I know it comes off as elitist and oh so against the grain to voice negative opinions of popular games, and believe me, I don't want to be that guy. There have been plenty 'o popular games that I have absolutely loved despite their mainstream status. Unfortunately, Killzone 2 isn't one of those games. Being part of the online fandom saturated with KZ2 hype from E3 2005, I was all but ready to ignore the title - that is, until about a month before its release when footage and reviews started popping up around the web. From what I'd seen and read from various outlets, Killzone 2 was a day one purchase. And it was. But after a few hours of jaunting through monochromatic war zones, listening to prodigious steroid-ridden one-dimensional dialog, and struggling with inaccurate controls, Killzone revealed its true self to me: a retail focus test wrapped in beautiful packaging and laced with derivation.
But again, to be fair, there have been plenty of games anyone could claim fit that description that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Take EA's Dead Space for example. That game did very little original, but in the end it was a tight and well executed experience. I feel Killzone comes up short in this regard as it feels so forced and tangibly predetermined to deliver what is ultimately a known quantity - which again, isn't necessarily a bad thing - but given it's development time and production values, I was hoping for a more gratifying experience. This is not to say that Killzone 2 has no redeemable qualities. It's campaign is pretty well developed, the visuals are stunning, the gunplay is decent despite the controls being reminiscent of someone playing doom in a pool of jello, and the multiplayer is genuinely fun. But again, I can't shake the slightly dirty feeling of playing a game so focused on being everything that sells, it becomes more of an advertisement than an interactive experience. Does that make it any less satisfying for those who enjoy it? Of course not. But there is a reason why I don't watch television anymore, and that same reason left me not enjoying my time with Killzone 2.
I just finished listening to the last epic 3 hour plus 1up yours. They had the classic crew: Luke, John, Shane, Skip, and Garnett which was great to hear again. Those guys have a chemistry rivaled only by the fellows at GiantBomb, and as such, it was a very emotional show. I've been following 1up yours basically since right when Luke started, and listening to these guys all hang out and tell stories and talk about the end of an era, not gunna lie - I almost cried a little. It was definitely touching and I'm sad to see such an original and honest perspective in videogames go. I wish Garnett the best in his new production which I'm sure will be great, but nothing will ever replace 1up Yours for me. It was just too kick ass.
I was just sifting through a thread concerning the recent layoffs at Gamespot when I stumbled across a post that basically summarized the staff of GS how I remember them:
Bob Calayco Greg Kasavin Greg the other one with a shaved head Jeff Gerstmann Rich Gallup Alex Navaro Jason Ocampo Ryan Davis Brad Shomaker VInny Carravela Carrie Gouskos Tim Surrete Aaron Thomas Bethany somebody Don Francis and whoever else I am missing."
I followed gamespot religiously for years, and I can honestly say when all these people were on staff that site felt like a family. Every time one of them left I was honestly distraught - which incidentally sounds crazy [and kinda sad] when you think about it. I keep trying to go back to GS, as they are my roots for internet gaming info, but the only people I feel like I know anything about now are Ricardo, Tor, Brian, and Brenden - all of which I think are awesome. I love Giantbomb and I've been following the crew since the mass exodus from GS, but honestly sometimes I miss the old Gamespot crew. I know it sounds lame and sad, but that site was all I had for a while, and feeling like I was apart of something awesome and unique kept me going. Remember when Aaron first showed up at the After Hours event and was like "hey, I'm the new guy"? I remember thinking whoa crazy, new staff...and now its like I don't even recognize anyone anymore. Well, either way I understand things change [for the better or worse] and I'm just grateful all of these random internet identities have either moved on to work in the industry they love, or persevered in the enthusiast press continuing to produce content that I appreciate day after day. I wish Aaron, Don, and Bethany the best, as well as anyone else directly feeling the effects of these bleak economic times.