Continue the Fight
Continue the fight on Helghan in Killzone 3, Guerrilla Games' latest installment in the Killzone franchise.
Killzone 3 picks up the exact moment that Killzone 2 ends, with players taking control of Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko after a quick tutorial to get you back on your feet with the new controls. The Helghast leader, Scholar Visari is dead and the remaining ISA forces need to evacuate. A simple evacuation goes awry and you now need to fight your way out. Killzone 3's campaign is chock full of incredible cinematic gameplay events, that will leave you awestruck. This continuation introduces some new, very realized characters including Admiral Orlock, the Military Commander of the Helghast Empire, and Jorhan Stahl, CEO of Stahl Arms to name a couple. A nice mechanic that was added into this new installment is the ability to be healed by some teammates who you're paired with on missions instead of just having to heal them. They can heal you up to three times before you have to restart from a checkpoint. There's also a coop campaign which is offline only, but can also help with the ability to be healed quickly and adding more fun to the campaign experience.
The first thing you'll notice with Killzone 3 is the major upgrade in graphics. This is by far one of the most graphically superior games on the PS3. The environments range anywhere from a post-nuclear Visari Square to a lush Helghan jungle, and even an arctic Helghan facility, surrounded by glaciers and a a beautiful ocean. The facial animations are right on, using motion-capture to it's fullest potential, which makes the characters feel more real. The blood splatter and footsteps in the snow are very detailed as well, showing that even the little things were taken very seriously at the Guerrilla Games facility. Killzone 3 also supports 3D, which works really well and looks even more beautiful, as each of the snowflakes in the level I tried it on were individually captured in 3D, which immerses the player even more.
The gameplay has received a major overhaul, as well as plenty of options. If you're coming immediately off of Killzone 2, you'll notice this game is a lot quicker. While I became used to the weapon weight mechanic of Killzone 2, replacing that with the much quicker aiming of Killzone 3 is a definite improvement. For enemies that sometimes take upwards of 10+ shots to kill, being able to quickly locate and shoot an enemy is welcome. There's a standard and alternate control scheme, as well as several tweaks you can make. You can change the R1 and L1 to R2 and L2 if you prefer using the triggers to aim and shoot as well. Killzone 3 also supports the Move controller, which when coupled with the SharpShooter accessory works phenomenally. It really adds a new level to the gameplay in which you feel like the skill is based off of how well you perform with aiming and shooting with a somewhat life-like weapon, rather than just dual analog sticks.
Killzone 3's online multiplayer expands upon the Killzone 2 multiplayer foundations laid out for it. There's an offline Botzone mode that you can play which has every weapon and ability unlocked. It's recommended that you try this mode first so you can get a feel for the maps, classes, abilities and guns so you can figure out where to spend your unlock points. After each rank earned, you gain unlock points that are used for new weapons and abilities. You can upgrade abilities up to three times, and even add multiple abilities per class. The online multiplayer doesn't offer much in the way of matchmaking however. You pretty much just jump into quick matches, which contain one of three different modes. However, despite what match you're dropped into, you'll find a ton of depth and fun to be had with Killzone 3's multiplayer.
This isn't to say that there's nothing wrong with Killzone 3. Sometimes the dialog will cut itself short if you progress too fast in the story, taking a little away from the experience. Some dialog is straight out of Killzone 2. Recycled dialog just seems a bit lazy. The Move controller layout has a heavy learning curve, so players may be turned off if using that. Also, 3D can sometimes seem a bit dark and shaky at times, which is a bit of a deterrent. Also, sometimes your partner in campaign mode will become stuck and won't heal you if you're downed. However, this happens very few and far between.
With all that being said, Killzone 3 is an excellent First Person Shooter that is a must-own for any PS3 owner. The story runs standard FPS fare, ranging from 5-8 hours, and is so full of action and cinematic events that you won't even know where the time went. The campaign warrants multiple play-throughs and the multiplayer is deep and rewarding. This is one of the best FPS games I've played in quite a while, and I can't wait to see where the series goes from here.