By RenegadeSaint 1 Comments
After four long years of medical school, things are finally starting to wind down. I have just one month of clinical dutiesremaining and a few loose ends to tie up before I move to San Antonio in June. With spring break in full force and my girlfriend halfway around the world, I've been playing quite a few games. I should have some impressions and reviews coming up in the next few days, including that long lost Sands of Destruction (DS) review (Spoiler: It's not good).
Killzone (PS) was released by Sony in 2004 as an attempt to grab a share of the emerging console FPS market. The game received a lot of pre-release hype as gamers and critics alike pined for a real competitor to the ultra-successful Halo series. Releasing just one week ahead of the highly anticipated Halo 2, the game struggled to find an audience. It was almost exclusively panned by critics, with the suspicious exception of a couple Plystation-focused mags. I played through the original last year (Giant Bomb ate my review, but it can be found in one of my old blogs) and found it to be a mediocre shooter with little character and a lot of technical bugs. The option to play as one of four different soldiers spiced things up a bit, but the bland graphics and relatively uneventful story made it a a forgettable affair.
Fast forward to 2009. CoD has risen to power, Halo is still a powerful force in the FPS market, and Sony is hungrier than ever for a piece of the pie. The first game charged the player with defending the ISA outer colony, Vekta, from the invading Helghast. This time, the ISA wants to snuff out the Helghan rebellion at its core by bringing the war to their home turf. The game doesn't seem too worried about explaining anything beyond this simple concept to the player, so from minute one, it's all about shooting dudes and blowing stuff up.
The first thing that jumped out at me was the unique feel of the controls. The weapons and movement have a real heft to them. It takes a little time to accelerate to full turning speed and the jump is more of a bunny hop. This is a far cry from the lightning-quick action most modern shooters employ. I am playing with the big update that supposedly improved controls and while things feel okay, they're not quite perfect. Even grenades have a very deliberate lag that forces the player to plan ahead.
There are a lot of great set-piece battles in the first few levels and the game looks pretty good, if not a little too muddy and brown/grey. The enemies are pretty vicious and definitely qualify as bullet sponges. They aren't as painful as the baddies in the original Uncharted, but it's still a little annoying to shoot someone twenty times before he/she/it dies. So overall, I'm enjoying the game. It's not great, but it has a decent feel and there seems to be some good action. Full review coming when I finish the game.
I leave you with one question: Why do the Helghast have to wear their masks while on their home planet? I thought they needed them to breathe the clean air of Vekta...