It is hard to imagine, that something this EPIC, could fit in such a small package. Well, Guerrilla Games has managed to accomplish such a feat with Killzone 3.
At this point, I have played through the campaign four times, the last on Elite difficulty. All four times I was using the PS Move with the Sharp Shooter. The Sharp Shooter adds to the whole experience, elevating game play. I must say, this is the first FPS that actually got my heart racing from the realism that the Sharp Shooter brought with it. If you have ever played paintball or Airsoft you would understand. If you immersed yourself into the movie Gamer you might also be able to imagine it. Moving through different terrains and buildings, all the while turning your gun where you look, checking the corners as you pass through doorways. People that knock motion gaming should definitely give this a try. It is pinpoint precision at its finest. The motion tracking is superb. Your hand twitched, the on screen cross hair twitched right along with it. Without the Move, I would most likely not have played through the campaign as many times as I did.
So, getting down to business, Killzone 3. Let’s start off with the campaign. The campaign is much more varied than that of Killzone 2. The scenery and new weapons give a nice break up to monotonous game play. From the standard urban settings of Helghan, through to the jungle, snow and cold of the arctic, oil rigs, indoors to laboratories and space stations, and even space itself. The level that I enjoyed the most was the Jungle Approach. Injected with some vivid colors and the dangers of the Helghan plant and wild life, it is a welcomed break from the drawl of the Helghan cities, as much as the brightness of the arctic levels. another addition to the jungle level is the use of stealth. Armed with the new silenced machine pistol, you find yourself sneaking around, taking down Helghast with your knife, head shots, and burster plants. Alert the enemy to your presence and your adrenaline will really get going. The music turns dark and ominous, a flare shoots off alerting the other Helghast. If that is not enough, throw in the new capture troopers. Capture troopers show now regard for their own lives, charging straight for you, releasing a primal roar. It puts you right in the life or death, take down or be taken down situation.
Killzone 3 introduces some new weapons, along with refinements to the weapons from Killzone 2. All the weapons are there, including the bolt gun and flame thrower. Even the electricity gun makes an appearance, although its not a playable weapon, the Helghast will use it against you. The STA-52 picks up a Holo-sight like the M82. The STA-14 now has an ACOG scope. The STA-3 LMG and mini gun are now dis-mountable from their turrets. The recoil has been toned down from Killzone 2 taking away part of the challenge, yet making the game a little more novice friendly. new weapons include shotgun pistols, WASPs, and an irradiated petrucite arc cannon. There is a weapon for everyone in Killzone 3. Depending on your style of play, your favorite weapon will vary.
The sounds of the game are another awe inspiring detail. Simply put, it fits. The opening with its slow and somber tone, much like the calm before the storm. The soundtrack flows throughout game play and never seems out of place. Well, maybe one place, the beginning of the end credits. It fits the visuals of the credits, but just on a sound basis, it stands out from the rest of the soundtrack like a sore thumb. As for the sound effects, you are completely submerged in the level you are playing. If you are using surround sound, it makes the room come alive, with the smallest details not being overlooked. Rustling grass, foot steps in the snow, the creatures of the jungle, and even the sound of a shot off Helghast helmet rolling down hill, it is all there.
Now, how does the story stack up? I have heard people refer to it as “meh” or not that great. This also happens to be from fans of the series. On my first play through I kind of felt the same and also that it seemed a bit short. However , I was more involved in the game, paying more attention to where I was going while becoming accustomed to the controls of the Sharp Shooter. On my second play through, I really developed more appreciation of the story. In Killzone 2, there really wasn’t much of an in depth story. It was more a set of objectives to achieve an end goal, capture Visari. In Killzone 3 the story is more developed. You get to see a more personal side of the characters involved, including Sev and Rico. You also get a glimpse of the Helghan government, strategy, and battle for power with Visari out of the picture. Your end goal also changes as the circumstances of the story evolve. Killzone 3 gives you a better connection to the characters you are playing, as well as the enemies you face.
Game play itself has been improved. I find the AI tossing grenades right at my feet, even while hiding in corners or behind cover. The PS Move and Sharp Shooter also add to game play tremendously. I have briefly played with the controller in co-op campaign, about half way through. The controls are the same as Killzone 2 and you can jump right in. Co-op is the one area of the game where I see stand out issues. The text on screen is a bit too small, which will not be a big problem for people who have played previously. I was playing co-op with some one new to the series, so I would have to instruct them on what to do, such as the buttons to press to re-load at ammo crates or how to pick up weapons. It would have also been nice if co-op could be played online. Lastly, there is no PS Move compatibility in co-op, not even if you only have one player using it. I am not aware of the logistics of having these features or if they were decided against, but they would have been most welcomed.
As for the multiplayer, I have only played in the beta at this point. I was quite impressed with it though. They changed up many things from Killzone 2. Some classes were eliminated, others tweaked. Looked at alone, the top abilities of each class are over powering. Adding in the classes together, they all have abilities to counter another class, still keeping the teamwork aspect intact. This was very nicely done and finely balanced. Once I begin to play mutliplayer I will update this part of my review. EDIT: So I have been playing the multiplayer for a few weeks now. For the most part it is great. At first, there are some things that are quite frustrating, the three most prominent being campers, snipers, and noobtubing. For those that may not know, campers and snipers will pretty much sit in the same spot and sit there and wait for people to unsuspectingly run by and kill them. After learning the maps and coming up with a strategy they were easily dealt with. Noobtubing is a term used for players that run around abusing the rocket launchers, even when they are right in front of you and it means killing themselves in the process. The noob part of it is that it takes little skill or accuracy to make kills this way. After enough of it you will realize that the rockets move slow enough and are quite easy to strafe.
There are 3 modes to multiplayer; operations, warzone, and guerrilla warfare. Operations pits the Helghast against the ISA, either on offense or defense, with 3 sets of tasks. Being on the team that must complete the objectives is a bit more difficult than the team defending them. Warzone is a match made up of smaller sections of differing objectives which are the same from Killzone 2 except on new maps. Guerrilla warfare is somewhat new, as it had been and still remains a part of the warzone mode. Now it has its own option, its a straight up body count match, first team to 100 kills or most kills after 15 minutes, wins. The maximum number of players changes between the different modes, as well as the locations of ammo crates changing on the same map in each mode. Guerrilla warfare also down sizes some of the larger maps. Out of the online modes, the best one to jump in while playing on your own is Guerilla warfare. When neither friends or clan members are not on, I prefer this mode and consistently place in the top 3. In the same situation, playing either operations or warzone, it ends up being luck of the draw. Both modes rely on teamwork and not everyone is willing to play as a team to complete the objectives. The only other complaint I have is that on some of the maps the camera view skews to the side, as if you are leaning to the left or right. It just feels awkward, as if you have your head tilted to the side to look at the screen. Overall I find myself enjoying Killzone 3 multiplayer and even more so because of the PS Move with the Sharpshooter. It has made me less inclined to play FPS games using the standard controller.
In summation, Killzone 3 is a great game. I see it as a must own for both fans of the Killzone series and the FPS genre in general. If you are also looking for a FPS to test out the PS Move, Killzone 3 is that game.