Developer: Guerilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: February 22, 2011
After a two-year long wait for the next title in the Killzone franchise, Guerilla Games (owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) brings us Killzone 3. Following the release of the award-winning Killzone 2, Killzone 3 offers the cinematic sci-fi war experience with both a single-player campaign and multiplayer capabilities. Explore the planet of Helghan and fight against the Helghast army, while taking advantage of the motion controls using PlayStation Move and a 3D experience, in addition to regular PlayStation 3 controls.
Killzone 3 is a direct continuation of Killzone 2. Leaving Emperor Visari defeated, two of Helghan’s authoritive figures are in a battle amongst each other to take over Helghan. This power struggle is also leaving Visari’s original vision in jeapordy. Playing as Sergeant Tomas Sevchenko, “Sev”, the player is taken on a journey to survive a war that was long lost. As survival seems to be impossible, the ISA’s only option is to continue fighting until they can fight no longer, be it death or an accomplished mission.
As the game loads up, the player has the option of switching to the PlayStation Move controls by going to “options” and then to “motion controller”. If the player wants to dive right into the game, this step can be skipped. When you are playing as an ISA soldier, the screen stays clean, with no distractions. When you shoot, the screen will display how many bullets and grenades you have available on lower left-hand side of the screen. A reload indicator will flash in the center of the screen, suggesting to the player to press the circle button to reload. The screen will also offer reminders to press the L1 button to melee the enemy, as well as pressing the square button to pick up weapons. Other online indicators will assist the player in various actions, throughout the game.
The player will be able to immediately see that Guerilla Games enhanced the game engine and wanted it to load during gameplay, to give it a smooth transition. I didn’t even notice any load times- that is how well they pulled it off.
The entire presentation of Killzone 3 is rather clean and made simple.
The theatrical score was composed by Joris de Man. He composed the scores for both Killzone and Killzone 2, as well. Joris de Man was the Winner of Best Video Games Score at the 55th Ivor Novello Awards that was held on May 2010, in London. This was the first year that the category was offered. The beautifully-orchestrated music suits the scenes of Killzone 3 very well. Joris de Man set the mood for the game with the score.
After winning the award, the composer stated, “Winning the Ivor this year gave me such a boost because receiving was not just recognition for my work on the score, but being awarded it in its first year meant being part of a growing appreciation of game music in general. The achievement spurred me on and has given me a new energy that I hope will be heard in the music I’m now writing for Killzone 3. I was thrilled to be invited again to work alongside the team at Guerrilla; they continue to push the limits of design and technology and I’m really proud to be a part of their next opus.”
The sound of destruction is evident around you. The player can get caught up with the gunfire. If you take a moment to pause and listen to all around you, the stages offer up various elements and sounds to coincide. While walking through an area with dangling chains, you hear them clanking against each other, as you make your way through the area. From the water crashing against its environment, to the breaking glass from when you gauge out the Helghasts’ eyes, it is all fitting. Killzone 3 is definitely a game that is meant to be played with surround sound, to get the full effect of the surroundings and emerse yourself into the world of Helghan.
It was also a pleasure to hear the voice of English actor, Malcom McDowell, best known for his work in Clockwork Orange, as the voice of CEO of Stahl Arms.
Although I don’t have a 3D television, I was able to play Killzone 3 in 3D at E3 2010. For those who do not have one, I cannot express how amazing Killzone 3 looks 3D. It brought it to another level, visually. When the player shoots, the shell cases flying off in 3D. It looked at though you really firing a gun. When I flew using the jetpack, parts of the jetpack would hang out in front of you. The depth perception was quite clear from the environment and the objects hanging from the jetpack itself. Performing a melee attack made it feel like the Helghast was actually in front of you.
The game really shows the PlayStation 3’s power. At moments I would stop during the game and I would sit there and observe all the different things that were moving at once. During the Shipwreck section, under the Icy Incursion chapter, you are on a rock in the water. The waves were rolling, which caused the rocks, or ice platforms, to sway. In addition, it was snowing and the snow alone looked convincing. You can see the wind carrying the snow in the distance, while you can see snowflakes flurrying in every direction in front of you. As the waves hit the rocks, they splashed up, vigorously and you can even observe the mist from the splashes. There is so much detail in the environments of the stages that will leave an impression on the player. Beautiful tones captivate the scenery, as well.
The main feature that stood out about Killzone 3, was the controls. The player has the option to use either the controller or PlayStion Move. The controls, using the PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS controller, were very smooth. This made for precise aim and accuracy. Whether the player uses it to control the jetpacks, vehicles, or weaponry, it all felt natural. Guerilla Games made major improvements on the controls from the previous titles in the franchise, in making them more responsive- which is crucial for a first-person shooter. The SIXAXIS was utilized in various objectives, such as detonating and turning valves.
Using PlayStation Move on Killzone 3 was an interesting addition to the game. PlayStation Move was very precise in the game. Both controls have their advantages. I prefer using PlayStation Move with the multiplayer, while the controller is my preferance for the single-player campaign. It was great that both control options were offered to the player so that they can take advantage of the alternative addition. I can’t understand why the keyboard and mouse option was not offerred as another alternative, seeing how accurate the controls worked. Playing Killzone 3 with the Move support, made the game feel like a light gun shooter.
An annoyance, in using Move, was when you melee an opponent, the player has to thrust the Move wand out, as though making a stabbing motion. This tended to throw off the gameplay, as the player has to regain the motion control sense again. I found myself thrusting the Move wand out to melee several times and would end up twisting my wrist, which would then result in reloading, while trying to melee. To reload using Move, the player simply twists his or her wrist, as though turning a door knob.
The Move controls worked well, however it would have been beneficial to the player to be given the option to reconfigure the buttons, for better options for reloading and melees. I found that Move handled extremely well during my multiplayer experience. It almost felt like I had an advantage and made me wonder if players will have to get Move, in order to compete online. The Killzone 3 gun peripheral seems like it would compliment the gameplay, and add yet another controlling option.
The player is Offered a variety of vehicles, including the ability to ride mechs, “Exoskeleton”, and use jetpacks.
When the story seemed to reach a climax, where an important decision was supposed to be made, the story seemed to lack the intense emotion that the game was going for. All the odds seemed to always be against you. Every mission seemed to be imposible, with an officer who is continuously wanting to fold the cards and give up, yet you always seem to prevail and complete your missions.
Killzone 3’s length depends on the individual, of course. I completed the single-player campaign in five and a half hours. It is not a long campaign, however Killzone 3 is known for its multiplayer experience. This will give the game its desired lasting appeal while gamers work towards leveling themselves to the max. The player can play the single-player through with the regular controls, then again with the Move controls, and even with the gun peripheral. I am looking forward to play it again with the Killzone 3 gun peripheral, myself.
Killzone 3 is a must have for every PlayStation 3 owner. The exclusive title will not require the player to load up the disc. Killzone 3 is probably the best looking first-person shooter for the PlayStation 3. For those that bought Move and are looking for a different game to play, this is definitely one that you would want to try. Killzone 3 will most definitely be played until Guerilla Games is ready to offer up another game to the franchise.
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