Friday, February 6, 2009

Killzone 2 Demo Impressions

Killzone 2
Guest contributor: James McIntosh

I'm sure many of you out there much like myself have been wondering if the hype surrounding Killzone 2 is true. While I'll wait until the retail version is available to pass final judgement, I did have a chance to test out the demo (made available to those who pre-ordered the game from EB Games/Gamestop in Canada). Allow me to provide my take on Guerilla Games’ latest foray into the FPS segment with the brief 15 minute experience that the demo provided.

The first thing you notice when you load the game are the pristine graphics. It is not an exaggeration to say this is the best looking game to ever hit consoles. It very well could be. The game looks like it’s pre-rendered, and the frame rate is fast and smooth. The hud eats up very little space so you’re left to enjoy the view as if it was through your own eyes. A lot of comparisons are being thrown towards the Unreal Engine 3 powered Gears of War 2, which due to awesome production values looked incredible. But there is something about the Killzone 2 visuals that are distinctly PS3 and set it above Gears 2. Whereas Gears 2 characters look solid in the 3D space, Killzone 2 looks almost as if it has been graded like a war film. This gives the game such a bleak beauty that it's hard not to stare in the middle of a firefight. Your depth of field changes when you reload and fire, and explosions are bright and utterly realistic.

The character animations of assault rifle victims, which are such a mainstay in the games' marketing, add so much to the experience during a battle. With bodies flailing in defeat, it's satisfying to squeeze off a few more rounds as they fall. The camera never impedes character movement, and the way you bob and weave through obstacles, ducking in and out of cover to attack, all help it come together even more.

Sound is also excellent in full 7.1 surround, which is almost a necessity so you can pinpoint where an errant grenade may have landed by the “tick-tick-tick” sound it makes, or for locating your squad mates.

I’m not usually a fan of FPS on the PS3, primarily because I find the controller a bit awkward for FPS fragfests. When a multi-platform FPS is released I’m usually inclined to get the XBOX 360 version simply because the controller is more attune to this form of gaming. That being said, control is solid and tight in Killzone 2, but for 360 vets you may want to increase the look sensitivity slightly as the default setting is a bit slow at targeting the various Helghast running around the screen. Button placement is similar to the Resistance series, and takes minimal time getting used to. One thing that is really nice about the gameplay, small though it may be, is that running feels like RUNNING. Tap the left stick down to initiate a sprint and you’re hauling ass across the maps like you stole something. This helps add to the visceral feeling of the game, much like the roadie run did for Gears of War. The physical world of Killzone is filled with exploding fuel barrels and compressed-gas tanks that add a variety of gameplay options for dispatching the ornery red-goggles when they drop in from the ceiling to ruin your day.

As fun as Halo, better looking than Gears 2 and dare I say far exceeds Resistance 2. It’s a straightforward game that has been polished raw, spat on and then polished some more. A simple formula executed perfectly, with emphasis placed entirely on being a fun and immersing experience.

Killzone 2 ships February 27th.

15 comments:

Clinton said...

I'm imagining that screenshot in full (60fps?) motion and it does look glorious.

Paul Hunter said...

I was given access to the Kilzone 2 beta a few months back and I was equally as impressed with the online competitive mode. In terms of raw graphics, I think Guerilla Games has met or exceeded the 2005 CG trailer expectations. Mind blowing.

Anonymous said...

ohh yeah this game is amazing i loved the demo best console game I have ever played and thats just the 1.2 gig demo.

Anonymous said...

If there were a reason to buy a PS3 it would be killzone 2. The demo is awesome, I have played it 5 times already and will keep playing it until the 27th man i can't wait!!!!!

Anonymous said...

....i just wet my pants.....ZOMG....

Mike M said...

