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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Guerrilla Games
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1 (1-32 online)
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: February 27, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

March 18, 2009 - Since the CG trailer was shown back at E3 2005, gamers and developers alike were blown away by what the next installment of the Killzone franchise would look like once it debut on Sony's PlayStation 3 console. Considering many of the PS3ís debut title didnít match their CG trailer counterparts, Guerrilla Games had a tall order before themselves to right the wrongs of the past, which also being the first title to separate itself from its competition. With more than three years in development and extensive closed and open beta testing sessions, Killzone 2 has finally arrived and looks to shut up all the haters out there.

While games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gears of War 2 have set the bar in terms of an immersive visual experience, Guerrilla Games' masterpiece, Killzone 2, rises above those titles while also setting a new precedent for future FPS titles. Whether we are talking about the realistic-looking Scolar Visari giving an inspirational speech in the beginning of the game, or the engulfing atmosphere of the Helghan planet, Guerrilla Games insured every aspect of the game is larger than life and very detailed. No matter if you are batting within Visari Square or the Salamun District, the environments are grand and vast, offering up tons of intense battle where concrete pillars can be destroyed from heavy gun fire and buildings can be blown up.

Continuing the impressive visuals of Killzone 2, the character models are insanely detailed. Whether talking face-to-face with your fellow comrades or looking at them from afar, great attention was paid the facial expressions and different facial textures of the human head. The combat gear of the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) is also highly detailed, mimicking actual military gear worn by our military. On the flipside, the Helghast also are equally detailed and stylized. The game's framerate is solid, offering up intense fluidity within combat without the framerate dipping one bit. Some have said there have been framerate issues, but from playing the single-player campaign and online component, I have yet to experience a noticeable dip.

For those gamers familiar with both Killzone and Killzone: Liberation (PS2 and PSP respectively), Killzone 2 picks up roughly two years after the Helghast assault on Vekta. Instead of waiting for their next inevitable attack, the ISA decides to take the fight to the Helghast in hopes of catching them off guard and possibly ending this epic war. Within the opening sequences, the ISA are arriving to Helghan, only to be greeted with extreme force both in space and on the grounds. Without beating around the bush, the sole purpose of the ISA being on Helghan is to capture Emperor Scolar Visari. Within this story, you take control of Thomas ďSevĒ Shevchenko, an experience war veteran who is a member of the Special Forces unit Legion. Though the Legion is part of a bigger collective within the ISA, all the missions are wrapped around your team being put into unmanageable situations where teamwork, utilizing a solid cover system and your environment are key to survival.

From the get go, it becomes apparent that the Helghan are formidable foes and wonít be taken advantage of very easily. From a vast array of military might-Assault Infantry, Advanced Shock Trooper, Commando, Elite Shock Trooper, Grenadier, Heavy Arc Trooper, Heavy Weapons Trooper, Light Shock trooper, Miner, Pyro Trooper, Rifleman, Sniper, Support Trooper-utilizing a the cover system within Killzone 2 is key to survival. While the cover system is similar to many other FPS titles, itís also different in the sense that the game never leaves the first-person perspective (unless during a cutscene). From this perspective, you are able to zoom in on enemies using the gunís scope and delivering a couple of well-placed headshots.

Another key in your arsenal is a well-balanced, yet diverse array of weapons to choose from. From your typical rifles to shotguns, handguns and even a flamethrower, each weapon packs a real nice punch when used correctly. You are cable of carrying two guns on your person at any given time, so delivering well-placed shots with your favorite weapon is key in intense situations so you donít have to switch weapons when caught in a tight bind. Working hand-in-hand with the weaponry is realistic physics placed on them and Sev. Unlike some FPS games, the recoil affect from firing a gun or running with a weapon in hand can affect the speed and maneuverability of your player. This subtle gameplay mechanic adds depth and a since of realism to the overall experience.

Coinciding with the impressive visuals, Guerrilla Games provided immersive and entertaining voice-overs, which help carry the story along. whether with in-game cutscenes and during battle, the voice-over work is often intense and straight to the point. You take too long to acquire a certain weapon and use it, a fellow comrade well tell get on you about it. The orchestra-inspired soundtrack fills the player with different types of emotions depending on the moment. The only thing you can complain about with the voice-over work is that it is at times not in sync with the mouth movements of the character. This a minor gripe as it doesn't happen a lot.

Once you complete the single-player campaign and are looking to branch out into the online battle circuit, Killzone 2 offers two distinct versions of multiplayer. Within Skirmish, you can battle it out with up to 15 computer-controlled bots. Whats so beneficial about skirmish is that it allows rookies to get some experience on the various multiplayer maps, building various techniques and battle tactics to eventually take into the online battle arena. You are allowed to determine the the character roster for the ISA or Helghast, where they load onto the maps, factions and squads. The game modes you can compete in include Assassination, Search and Destroy, Search and Retrieve, and Bodycount.

The same modes offered in Skirmish are also offered in Warzone, which is the livest online-experience you will find on the PlayStation 3 console. Mimicking some single-player campaign missions, the battles ca became very hectic with you always looking over your shoulder and watching out for snipers on rooftops. The experience is very solid, with visuals as impressive as within the actual game. For those worrying about the feel of the controls can take solas in knowing that Guerrilla Games released a small update which addresses the issue of the controls for whoever didn't fell quite comfortable with the default makeup.

With 2009 still within the first half of the year, Killzone 2 is already receiving praise as the potential 'Game of the Year'. With outstanding visuals, immersible gameplay, battle-inspiring audio soundtrack, and a non-stop rollercoaster within online and offline multiplayer, Killzone 2 is a game no one should pass on. With the official onslaught of Sony's 1st party titles starting here and now with Killzone 2, the PlayStation 3 has a really bright and healthy future in 2009.


Other Review Scores
TestFreaks: 8.2/10
GameZone: 9.4/10
GamesRadar: 9/10

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