Killzone 2 Review
A well balanced campaign and entertaining multiplayer component makes Killzone 2 one of the better shooters of 2009.
Some of the early single player sections contain a lot of excessive macho squad talk, screaming across the communication links at you to cover them from a convoy. This thankfully seems to reduce as the game progresses, possibly because your own army numbers reduce. Weapons feel good, and you’ll pick up a few special weapons that allow you to motor through sections much more quickly with a sense of supremacy. There are no real puzzles to speak of, the only basic ones involve electricity and a switchbox, you need to find and shoot the box to clear the charge.
You will get to control two vehicles and the last is the most impressive. Sadly this vehicle also involved your fellow squad driving alongside you unfortunately for much of this they seemed to be stuck at the starting point. Save points are generally pretty good but there are a few sections were they are used too often or too infrequently. These save / load points also sometimes incorporate a big stutter or a longer 10 second pause. Although never in action they are quite annoying. The difficulty is fairly even but the end levels, as with most games, are a little harder. Boss like enemies are fairly easy to take down with only the ATAC boss causing me to rethink my approach completely. The end boss sequence is a little lengthy but nothing too difficult.
The story isn’t anything remarkable and the game doesn’t have a lot of overly imposing moments. It takes standard mission types and objectives from other first person shooters and implements them fairly well. I had a lot of trouble liking any of the character and by the end of the game I actually liked the enemy Visari more than any of my surviving squad mates or even my own character. Even some of the friendly deaths I was presented with were very emotionless. You’re character isn’t voiceless although he doesn’t say much and when he does it’s not poetry. They could have gone with a voiceless hero and couple that with some likeable squad mates that you feel invested into saving or bent on revenge if they perish. The characterisation isn’t helped by the at times quite poor voice syncing. This might be just with the characters lips moving or because voices will overlap one another if you move through a section too quickly.
he graphics are pretty good, albeit with an aggressive LOD system. Squad members will lose definition only a few metres away from you. And because of the co-op nature of many missions this is quite obvious. The setting is very desolate with the smoke and wind effects constantly pushing across your vision against gritty and dull landscapes. The Helghast are well designed, although human-like they have been given a distinctive look and voice. They have heavy bulkier weather-proof gear on and their masks also glow red allowing very quick identification in hectic areas. The voice of each of the different types of foes has been modified to a different pitch so you can hear them talking or responding. It serves the perfect purpose to differentiate them between the ISA buddies you so often group with. The animation for both friendly and opposing forces works well with smooth transitions and weight to movements. The levels can be open in sections allowing you to circle around or just move past groups of Helghast but the game is still quite linear. It does feature some DualShock motion control sections, such as twisting a valve or planting charges. I thought the implementation was simple but it worked effectively.