Not an epic 'Halo Killer', but Killzone certainly slaughters most of the PS2 FPS of it's generation
> Array of weapons
> Great visuals
> Smart and durable AI for both allies and enemies
> Multiplayer for up to 12 players with the addition of 2 player offline using AI 'bots' to make it a game similiar to online
> Gameplay is simple but still fun and back in 2004 that was all it needed to be
> The story isn't a very original concept but has enough shine to stand out, deliver and keep you going to the ending
> Great sound score
> Glitches galore at times
> Unrealistic physics
> No online split screen mode, which seemed like a must if it supported a online like game for two players offline
> Online now at this point is dead and at the time it was active it was littered with cheating and required two updates to correct it
Killzone, developed by Guerilla Games and produced exclusively for the Playstation, was hyped in the mid to late 2003 fiscal year as a 'Halo Killer'. Now many games have gone under that hype, Haze being the latest and Killzone's sequel the newest, and so far on both occasions they failed to live up to it. It is a insane level of hype after all, but nothing spares Haze from being a poor game. However unlike Haze, Killzone was actually a very good game and in the run up to the sequels release in February I decided to buy it for Â£9.99 at my local game and try it out and due to my experience with this game I've decided to purchase the PSP Liberation game also, so expect a review on that to eventually come about.
From the start I noticed the graphics where average for my standards, note I was playing Metal Gear Solid 4 just prior to Killzone, but for a game on the PS2 from 2004 it looked very good. So graphics wise it did live up to it's hype. Everything from the environments to the character design was carved nicely into a well rounded and very appealing visual experience. All of was out of timeline to be honest, the graphics Killzone portrayed would easily put some later PS2 FPSs to shame. However I'm not won over by graphics alone.
The gameplay was average. It was a FPS to the core. You control Captian Jan Templar of the ISA in a war against the invading Helghan, which will strike a resemblance to the Nazi empire at first thought. The game does split and allow you to play as other characters, such as stealthy female spec ops Marshal Luger and a foul mouthed hard as nails Sergeant Rico Velasquez.
Simple controls such as shooting, reloading, grenades and swapping weapons. All of it was run of the mill even then. That's not to say it was by any means poor. It just wasn't innovative or 'epic' in scale. Guerilla wisely played it safe and kept to what was well known, not a bad decision as it could have safed them from a complete flop of a 'new' gameplay system. So basically Killzone did everything that was done before, but at the very least it did them well.
The array of weapons would be the most innovative point of the game, because unlike most of this early decade's FPS collection, it had a large array of weapons to use. Weapons from both sides were available: knives, rocket launchers and all that. Now it wouldn't be enough but then it was quite an impressive selection.
The sound score was very good. Everything was done as it should be done, realistic to it's setting. Weapons sounded like weapons, Villians sounded like villians, heroes sounded like they where trying to do good, and everything sounded like you would expect and hope the future would sound like. The score was self composed by Guerilla and it was by no means a botched attempt. Themes and music where all created nicely and fitted smoothly with their intented sections. A rare achievement even in today's latest generation games.
Multiplayer, I will now point out I had no chance to try this as the game's community dried up sometime in the late 2005 to early 2006 period and today's community is very small. I blame that on the SOCOM franchise personally but I don't mind. I did really enjoy the original offline multiplayer. Two people on the same console lead a side of AI controlled 'bots' against one another. Naturally you would think 'AI is a poor excuse for multiplayer.' However like I said before, Killzone's AI is actually very good. Even by today's standards it would be stellar.
However now I will get the bad points. The game is riddled with poor physics. Strange deaths, indestructable tables, etc. The physics engine was the only sections of this game which is downright laugable, but in a sense it is also a good thing as some of the Helgan deaths are very funny at times. Luckily I don't think that will be an issue for the sequel and it was the only poor part of what turned out for me to be a very good and under-rated game that only failed in it's demanding expections to topple what would turn out to be one of the more premium FPS to date. (Halo)
So, for Â£9.99 I got a very good deal. For those who spent up to Â£32.99, you may feel that your got a money worth but only just or you downright feel robbed. I myself feel happy with my purchase of Killzone, and if you haven't played this game I heavily suggest you do. It's only Â£9.99 new, and Â£5.99 pre-owned in some markets.
Graphics > 9.4 out of 10, outstanding for it's age
Gameplay > 8.1 out of 10, hindered by terrible physics engine but great AI
Sound > 9.1 out of 10, perfect for itself and suited very well
Story > 7.4 out of 10, not original by any means but has it's own flare and flashes of a sense of independance from other FPSs
Lifespan > 7.6 out of 10, in it's day it would have far more to offer, but without much of a online community it suffers and offline would hardly satisfy today's market for more than maybe a month or under
Overall > 41.6 out of 50, 83.2%, 4.2 out of 5
About the author
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