Killzone had enormous amounts of hype attached to it before it was released in 2004. It was claimed to be a "Halo-killer" and it would be a saving grace for the FPS genre on the PS2. What it ended up being was a big disappointment. However, it is unfair to say that Killzone failed. It didn't fail by any means; it was just flawed. The way I look at this game to this day is as a flawed gem.
What most PS2 owners will notice first about Killzone is how nice it looks. Actually, the graphics are very attractive, if a bit grimy at the same time. However, there are numerous bugs that don't bode well to the rest of the game itself. The audio design is without flaw, however. The Helghast scream your position and get lost in the chaos of battle as much as you do, and the sound of weapons and effects is excellent.
The missions are mostly good. The action can be pretty intense and the weapons are truly awesome. However, what makes this game lurk in the shadows behind Halo and Call of Duty is its level design. The levels don't have sense of flow to them, and the player will frequently get lost without knowing where to go. The lack of a jump button also hinders the realism this game tries so hard to convey.
The difficulty is also noticeably high for a shooter. Enemies are usually relentless, but sometimes the AI are either Green Berets or flesh bags. The difficulty is widely unbalanced, and the game uses an awkward, confusing health system. The aiming is also unwieldy, but that probably lends itself towards the DualShock the game needs to use to control. There are many technical problems with the game as a whole.
I don't bother with PS2 multiplayer; I have never liked the servers themselves, so I didn't try out this game's multiplayer. Usually, however, a game rests on the laurels of its single player.
Killzone is not perfect by any means, but it is still enjoyable and gritty that any shooter fan or PS3 fanboy awaiting the release of its sequel will be able to have fun with.