Returning to the industrial grime of Killzone 3’s Helghan home world after over 70 hours in the bright clear Middle Eastern maps of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is initially a disorienting experience. Killzone 3, like its predecessor, is a game that at times has an almost suffocating atmosphere. Heavy orange and blue lights punctuate the superbly textured warehouses and military facilities while snow and ash particles continually waft through the landscape…
With so many intricate effects and textures vying for your attention the look is sometimes overwhelming. However one could argue this also serves to enhance the feeling that you are in a hostile and alien environment. It must be stated that, though even in Alpha form, Killzone 3 is one of this generation’s most beautiful games. That the game will look even better in final form is truly mind boggling. Weapon modelling and reload animations in particular are highly impressive.
With everyone united in praising its graphics, Killzone 2 was divisive in its controls. Some loved the weighty movement and heavy feedback from weapon recoil, others found the game to be sluggish and painfully unresponsive. The significant controller lag came in for severe criticism from all quarters. These issues were further accentuated for players accustomed to the fast arcade precision of Modern Warfare.
Guerrilla Games have clearly taken this criticism on board. As I load the beta up I’m instantly aware of how quick it is to navigate through the game menus. It’s a small point to make, but Killzone 2 had very sluggish menus which often made the whole experience feel like wading through toffee.
What’s also instantly apparent when in game is that controller lag is now gone and as a result, the game feels much more responsive. I still play through Killzone 2 single player on occasion and yet found it increasingly difficult to go back to after Battlefield: Bad Company 2. However the Killzone 3 beta seems much more closely aligned to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare control wise. The heavy recoil also seems to have been toned down on all weapons. Above all, it still seems to feel like a Killzone game and not a clone of Modern Warfare which is the fine line developers now tread when incorporating aspects of the genre lead.
With new and expanded classes and a slew of new weapons the multiplayer feels much more fleshed out that the previous title. It still feels a little frantic at times; the tight corridors and complex interiors don’t often allow you to put distance between yourself and the enemy. But then I suppose I am accustomed to Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s wide open landscapes and the space you are given to establish yourself. Killzone 3 isn’t worse because of it, but it does take a while to get into the more intense combat. Without access to the final product its impossible to say at this point whether there will be expansive maps for a happy camper to establish on.
It all seems very encouraging so far. Guerrilla Games seem to have genuinely taken on board some of the sometimes stinging criticism of Killzone 2 and worked hard on the controls, while still striving to retain that Killzone feel. It’s much slicker and the graphics are truly astounding. The final product should be a must buy when it hits stores in February.
This article was submitted by guest writer Warren Thompson.