E3 2010: Killzone 3 Hands-On Impressions
Guerriilla Games and SONY do it big once again in terms of production value. This game has the look of textures that you just die for if you care about graphics. So much detail on the face of your enemy, and guns. But we all know graphics are not everything so we will get back to that later. It was announced at E3 2010 that this game will not only support 3D HD (which we were shown at the Sony Press Conference) but also PlayStation Move controls. I had the opportunity to play the game in HD with the DualShock 3 controller and what I witnessed removed any worries I had about the game being less exciting to accommodate these game-play expanding features. The baseline game is feeling really solid and reminding me why I bought Killzone 2 which was to experience an FPS world that felt real.
The jet-pack in Killzone 3 adds to the game immediately in the demo I played at E3. You play on an arctic level, invading an outpost, you start off jet-packing from iceberg to iceberg to get a foot hold on the combat taking place. After putting a great deal of hours into my Killzone 2 online and single player (hard difficulty) modes, I was able to approach this game with very much familiarity. Some people may be dis-interested by how much the controls have stayed the same, but when you use the jet-pack the whole game changes. Vertical game-play becomes the center of your focus as you attack multiple level buildings one tier at a time, clearing them of enemies with keen accuracy and a brutal spirit. There are also Helghast with jet-packs trying to kill you!
In a major way the controls for Killzone 2 came under question by players who wanted a faster aiming response. Guerrilla Games had brought a realistic “weighed down” feeling to the aiming in the game and some people were not happy about it. To account for both crowds a patch was released which allows Killzone 2 players to now choose between having a new “High Precision” mode on or off. I personally liked the old style better for the fit of this game, it was part of an overall feel that helped it stand out in a sea of generic FPS games to me. The fact they left this patched control set optional was great, however in the multi-player online competition and advantages lead me to think you’d better just leave it on.
Luckily, Killzone 3 seems to have struck a way better balance. In the demo at E3 I was not able to tweak my control sensitivity, so I just went with it. I felt like I was at a very high quality movie watching the things I was doing because I already know the background of the Helghast and they were exciting and angry as ever. Jet-packing through the level is a logical puzzle of strategy. If you just fly around like a chicken with its head cut off, you are going to die. That being said, the game is easy to pick up and play and manages to keep the legacy of Killzone campaign’s challenging tone intact.
The level design in this game is nothing short of impeccable in the arctic campaign demo at E3. The flow of action in this level is great and you feel in more direct control of your character than usual, allowing you to forget you are controlling a character on a screen and really sink in. The multi-tier arctic mayhem is as fun to play as it is good looking. I did get confused about where I was going for one second but was reminded that I can just hit the up button on the d-pad for instructions of where to place my boots before I drop some more shells. As much as I feel this game is hardcore, I am starting to think that its real appeal is in its unique story-line and cinematic single player campaign experience. If you are a fan of sci-fi and war then you may want to keep your eyes on this one.
- Title: Killzone 3
- Developer / Publisher: Guerilla Games, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
- Platform: PlayStation 3
- Release: February 2011