Good Idea, Bad Implimentation
Reviewing games that came out years ago is always a bit tricky. The reviewer is asked to review the game as a product of its time, as well as a product that you would play right now. I tend to review older games with the lens of how it fits into the “history” of video games. Luckily, the original Killzone doesn’t have this problem. While it was certainly released six years ago (as of the time this review was written), it is still a modern first-person shooter.
The game starts off in the middle of a war between two human space-faring species. One group, the Helghast, left a human colony and evolved on the planet Helghan to become a new race of humans. They have a facist/nazi government who has declared that the ISA (the normal humans) have wronged them and it is now time to take back what is rightfully theirs. You play as members of an ad-hoc ISA squad who got thrown into a conspiratorial situation while trying to drive the Helghast off the planet.
Technically this game is interesting. The game clearly is on the PlayStation 2, but in many respects it is the equal of many Xbox games (and let’s face it, many Xbox 360 games as well). There are lighting effects, particle effects, and rounded features in character models. That being said, that is where the technical prowess ends. The game’s audio is atrocious. You will hear the same phrases over and over, in a highly compressed, overly-loud manor that by halfway through the game makes you want to shoot the Helghast simply so they will shut up.
As awful as the sound effects are, the worst part of the game is easily the controls. This is not something that can be overlooked by the passage of time, because Halo: CE was out before this game was released. The controls feel “floaty”, imprecise, and very touchy when aiming. This adds a level of difficulty to the game that has nothing to do with the actual level design or challenge from the game’s AI. It is for this reason that the game gets the score that it has. If you disagree with it, send me a PM telling me how I’m wrong. But before you do, go back and play the first level and re-consider your disagreement.
Story-wise the game is very vanilla. You play as one of 4 “space-mariny” characters that have slightly different character abilities. You are trying to find out who betrayed the ISA homeworld, and bring about the ability for the ISA to kick the Helghast off the planet. While I did find the interactions in your squad somewhat interesting, overall the story brings nothing new to the FPS genre.
In general, I can’t really recommend this game. There are too many technical problems to have the game be considered “fun”, and the story just doesn’t make you want to find out what next. There is clearly some good about this game, and you can see what the developers were trying to accomplish, but ultimately it falls short.