I was expecting to be blown away by the graphics and I was even by the way GG meticulously pick just the right font for the menu (i imagine only a Dutch dev could do that) but I wasn't prepared by how "immersive" Killzone 2 is. After playing the demo for about the 10th time, I tried playing COD4 and not to undermine COD4's excellent gameplay but Killzone 2 while matching the intensity of COD4, surpasses it in so may ways that I'm afraid I'll never be able to enjoy COD4 again.

Anonymous said...

My feelings about this game pretty much echo those above me. I have been playing the Killzone 2 demo for the past two days and it is truly an amazing experience.

This game has so much detail and quality that it constantly reveals new things to you each time you play. I love it and can't wait to get my hands on the full version.

Anonymous said...

This games graphics was compared to one game and one game only, which was crysis. Enough said!

Crysis has AMAZING graphics.... and we all know that it can't be run on any console.. but... KillZone 2 was the first game EVER to be compared with a PC Game.

I was in shock when i looked at the lighting of the game world. Unbelievable. I can just see myself playing Multiplayer. I'll be the dipshit standing in the middle of the field with his hands down his pants looking at nothing but a wall. Watch out for me

PSN: Whiteford88

*Quote* I wonder if Microsoft paid lots of money to make the RRoD an Xbox Exclusive...

Anonymous said...

The thing that was so apparent to me was the overall movement of the characters. The enemy AI is great, but the way they generally move and change tactics so naturally is what impressed me. Animation here is top notch and very seamless.

Anonymous said...

Please quit comparing the visuals to GoW2. GoW2 looks great, but the really detailed stuff looks like it's only 10-20 feet from the charcter on the screen...beyond that it's fog/blur effect. It's annoying to me. The AI is pathetic too. The only reason I die in the game is because it takes sooo many bullets to kill anything. That game would be cut in half if it didn't take sooo much amo to kill them. It was fun, but wayyyy too overated. I sold it immediately after finishing it. Killzone looks and feels fabulous everywhere you go!! Anyone who doesn't agree that it's a fantastic game has to be an jealous XBOT.

Anonymous said...

@^^^ Sooooo, liking another game like Gears of War instantly makes someone an XBOT? Jezz, fanboys bring it upon themselves. I don't have a Xbox 360 but even I like playing GeoW on my friend's 360. Just because Killzone 2 is the new benchmark for shooters (and it REALLY IS good) doesn't mean we can't enjoy other games on other systems. Anyway, why does comparing it to GeoW2 bother you when they gave nothing but positive remarks about Killzone 2?

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the demo of Killzone 2 last night and have to say that I'm surprised.
I thought that after all the hype I'd been reading that it was going to be rubbish and well over hyped. Boy was I wrong!
I really like this game. The graphics are fantastic, the AI is brill and it feels way better than any FPS I've ever played on any machine.
It looks like I'll be giving Motorstorm Pacific Rift a rest for a while : )

Well done Guerrilla Games & Sony!

Anonymous said...

I was a beta tester and downloaded the demo and was just amazed how great this game really is. I have both consoles (PS3 & Xbox360) and find this game to be the best looking console game so far. The game has a feel of COD4 but a lot more intense and the enemy and friendly AI is just brilliant. Excellent job done by the programmers. The game comes really really close to the CG Trailer at E3 in 2005 and at times I feel that it actually surpasses it. I guess this will be the game that takes me Gears of War 2 for a while, I been playings Gears of War 2 for the past 2 months, man I just love that game. Great job by the guys at Guerrilla!

Anonymous said...

I have this game pre-ordered but I am keeping myself from playing the demo... Man, I can't wait! I just know this game is going to be my next COD4 (COD4 being the one game I have invested more time into than ANY other game in the world, and I game ALL day EVERY day) This game is going to be bigger than people even realize now. I really hope this boosts ps3 sales, Sony and Guerilla deserve this! Thankyou Guerilla!!

Anonymous said...

whats amazing is that a demo that can be beaten in under 10 mins, is 1.2gb. If the game is 8-10 hours long, blu-ray was the only way to go

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