well in this third iteration of the series, and makes for some hectic shooting just as much- if not more than the single player story does on its own. The customization is on par with any other shooter, as is the class and skill level progression and development- but the real joy lies in the teamwork required to win most matches, and the objective-based gameplay. This certainly makes sure that bossy lonewolves can’t come in and tear up the field all on their own- especially when they find themselves facing a well-oiled squad opposing them. Gameplay is as fast and brutal as that of the campaign, if not more so for that matter- and interesting cutscenes do even more to ensure realistic unreal playing and pushing the boundary further up a notch to move the missions around as much as possible.

Overall, the controls work well, even if you do no wish to embarrass yourself online- you can practice with bots a la Combat Training from Black Ops, and they respond well depending on what difficulty you set them to. You can enjoy campaign with friends via the cooperative modes of the to that point single player campaign, although not through an online port- sadly enough, making that one of the downsides to Killzone 3. Although the campaign is conclusive enough, and the 3D that the game supports may make you cower in fear throughout the entirety of it- Guerilla has produced a game of epic proportions, and one that rivals other big name titles in size and breadth as well. Here’s to a new age of shooters, and the things they can accomplish- even without a little bit of story here and there, and some graphic displays.

Concept: Try to survive one battle to the next in this epic ‘conclusion’ to the Killzone console trilogy, and experience in in both 3D and with the glory of the well-used Move controller as well.

Graphics: Although they are all mostly comprised of explosions and destruction across the far reaches of an alien world, everything that goes on with both the environment and anything related to in-game characters utilize the beautiful graphics to the maximum in Killzone 3. The same goes for its multiplayer as well, which- hectic as it is, remains as beautiful as well.

Sound: Although the awe-inspiring battlefield sounds often cover up the actual in-game music, what little can be found is quite good as well.

Playability: The controls are marvelously constructed, and the game is very intuitive and responsive to the player’s every need and whim. You could turn on a dime so to speak.

Entertainment: This final installment of the series gives other big titles a run for their money, utilizes the motion controls to a grand extent, and adds in a little bit of this and a little bit of that here and there across the board.

Replay Value: Moderately High

Overall Rating: 9.25

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